The State Banquet: Jewels, Orders and Decorations
As with all State Visits, the hosts and the guests pay special attention to the Orders and Decorations they are wearing. The rule of thumb is to wear the highest honour available from the other country, and the Banquet in honour of the Kuwaiti State Visit was no exception in that respect.
The Queen already held the Collar of the Order of Mubarak the Great and is also Member Special Class of the Order of Kuwait. To the impressive list the Emir added the Medal of the Order of Mubarak the Great. Not to be outdone, the Queen decorated him with the Most Honourable Order of Bath. Both wore their respective honours for the Banquet.
Her Majesty was not the only one to receive an honour from Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah; Prince Philip was made Member Special Class of the Order of Kuwait. It is the highest class of the Order and is reserved only for Princes and Heads of Government. He wore the sash, the ribbon, the star and the badge of the Order for the State Banquet. The sash of the Special class is green with two white stripes. The badge is worn suspended from a ribbon and the badge – on the left breast. Prince Charles is the only member of the Royal Family aside from the Queen and Prince Philip to also have an honour from Kuwait; he had been made Member of the Order of Mubarak the Great several years ago.
From decorations and orders, I’ll make a smooth transition to uniforms. Yes, we are actually going to discuss what men wore at the State Banquet – a first for me. Now, it didn’t escape the attention of royal watchers that The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales were wearing somewhat unusual suits with red collar and cuffs. If you were one of those who wondered about the unusual looks and trying to guess why they donned it, read on.
Prince Charles and Prince Philip were both wearing the Windsor Uniform – one worn exclusively at Windsor by male members of the Royal Family and, in rare circumstances, senior courtiers. The uniform was originally introduced by George III in 1779. Most of the gold detailing of the original is no longer used these days but the undress consisting of a dark blue jacket with red at the collar and cuffs is still employed. Since Edward VII’s reign, it is mostly worn just as an evening dress although Prince Charles has worn a variation of it for his engagement interview with Camilla Parker Bowles. He also occasionally uses yet another variation as a riding coat.
The uniform takes the form of an evening tail coat of dark blue cloth with scarlet collar and cuffs. There are three buttons on each front two at the back of the waist, and two at the end of each tail, and also two on each cuff and one above. The gilt buttons bear a design of a Garter star within a garter, surmounted by the imperial crown.
Now that we have covered the gents’ fashion, we can proceed to the ladies. The Queen was wearing a beautiful white dress with silver embellishments. The jewellery she chose included the fabulous Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, the Coronation Necklace and Earrings, Queen Victoria’s Diamond Bracelet, her two Royal Family Orders (George V and George VI), and the Collar and Medal of Mubarak the Great.
The Duchess of Cornwall dazzled in a lace cream dress complete with the beautiful Boucheron Honeycomb Tiara, her chandelier diamond earrings and Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II. The Duchess also debuted her Royal Victorian Order for the first time; the Queen granted her the honour back in April of this year. The Princess Royal and the Countess of Wessex were also in attendance but, unfortunately, there are no clear pictures of them.Filed under British Royals, Kuwaiti Royals
Tagged Elizabeth II, Jewellery, Order of Kuwait, Order of Mubarak the Great, Order of the Bath, Royal Orders, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed, State Visit, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, Tiaras, Windsor Castle.