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FashionQueen Camilla

The tiara chosen by Queen Camilla for the South African state banquet

King Charles and Queen Camilla are hosting South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on a State Visit from Tuesday, 22 November, to Thursday, 24 November. The first day of the visit wrapped up with the King and Queen hosting their first state banquet. The Queen wore a brilliant sapphire tiara for the occasion, a new piece for her.

Queen Camilla wore the Belgian Sapphire Tiara to the state banquet to coordinate with her striking royal blue Bruce Oldfield gown. The late Queen acquired this tiara herself. 

Elizabeth received a set of Victorian sapphires from her father to mark her wedding in 1947. The suite of incredibly large sapphires included a necklace and earrings, with a ring and a bracelet added shortly after. They are usually referred to as the Victorian sapphires because they are thought to have been created around 1850. 

Queen Elizabeth chose to add to the suite again. In 1963, she decided to purchase a tiara to match the sapphires. The tiara already had a royal past of its own as a necklace. 

Princess Louise of Belgium became Princess Louise of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha upon her marriage and had an expansive jewellery collection, including a stunning sapphire and diamond necklace. 

When Elizabeth bought the necklace in 1963, she had it mounted on a tiara frame and wore it frequently through the 1990s.

It is fitting that the new Queen chose to wear one of the late Queen’s favourite tiaras. Historically, Camilla has worn the Boucheron honeycomb-style tiara that was bequeathed to the Queen Mother by Lady Greville and the Dehli Durbar Tiara that was made for Queen Mary to the 1911 Durbar. 

In addition to the Belgian Sapphire Tiara, the Queen wore the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II as well as the sash and star of the Order of the Garter. 

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Historian and blogger at AnHistorianAboutTown.com