Camilla Headgear Makes Headlines

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, London, England, 10-25-05 AP

A tiara worn by a royal lady was front-page news in Britain Wednesday as royal-watchers noted another first for Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Camilla, joining her husband Prince Charles at a royal banquet in honor of King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway, wore a diamond tiara - loaned by Queen Elizabeth II - for the first time since their marriage in April.

For those who closely follow royal affairs, the tiara marked a further stage in Camilla's acceptance into the family - though it was also noted that tiaras were required dress for all royal ladies at the event.

The duchess, wearing the glittering jeweled band, looked out from the front pages of The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail. "Resplendent in diamonds, the Duchess of Cornwall last night staked her place as the second lady of the land," The Daily Mail said.

The Mail noted that Camilla had been left off the guest list for a state banquet in honor of the Italian president - "a humiliating snub" - just weeks before the wedding. In contrast, it was noted that Charles' first wife, Princess Diana, had also been a mere royal fiancée when she attended a state banquet a month before her wedding in 1981.

"Last night, however, there was no room for speculation as Camilla, 58, walked into the glittering ballroom at Buckingham Palace only feet behind the queen," the Mail said, noting that Camilla was seated next to King Harald, just one place away from her mother-in-law.

The tiara, a circle of diamonds mounted in gold and arranged as forget-me-nots and lyres, was made by Garrards in 1911 and worn by Queen Mary for the Delhi Durbar to celebrate the coronation of King George V.

It was loaned to the queen's mother, the then-Queen Elizabeth, in 1947 for an official visit to South Africa and remained with her.

The so-called Durbar Tiara previously included five of the Cambridge cabochon emeralds, but Queen Mary had those removed for inclusion in another tiara.

The tiara was last displayed in public in 1998 to benefit a charity.
  • Robb Todd

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