Kate stuns in custom red Jenny Packham at state banquet

The Duchess of Cambridge (nee Kate Midelton) was an absolute vision as she made her state banquet debut on Tuesday (Oct. 20). The 33-year-old looked every inch the seasoned royal in a custom red gown with dazzling embroidery and a dazzling tiara topper.

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Prince George and Princess Charlotte's mother showed off her style credentials in the beautiful gown, which featured cap sleeves, a sweeping train and sparkling embellishments. Fans were quick to note that her glamorous outfit was by one of her favourite designers, Jenny Packham.

The colour of her dress was a perfect nod to her guests' home country. Red is not only the colour of China's flag but an important hue in their culture, symbolising good fortune and joy. It is found everywhere during Chinese New Year and other holidays and family gatherings.

Her makeup was equally flawless, with Kate opting for dark brown eyeshadow and lightly bronzed cheeks. Her luscious brunette locks were swept back in an elegant updo, with her bangs parted at the side.

Royal enthusiasts have been speculating for weeks as to which tiara the Duchess would choose for the special occasion, and hey were quick to note the royal had once again chosen the Lotus Flower tiara, which she donned at the annual diplomatic reception in 2013. She has only been pictured wearing a tiara twice in public before – the other occasion being her 2011 wedding, when she wore the Cartier Halo tiara.

Royal watchers were paying close attention to Kate's dress to see if the elegant brunette was wearing the Royal Family Order of Elizabeth II, a sign of the monarch's personal esteem. However there was no sign of the decoration – a portrait of William's grandmother on a yellow ribbon – so it seems reports that Kate was given the honour when the couple visited the Queen at Balmoral in September were off the mark.

Joined by husband Prince William, Kate was making her highly anticipated debut at the Buckingham Palace event, held in honour of the Chinese President Mr Xi Jinping – but the banquet also served as her first glitzy night out since the end of her maternity leave.

Joining the guest of honour and his wife were the Queen and Prince Philip, as well as other members of the royal family including Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Princess Anne.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, who enjoyed afternoon tea at Clarence House with the president and his wife earlier in the day, did not attend.

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