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Why Duchess Kate didn't wear a sash to the Queen's state banquet

She was the only member of the royal family not to wear one

by Gemma Strong

The Duchess of Cambridge looked spectacular when she stepped out for the Queen's Spanish State Banquet at Buckingham Palace this week. The 35-year-old chose a beautiful blush pink Marchesa gown, complete with a plunging neckline for the special occasion, which she teamed with a diamond and ruby necklace loaned to her by the Queen, a pair of pearl drop earrings, and the dazzling Cambridge Lover's Knot tiara. But royal watchers noticed one big difference between Kate and the rest of the royal family – she was the only one not wearing a sash.

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Duchess Kate was the only member of the royal family not wearing a sash at the state banquet

The sashes, which are called 'orders', are bestowed by the Queen to her relatives as a gesture of thanks for their service to the family. The monarch's cousins, children and in-laws are all recipients of various orders – as are fellow royal wives, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex. Each order is represented with a different sash, with varying colours and widths, and they are only used on formal occasions, such as a state banquet.

But why is it that Kate hasn’t been granted one? According to People, the answer is likely down to the short period of time she has spent as a royal. Kate has only been in the family for six years, and as a granddaughter-in-law is not as closely connected to the Queen as Camilla and Sophie. Royal engagements could be another reason. While Kate has increased her public appearances recently, she is still falls behind other royals – partly because she has two young children at home to care for. In 2016, Kate undertook 140 engagements; Sophie, meanwhile, attended 179, and Camilla stepped out for 221 events.

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The sashes, which are called 'orders', are bestowed by the Queen

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Royal wives are typically given the Royal Victorian Order or the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II, and can accrue additional orders over time. Camilla was given the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II in 2007, two years after her wedding to Prince Charles, and she received the Royal Victoria Order in 2012. Sophie was bestowed with her first order – also Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II - in 2004, five years after her wedding to Prince Edward. She received the Royal Victoria Order in 2010, more than ten years after her marriage.

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