Queen Camilla sported a sophisticated scarlet ensemble as she and King Charles III hosted a glitzy State Banquet for the President and First Lady of South Korea tonight.
The royal, 76, also paid tribute to her late mother-in-law as she unearthed Queen Elizabeth’s magnificent ruby and diamond Burmese tiara.
The late monarch’s ruby and diamond tiara was made in the 1970s from gems that originated from the Nizam of Hyderabad tiara, which was given to her as wedding gift.
It matched her red velvet evening dress by Fiona Clare, which featured a relaxed silhouette with flowing sleeves and a pleated skirt.
She styled her blonde tresses into a signature style, opting for dewy, peachy make-up.
Queen Camilla (left) sported a sophisticated scarlet ensemble as she and King Charles III hosted a glitzy State Banquet for the President and First Lady of South Korea tonight. She also paid tribute to her late mother-in-law (pictured right in 1992) as she unearthed Queen Elizabeth’s magnificent ruby and diamond Burmese tiara
Both she and the Princess of Wales sported stunning jewellery tonight, as Kate, 41, donned the late Queen Mother’s eye-catching Strathmore Rose tiara, which hasn’t been worn in public for many decades.
The pair also matched with yellow brooch pinned on their chest, which featured a portrait of a young Queen Elizabeth II wearing an evening dress with a ribbon and star of the Order of the Garter.
The brooches are a sign that the wearer has been made a part of the Royal Family Order, an honour gifted to female members of the Firm by the monarch.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s wife Sophie, sporting a stunning white gown, also wore the brooch.
A total of 15 women were granted the honour by the late Queen, which is thought to have been first introduced by George IV in the 1800s as women in the royal court typically did not have the commemorative medals that men do.
The men of the family were no slouches in the style stakes either in white tie with full decorations and medals, including for His Majesty the Grand Order of Mugunghwa, which was presented to him earlier that day by the President of the Republic of Korea.
The royals joined together to welcome Yoon Suk-yeol and his wife Kim Keon-hee for the festivities at Buckingham Palace.
She looked to enjoy conversation with the visitors while smiling for pictures.
The late monarch’s ruby and diamond tiara was made in the 1970s from gems that originated from the Nizam of Hyderabad tiara, which was given to her as wedding gift
It matched her red velvet evening dress by Fiona Clare, which featured a relaxed silhouette with flowing sleeves and a pleated skirt
Meanwhile King Charles III opted for a traditional black tuxedo adorned with medals. Pictured with South Korea’s President and First Lady
Some 170 guests are expected to gather this evening, customarily a white tie and tiara affair, in the opulent Palace ballroom.
The pair are hosting Yoon Suk Yeol and his wife Kim Keon Hee for the first incoming state visit since the King’s coronation and the second of his reign.
Tonight’s state banquet in honour of the South Korean state visit saw the palace ballroom transformed with towering red, purple and blue seasonal blooms.
The cut crystal glasses on the top table had ready had the cypher of Queen Elizabeth taken off them and King’s Charles’ added, as had much of the china.
The menu included: Warm Tartlet of Soft Poached Egg and Spinach Puree; Breast of Windsor Pheasant with Croquette of Celeriac and Calvados Sauce; Salad; and Mango Ice Cream Bombe.
Wines included an English Camel Valley Special Reserve 2015; Montrachet 1er Cru Macharelles; Domaine François Carillon 2014; Château Mouton-Rothschild 1er Cru, Pauillac 1989; Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey; Sauternes 2001; Fonseca 1985.
At the start of the banquet the King gave a speech littered with Korean and references to K-pop culture in front of an audience which included members of the world’s ‘biggest girl band’.
Speaking to more than 300 state banquet attendees, including singers BLACKPINK, he welcomed them with a smattering of Korean: ‘Yeong-gug-e osin geos-eul hwan-yeonghabnida [Welcome to Britain].’
Marking the 140th anniversary of Korea’s diplomatic relationship with the UK, the king described it as a ‘partnership in which close personal connections, fostered over many decades, have blossomed today into a real sense of affection, or jeong, between our societies at so many levels’.
Both Camilla (left) and the Princess of Wales (right) sported stunning jewellery tonight, as Kate, 41, donned the late Queen Mother’s eye-catching Strathmore Rose tiara, which hasn’t been worn in public for many decades
The King and Queen took a photo with Yoon Suk Yeol and his wife Kim Keon Hee during the dinner
The King and Queen appeared to be in high spirits as they both posed for photos with their visitors tonight
And he even joked about his own visit to the country in 1992 with the late Princess Diana, saying: ‘Sadly, when I was in Seoul all those years ago, I am not sure I developed much of what might be called the Gangnam Style!’
The king highlighted the ‘remarkable journey’ Korea has taken into span of his lifetime, saying: ‘Koreans have created a miracle.
‘Even at the time of my last visit, that journey was clearly just beginning. The Republic of Korea’s drive and energy continued apace, and with it, the impact on British lives. From fridges and flatscreens to smartphones and semiconductors, it is clear that the model of industrial efficiency I glimpsed in Seoul thirty years ago has become the epitome of technological creativity today. ‘
Highlighting the ‘artistic creativity’ of the country, he also praised the explosion of Korean culture.
The King and Queen appeared in high spirits as they welcomed their visitors for the State Banquet today
The Prince and Princess of Wales were among the royals present who attended the state banquet
The Duke of Edinburgh’s wife Sophie, sporting a stunning white gown, also wore the brooch tonight
The Duchess of Edinburgh made an appearance in a flowing white gown as she attended the banquet
‘Korea has matched Danny Boyle with Bong Joon-ho, James Bond with Squid Game, and the Beatles’ Let It Be with BTS’s Dynamite,’ he said.
He also praised Korea’s commitment to the environment despite the country’s great changes.
‘The Republic of Korea, as one of very few countries which ended the twentieth century with more trees than at the century’s beginning, has always grasped this,’ he said.
‘It is especially inspiring to see Korea’s younger generation embrace the cause. I applaud Jennie, Jisoo, Lisa and Rosé, better known collectively as BLACKPINK, for their role in bringing the message of environmental sustainability to a global audience as Ambassadors for the U.K.’s Presidency of COP 26, and later as advocates for the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.
‘I can only admire how they can prioritise these vital issues, as well as being global superstars. ‘
He also highlighted the close links between Korean and UK armed forces.
‘Seventy years ago, in the Korean War, British servicemen fought valiantly alongside your people, under the banner of the United Nations, for the freedom of the Republic of Korea,’ he said.
‘All those who fought for the survival of your fledgling Republic are in admiration of what your country has become.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty also made an appearance at the dinner tonight
Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party, also made an appearance with his wife Victoria tonight
The members of iconic K-pop group Blackpink, who Charles mentioned in his speech, were also present
(From left) First Lady of South Korea, Kim Keon-hee; President of South Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol; Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron; King Charles III; Home Secretary James Cleverly; Queen Camilla; Prince William and Kate Middleton at Horse Guards Parade in London this afternoon
‘Through their own sweat and toil, and under the shadow of tyranny and the ever-present threat of aggression, over seven decades Koreans have built a bastion of democracy, human rights and freedom. In a world where these values are challenged, sadly, as rarely before in our lifetimes, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom stand shoulder to shoulder in defence of all that we hold dear. ‘
How Charles and Diana were branded ‘The Glums’ on their 1992 visit to South Korea
The King visited South Korea in November 1992 when Prince of Wales.
Charles carried out the tour with his then-wife, Diana, Princess of Wales.
Charles and Diana visit Seoul in 1992
However, the pair were branded ‘The Glums’ for looking ill at ease together.
One month later it was announced Charles and Diana were separating.
He concluded with another attempt at Korean – using the words for cheers – saying: ‘And so, Mr President, Madame Kim, it is with great pride and pleasure that I propose a toast to the next 140 years of Korean-British relations. Wihayeo! ‘
The king’s attempts at Korean clearly delighted the President and earned an unprecedented round of applause.
There were lovely words, too, from the President of Korea, who said he was ‘deeply touched’ by the ‘kind preparations and the warmth of your hospitality’.
He added: ‘Under Your Majesty’s reign, the UK – with its renewed vigour- is flourishing in great strides.
‘Your Majesty’s splendid leadership is not only bringing the people of the Commonwealth together but animating the very spirit of the Commonwealth of Nations.
‘Along with the profound respected dignity that Your Majesty is showing to the people as Monarch, both the British people and the people across the globe are appreciative of your down to earth character. We all pay tribute to your warm-hearted passion towards protecting the environment, caring for the most vulnerable members of society, and inheriting a better future for our youth.
‘To me, fair friend, the United Kingdom, you can never be old.’
Charles and Camilla officially welcomed South Korea‘s president to Britain today.
And earlier this morning, William, 41, and Kate played a key role by greeting President Yoon and his wife at their hotel for a very regal welcome.
The Prince and Princess of Wales – who looked stunning in a red outfit – met the visitors at their London hotel this morning.
The pair travelled with Mr Yoon and Mrs Kim to a Horse Guards Parade ceremonial welcome, where the King and Queen were waiting.
Following the event, they travelled to Buckingham Palace to view a special exhibition of items from the Royal Collection relating to South Korea in the Picture Gallery.
Charles and Camilla took their place standing on the royal pavilion around midday and briefly greeted Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron, Home Secretary James Cleverly and the Defence Chiefs of Staff.
Camilla wore a blue dress and coat by Anna Valentine, hat with loose feathers by Philip Treacy and a sapphire and diamond brooch which belonged to Queen Mary.
Nearby was the Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals, commanded by Major Edward van der Lande.
Kate wore a striking £3,000 caped red coat by Catherine Walker and a matching hat by Jane Taylor.
She also sported a pair of Princess Diana‘s sapphire and diamond oval drop earrings, complementing the look with a pair of Gianvito Rossi red shoes.