The Queen Consort paid tribute to the late Queen as she wore Elizabeth II’s jewels for the state banquet held in honour of the visiting South African president Cyril Ramaphosa last night. Camilla chose to wear Her late Majesty’s George VI diamond and sapphire tiara as she joined King Charles III, the Prince of Wales and the Princess of Wales as well as other Royal Family members and specially selected guests for the sumptuous event at Buckingham Palace.
She was elegantly dressed in a royal blue evening gown, designed by Bruce Oldfield, which featured sheer lace sleeves.
To complement the tiara she chose a blue diamond necklace, drop earrings and bracelet.
And on a royal blue sash, she wore the Royal Family Order – made up of a miniature portrait of the late sovereign set in diamonds on a chartreuse yellow ribbon.
The sapphire collection, sometimes known as the King George VI Victorian Sapphire Suite, worn by Camilla was of great sentimental importance to the late Queen.
The necklace was a gift from her beloved father, George VI, for her wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947.
She later acquired a diamond and sapphire necklace, formerly the property of a Belgian princess, which she had set on a tiara frame in the early 1960s and went on to commission a matching bracelet.
The Queen was pictured in the suite during a state visit by President Xi Jinping of China in 2015.
Mail Online reports that Camilla previously wore the same couture dress when she hosted a Commonwealth leaders’ dinner in Rwanda with her husband King Charles in June earlier this year.
She then wore the gown again for a photo shoot with Vogue magazine, which was held ahead of her 75th birthday.
Mr Ramaphosa was greeted by more than 1,000 soldiers, 230 horses, seven military bands and two state coaches yesterday – before being an honoured guest at the state banquet.
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The event offered a lavish menu of two mains: grilled brill with wild mushrooms, truffles and sorrel sauce or ballotine of Windsor Pheasant filled with artichokes, quince compote and port sauce.
Charles III laid on a Guard of Honour for the South African president before joining him in a golden carriage ride to Buckingham Palace as he held his first state visit as King.
William and Kate were part of events for the first time, travelling to a luxury hotel in central London to meet Cyril Ramaphosa. They then accompanied him to Horse Guards Parade for the start of the ceremonial welcome.
There, the monarch and Queen Consort shook hands with the president at the Royal Pavilion ahead of the glamorous state banquet.
The South African national anthem played shortly after Mr Ramaphosa’s arrival, while the Guard of Honour gave a Royal Salute.
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Yesterday afternoon the President viewed an exhibition in the Picture Gallery of items from the Royal Collection relating to South Africa.
he President later visited Westminster Abbey, where he laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and took a tour of the Abbey, which included the memorial stone for Nelson Mandela, who served as President of South Africa between 1994 and 1999.
At the Palace of Westminster, the President was welcomed by the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Lord Speaker. The President delivered an Address in the Royal Gallery to Members of the Houses of Parliament and other guests.