Kate Middleton's hidden tribute to late Queen Elizabeth II in sparkling bridal gown at first State Banquet as Princess of Wales

Kate Middleton’s hidden tribute to her grandmother-in-law wasn’t the only sweet nod to her as the Royal Family hosted the President of South Africa…

Kate Middleton's hidden tribute to the Queen revealed, seen here during the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Kate Middleton's hidden tribute to late Queen Elizabeth II with her sparkling bridal gown at her first State Banquet as Princess of Wales might not have been noticed by everyone.  

  • The Princess of Wales attended a State Banquet held at Buckingham Palace on November 22 in honor of the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa.  
  • She opted for a Jenny Packham dress with a very significant name alongside a significant piece of royal jewelry.  
  • This royal news comes as we revealed the sweet symbolism behind the flowers at the State Banquet

On November 22, Buckingham Palace once again came into its own as one of the Royal Family’s most magnificent residences for hosting. King Charles, Queen Consort Camilla and the Prince and Princess of Wales attended a banquet held by the monarch in honor of visiting South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. The President was welcomed to the UK by the four senior royals earlier that day and the evening’s diplomatic celebrations marked Kate Middleton’s first State Banquet since becoming Princess of Wales. 

It’s no surprise given Kate Middleton’s dresses never fail to delight and stun fans that for this important occasion every detail of her outfit was thought out. And Kate Middleton’s hidden tribute to the late Queen couldn’t have been more special. 

Catherine, Princess of Wales during the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

For the State Banquet the Princess of Wales opted for a sparkling bridal gown complete with cape-style sleeves. The soft white of the dress was brought out wonderfully by the intricate silver floral embellishments on the shoulders, cascading down a little into those statement sleeves. 

This particular design is the Elspeth dress by Jenny Packham - the same British designer who created Kate Middleton’s green dress she wore in Jamaica earlier this year. This piece is from Jenny Packham bridal collection but its versatility shone through at the Buckingham Palace banquet where each embellishment glimmered in the soft lighting. 

The original design, as pictured online (opens in new tab), had a keyhole back detail that Kate had closed up and adjusted to suit the formality of this huge official occasion. And the name Elspeth could be seen as a sweet nod to the Princess’ late grandmother-in-law. 

Queen Elizabeth II and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge watch a fashion show at De Montfort University

(Image credit: Photo by Oli Scarff - WPA Pool / Getty Images)

Meaning “Chosen by God” Elspeth is a Scottish name and is derived from the late Queen’s name - Elizabeth. Scotland held a unique place in Her Majesty’s heart and it was at her beloved Scottish home, Balmoral Castle, that she passed away in September. Whilst the Queen’s unwavering faith was also well-known and she famously pledged her life to the service and asked God to “make good” her vow’ on her 21st birthday. 

Kate Middleton’s hidden tribute to Her Majesty with the Elspeth dress might not have been intentional based on the name, but so much thought is put into her beautiful gowns that it’s lovely to think there’s this sweet connection. 

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And it’s not the only way she honored her as the Princess accessorized her elegant look with a creamy white clutch bag and one of Queen Elizabeth’s tiaras - the Lover’s Knot Tiara. This originally belonged to Her Majesty’s grandmother Queen Mary, before being passed to her and it was also worn multiple times by the late Princess Diana for significant occasions. 

Catherine, Princess of Wales and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa share a toast during the State Banquet

(Image credit: Photo by Aaron Chown - Pool /Getty Images)

In this way Kate Middleton ensured both these inspiring royals were remembered at her first state banquet as Princess of Wales. 

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.