Kate wore a special family honour to the state banquet – here’s what it means

By Meaghan Wray

All eyes were on the Duchess of Cambridge as she stepped out in full glam for a state banquet on Tuesday (Oct. 23) at Buckingham Palace, joining members of the Royal Family as well as special guests and friends King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. While jaws dropped over her icy blue Alexander McQueen gown , Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara and jewels steeped in royal history , something yellow attached to her dress definitely caught the eyes of fans!

Kate wore the honour on the left side of her Alexander McQueen dress. Photo: © PA

For the first time ever, Duchess Kate was pictured wearing the Royal Family Order – a very prestigious honour that many countries have within their own royal families. The pin that Kate wore is a gift from Her Majesty and features a painted portrait of Queen Elizabeth II , now done on glass rather than the traditional ivory. The portrait is completely surrounded by diamonds and pinned to the left side of a royal woman’s dress overtop a yellow ribbon. This honour is to recognize the hard work of female family members – and the duchess, 36, is as hardworking as they come! Princess Diana also wore the pin during a banquet in Australia in 1983, paired with a beautiful pink square-neck gown and a tiara.

It can take quite some time for in-laws to get the opportunity to wear such a meaningful symbol. For Princes Charles’ wife, the Duchess of Cornwall , it was two years after entering the royal fold, compared to the Countess of Wessex’s five-year wait after saying “I do” to Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest son. But the 36-year-old was a member of the family for a total of six-and-a-half years before she debuted the honour, having married Prince William back in April 2011. The duchess first wore her order last year at the Diplomatic Corps reception, though no photos were released.

While she’s now got a badge to wear proudly, the mother of three is yet to receive another accessory worn by both the Queen and Camilla at the glitzy banquet: the blue and gold sash they hung diagonally across their white gowns. The sash represents the Royal Victorian Order of Queen Elizabeth II, another special honour granted by the 92-year-old monarch. While Kate is yet to receive this order, as she is a relatively young member of the family who undertakes less engagements than older relatives, it’s something to look forward to in the future!

Don't miss a beat with HELLO! Canada's Daily Hits newsletter, your daily dose of royal and celebrity news, fashion, weddings and more. CLICK HERE to sign up for free!