The Duchess of Cambridge has received the Queen's Royal Family Order. She was seen wearing it tonight at the State Dinner in honor of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima.
According to Majesty editor, Joe Little, this is the second time that the Duchess has worn the Order. She also wore it last December when she and the Duke of Cambridge attended the Diplomatic Corps at Buckingham Palace. This has been confirmed by a royal aide, who said that the Duchess first wore it to the Diplomatic Corps reception. She received the Order in 2017.
The Duchess of Cambridge is the second granddaughter-in-law of a living sovereign to have received a Family Order. The first was The Duchess of York, the wife of HRH The Duke of York, son of the Prince of Wales, and, thus, second in line to the throne. Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, eldest child of Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge and Prince Franz, Duke of Teck.
Princess May, as she was known to her family, was first engaged to HRH Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, elder son of the Prince and Princess of Wales. Only weeks before their wedding in February 1892, the Duke of Clarence caught a chill at the funeral of Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and died from pneumonia on January 14.
Queen Victoria was very keen on May and encouraged the Duke of Clarence's younger brother, Prince George, Duke of York, now second in line to the throne, to marry May. He proposed a year after his brother's death.
The Duke of York and Princess May were married at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, on July 6, 1893.
Queen Victoria gave her Family Order to May shortly after the wedding. Her uncle, King George IV, was the first British sovereign to bestow a Family Order on the distaff members of the Royal family.
King Edward VII, King George V, and King George VI did not have married royal grandsons.
Queen Elizabeth II is the first British sovereign since Victoria to see her male-line grandsons marry. Victoria had one male line grandson marry in her lifetime. Queen Elizabeth II has two: the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex.
The Family Order has been made from ivory, but due to the Duke of Cambridge's anti-ivory stance, the Duchess' Order, according to Majesty Magazine editor, Joe Little, was made from glass. When a recipient dies, the Order is returned to the Sovereign and re-used.
Here is a list of all the Royal woman who have received the Queen's Family Order: Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (1952), Princess Margaret (1952), Princess Alexandra (1952), the Princess Royal (1952), the Duchess of Kent (1952), the Duchess of Gloucester (1952), Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone (1952), the Duchess of Kent (Katharine),(1961), Princess Anne (1969), the Duchess of Gloucester (Birgitte) (1973), the Princess of Wales (1981), the Countess of Wessex (2004), the Duchess of Cornwall (2007) and the Duchess of Cambridge (2018).
Princess Michael of Kent has not received the Order nor did the Duchess of York receive it during her marriage to the Duke of York (Andrew.)
It is not known if Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York, who are Princesses of the Blood, have the Order as it is only worn at state events, such as State Dinner, the annual Diplomatic event or a Coronation.
In the photo below Queen Elizabeth II wears the Family Orders of King George V and King George VI. She was only a few months old when her grandfather gave her his Order. She received her second Order soon after her father succeeded to the throne in December 1936. The Duchess of Cornwall is wearing the Family Order as well.
The Orders are miniatures with a portrait of the Sovereign painted on ivory, surrounded by diamonds. The Order is placed on a ribbon. The Queen's ribbon is yellow.
In other news, King Willem-Alexander has been given the Garter by the Queen and Queen Maxima has gone full Stuart by wearing the Stuart Diamond tiara, last worn in 1972 by Queen Juliana.