Tonight, Kate Middleton attended a state dinner at Buckingham Palace in honor of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and First Lady Kim Keon Hee wearing a rare piece of jewelry that most generations of royal watchers will have never seen before: The Strathmore Rose Tiara.
The Strathmore Rose Tiara was a wedding gift given to the Queen Mother by her father, Lord Strathmore, before she married the Duke of York in 1923. Designed to look like a garland of wild roses, the diamond flower crown was originally purchased from London-based jewelers Catchpole & Williams.
It can be styled several ways—either over the forehead, placed upon the hair, or dismantled to form five individual brooches. According to The Queen’s Diamonds by Sir Hugh Roberts, it “reflects the naturalistic style of head ornaments popular from the mid-19th century onwards.”
Upon the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, inherited the tiara. Yet it stayed in the royal vault for decades—reportedly, it hasn’t been worn by a royal woman since the 1930s. Rumors arose that perhaps it was too damaged or too fragile to be worn again. Now, however, the rare diamond diadem has been given a new life by the Princess of Wales.
The princess also wore a Jenny Packham white dress with gold detailing. Upon her chest was her Family Order, as well as her Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, which was awarded to her in 2019 by Queen Elizabeth II for her services to the sovereign. Kate Middleton finished her look with a pair of white evening gloves—and, in the process, fully embodied her status as a queen in waiting.