02 June 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall at the Royal Academy of Arts Dinner

A rare non-Queen event post today, but such things are called for in the event of an emergency Tiara Watch.

The Duchess of Cornwall attended the Royal Academy of Arts Annual Dinner at the Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, London.
For more: Zimbio gallery.
Sneaky tiaras are the best kind of tiaras. I was not expecting Camilla to wear a diadem to this event, but she sparkled it up nevertheless, bless her. She repeated a gown she has worn to the State Opening of Parliament and echoed her usual approach for that event in everything except the tiara, wearing her Everyday Pearl Pendant Earrings and her Four Strand Pearl Choker with Large Diamond Clasp.
With Howard Jacobson
Other standard accessories included her favorite diamond bracelet, often said to have belonged to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, plus the insignia of the Royal Victorian Order (Riband, Star, and Badge) and the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II. Her sash appears to be anchored at the shoulder by the same diamond brooch we saw her debut at this year's State Opening of Parliament.
For her tiara, she went with the same approach she's used for the annual Diplomatic Reception in the past, wearing her family's own tiara. The Cubitt-Shand Tiara is an asymmetrical diamond floral design said to have belonged to Sonia Keppel Cubitt, Camilla's maternal grandmother. Camilla wore the diadem to her first wedding, and her daughter Laura also wore it for her wedding. Since marrying Charles, we've only seen it in glimpses from that Diplomatic Reception, and it is unclear whether the tiara (a private jewel) is owned by The Duchess or if she borrows it from a family member. It's a smaller option than her usual tiara, the Greville Tiara, which makes it a nice choice for the more private diplomatic event and also for an event like this dinner.
With Dame Joan Collins, at peak fabulous
This was apparently a white tie dinner - though of course it drew a mix of outfits from the guests because that's how things go - and with such a dress code, orders and tiaras (if you've got one) can be appropriate. Doubly appropriate when one is the official guest of honor, as Camilla was this evening. But tiaras at events where The Queen is not present and at events outside of the usual state occasions have become increasingly rare. Basically nonexistent, as a matter of fact. Camilla wore one to the dinner at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka in 2013, but that was an occasion at which she and Charles were directly substituting for The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. That made this a surprising occasion, but needless to say, one I was thrilled to see. Consider my day made! 

P.S. The Duchess of Cornwall had a busy day today. Stay tuned to the other blog tomorrow for more on the garden party she attended earlier in the day! 

Photos: Stuart C. Wilson via Getty Images