On Tuesday evening, The Queen gave a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace for The President of The People’s Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan.
Before the Banquet, Tuesday evening’s guests were traditionally received by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh shaking their hands and exchanging a quick greeting. Her Majesty looked stunning in a white tulle banquet gown with white and silver beads and diamante sequins along with a lace and diamond crystal belt by Angela Kelly. The Queen wore the Modern Sapphire Tiara for the Tuesday evening festivities.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in attendance for the Banquet. Tuesday evenings event is the first State Banquet that William or Catherine have attended. Prince William and his wife did attend a State Dinner during the 2012 Jubilee Tour in Singapore, but it was not a tiara event.
What many on social media have been anticipating since it was reported The Duchess of Cambridge may be in attendance, was the choice of tiara this evening. Catherine wore The Lotus Flower tiara and a red bespoke Jenny Packham gown.
The Lotus Flower Tiara was made by Garrard using gemstones taken from a necklace given to The Duchess of York (The future Queen Elizabeth) as a wedding gift by her husband, The Duke of York (the future King George VI). Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon eventually would wear it on numerous occasions. Princess Margaret’s daughter-in-law the Hon. Serena Stanhope also wore it on her wedding day. The Duchess of Cambridge last wore the Tiara in 2013 when she attended the annual Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace.
Guests included the Prime Minister David Cameron, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and other politicians and dignitaries.
Her Majesty and the President both make speeches at the start of the banquet. The Queen stated: “Your visit to the UK marks a milestone in this unprecedented year of co-operation and friendship between the UK and China. We have much reason to celebrate the dynamic, growing economic relationship between our countries.”
The 170 guests enjoyed a dinner of:
West Coast Turbot Fillet with lobster mousse
Roasted loin of Balmoral venison in a Madeira and truffle sauce
Braised red cabbage
Timbale of celeriac and butternut squash
Delice of dark chocolate mango and lime
Fruits de dessert
Ridgeview Grosvenor 2009 Brut
Meursault 1er Cru Santenots 2007
(Domaine Marquis d’Angerville)
Chateau Haut-Brion 1989, Graves
Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2008
Warre’s Vintage Port 1977
The guests were seated at a horseshoe-shaped table, beautifully adorned with colourful floral displays which included Clematis, flowers native to China. Over 100 candles in silver-gilt candelabras, many from George IV’s reign were lit for Tuesday evening’s State Banquet.
Following President Xi’s speech, the National Anthem was played by the orchestra and guests stood, but they do not sing. Perhaps Mr Corbyn was happy on this account as he refused to participate in singing during the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain last month.
Wednesday proves to be a busy day for the Chinese President and his wife. From visiting the Imperial College London with The Duke of York to joining the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for a creative industry event at Lancaster House that celebrates the cultural collaboration, existing and future, between the UK and China.
Later on Wednesday President Xi and Madama Peng will attend a banquet at the Guildhall in London and hosted by the Lord Mayor and the City of London Corporation. The Duke of York will also be in attendance.