They came, they saw, they partied — and they dazzled.
As Prince Charles celebrated his 70th birthday with a private reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, it was his wife and daughters-in-law who turned heads.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, arrived in style and ready to help celebrate a new decade for the next in line to the throne.
After spending the day in Yorkshire on official royal business, Kate — with Prince William at the wheel — pulled up to the palace grounds wearing a one-shoulder pink gown with a sleek updo that showed off her show-stopping diamond drop earrings.
Pulling up behind Will and Kate in a separate car were parents-to-be Prince Harry (aka. Britain’s Most Popular Royal) and Meghan, who sported an almost identical classic updo (farewell, messy bun!) with diamond drop earrings — the same ones she wore in Fiji during the couple’s Royal Tour in October.
Although the duchesses were only glimpsed briefly through car windows before they headed into the party (I guess our invitations were lost in the mail?), what little we did see was enough to send social media into a fashion frenzy. There was a lot of “gorgeous” and “glamorous” being tossed around.
So, was Kate and Meghan’s #twinning moment intentional? I like to think that the two Duchesses of Style trade beauty secrets once in awhile. If nothing else, this ought to dispel some of those rumours of rivalry between the two.
As for Camilla — the only duchess we got a full glimpse at — she looked positively regal in a shimmering navy blue Bruce Oldfield dress, which she accessorized with a pearl necklace and earrings. Camilla and Charles were all smiles in the only official portrait released from the evening of celebrations.
But what of the birthday boy? When asked how he felt on his 70th birthday on Wednesday, Charles told reporters, “I’m not sure. It’s rather like indigestion. ‘Many Happy Returns’ are not quite the same as you get older.”
The Queen, meanwhile, paid a touching tribute to her eldest son with a speech during the Buckingham Palace shenanigans. The 92-year-old monarch described Charles as a “dedicated and respected heir to the throne to stand comparison with any in history — and a wonderful father.”
Significantly, she also gave Camilla the highest of praises by referring to the duchess as the woman who “sustains” him.
“It is a privilege for any mother to be able to propose a toast to her son on his 70th birthday,” she said, glass raised. “It means that you have lived long enough to see your child grow up. It is rather like — to use an analogy I am certain will find favour — planting a tree and being able to watch it grow … My mother saw me turn 70, of course. And she was heard to observe that 70 is exactly the age when the number of candles on your cake finally exceeds the amount of breath you have to blow them out.”
Ahead of the future king’s milestone birthday, Clarence House, the royal residence of Charles and Camilla, released new family portraits snapped by royal photographer Chris Jackson. In the photos, seven-month-old Prince Louis makes a rare appearance.
The photo shoot, which was held in September outside Clarence House, also featured Meghan in a Givenchy dress. The newly-minted duchess was pregnant at the time, but the exciting news hadn’t been made public yet.