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The Cambridges

Duchess of Cambridge’s Royal Family Order made of glass, not ivory

Pictures from last night’s state banquet in honour of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands’ state visit to the United Kingdom revealed the Duchess of Cambridge in the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II for the first time.

Kensington Palace made it clear that Catherine’s order was made of glass instead of the usual ivory. The Duke of Cambridge has worked for years for a ban on ivory. So, having the Duchess’s Royal Family Order be made of glass instead of ivory was a nod to His Royal Highness’s work on the issue.

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For years, Prince William has passionately in regards to the ivory issue, it being sold, and elephant and rhino poaching. Just last year, the Duke’s campaigning against the sale of ivory helped lead the UK government to announce that they were working towards banning the sale of all ivory.

In 2016, His Royal Highness spoke at a conference on behalf of his patronage Tusk. In his remarks, he stated, “And at the current pace of illegal poaching, when Charlotte turns 25, the African elephant will be gone from the wild. I am not prepared to be part of a generation that lets these iconic species disappear from the wild. I am not prepared to explain to our children why we lost this battle when we had the tools to win it.”

The Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II is presented to female members of the Royal Family at The Queen’s discretion and is only worn at white-tie events. It features a photo of Her Majesty on a yellow ribbon, worn on the left shoulder.

In addition to Kate, currently the Royal Family Order is worn by The Duchess of Cornwall, The Countess of Wessex, The Duchess of Gloucester, Anne, The Princess Royal, The Duchess of Kent and Princess Alexandra. 

The Royal Family Order was previously worn by The Queen Mother; Queen Mary; Princess Margaret; Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood; Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone; Princess Alice, The Duchess of Gloucester; Princess Marina, The Duchess of Kent; and Diana, Princess of Wales. 

Additional reporting by Jess Ilse

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites.