Kate Middleton dazzles in Jenny Packham dress - and Princess Diana's diamond and pearl tiara
We are officially at the height of Kate Middleton-tiara demand.
Over her seven years as Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, a sighting of Kate draped-in-diamond headwear was as rare as hearing her actually speak, but 2018 has been a year of change for the royal family and part of it means a more vocal - and dutifully dressed queen-in-waiting. Much has been made of how Kate and Prince William's roles have been changing behind the scenes as they prepare for Prince Charles to ascend the throne - they played supporting roles in most of his 70th birthday coverage and will be separating their courts from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle next year as both couples prepare for a future more independent of one another - but no moreso than their required attendance at certain events, and a strict dress code expected.
While the former makes for juicy headlines, analyses and hot takes, the latter also means that there is an inevitable upsurge of royal style.
As Meghan has come under fire for her lavish wardrobe choices, it could be fairly argued that her sister-in-law has been strategically recycling nearly every outfit in recent weeks, not only positioning herself as the more thrifty royal, but also ensuring the wow factor when she debuts something new, as she did last night. The mother-of-three chose a glittering off the shoulder Jenny Packham gown for the VIP event, a reception honouring the Diplomatic Corps at Buckingham Palace; but most of the attention was on her choice of tiara.
The duchess chose the Lover's Knot, a diamond and pearl encrusted piece that dates back to 1914, previously preferred by her late mother-in-law Princess Diana. Queen Mary commissioned the piece and passed it down to her granddaughter Queen Elizabeth after her death, who has ensured its safe keeping over the decades.
After becoming one of Diana's favourite pieces, it remained in the palace vault until 2015 when Kate first showed her affection for it, and she has worn it for every tiara-required-dress-code occasion since. Princesses, they're just like us!
Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge fly to Cyrpus today where they will celebrate an early Christmas dinner with military personnel after meeting their UK-based families yesterday. They staged a Christmas party for families from RAF Coningsby and RAF Marham who have a relative deployed abroad.
During the event, Kate told the invited wives, partners, grandparents and children: "Not only are we grateful for you coming here to join our party, but also for the sacrifices you make on a daily basis on behalf of the nation."
During their brief visit to RAF Akrotiri on the Mediterranean island, they will meet military personnel, families living on the base, wider station personnel and members of the local community.