The Queen's latest tiara moment may have been accompanied by a familiar dress
Queen Camilla might still be borrowing from her sister’s closet!
On Tuesday night, the Queen, 76, hosted the glittering Diplomatic Reception with King Charles at Buckingham Palace. While Queen Camilla and Kate Middleton’s tiara wear immediately made style headlines, there was also something special about Camilla’s outfit.
The long-sleeved cream embroidered gown with a split neckline by Fiona Clare looked a lot like her sister Annabel Elliot’s coronation gown. Fiona Clare is a London-based couturier and designed the dresses that Annabel and Fiona Mary Petty-Fitzmaurice wore as Queen Camilla’s coronation attendants.
Queen Camilla and Annabel, 74, are thought to share a close bond and have attended events together for years, while Fiona is one of the six Queen's Companions. Following the accession of her husband King Charles in September 2022, Camilla put a modern spin on her new Queen rank by skipping having traditional ladies-in-waiting like Queen Elizabeth did and instead welcomed six longtime friends as "Queen's Companions” into her inner circle to support her at engagements, the BBC reported.
In another twist on tradition, Queen Camilla tapped Annabel and Fiona to serve as her coronation attendants, refreshing the role played by Queen Elizabeth's six maids of honor on her 1953 coronation day.
The duo were by Camilla's side at Westminster Abbey and appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after.
Annabel and Fiona’s coronation day gowns looked alike but were not identical, and the ensembles complemented Queen Camilla’s bespoke ivory gown by Bruce Oldfield. The Queen’s dress was sentimentally stitched with gold and silver florals, a crown, the names of her children and grandchildren plus embroidery of her dogs, Beth and Bluebell.
Oldfield had designed looks for Camilla for over a decade and told The Telegraph that the assignment was “the ultimate commission of my career.” Queen Camilla appeared to feel an affinity for the gown as well, wearing it again for the State Opening of Parliament, the first of King Charles’ reign, in November. More broadly, Queen Camilla and Princess Kate might be mindful of recycling looks from their royal wardrobes as a sensitivity towards the ongoing cost of living crisis in the U.K., as both women have repeated several looks through the last year.
While the exact provenance of Queen Camilla’s Diplomatic Reception gown remains a royal mystery, fashion fans on X continue to debate whether the look was indeed a rewear from Annabel or a new commission. In a dedicated thread, user Lagertha of Denmark argued that variations between the collars, cuffs, shoulders and embroidery hint that the dresses are different.
As for her accessories, Queen Camilla brought the sparkle.
She topped her look with the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, marking her second time in the sparkler closely associated with the late Queen Elizabeth. Queen Camilla first wore the headpiece for a visit to Mansion House two months ago, shimmering in an accessory so closely associated with her late mother-in-law that it’s included in some depictions of her on British and Commonwealth banknotes and coins.
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Queen Camilla also slipped on her own diamond earrings, a diamond bracelet from Queen Elizabeth’s collection and a more unusual ornament: a stomacher. The Court Jeweller reports that stomachers were all the rage at the turn of the twentieth century and were worn pinned to gown bodices. The blog reports that Queen Elizabeth wore the stomacher she received as a gift from her grandmother Queen Mary “just once," and royal reporter Rebecca English said the stomacher Camilla wore had belonged to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
Queen Camilla slid the tasseled bauble into the neckline of her Diplomatic Reception gown.
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