That Duchess of Cornwall has spoken of succeeding a “beloved” role from the late Duke of Edinburgh, describing it as one of the “great honors” of her life.
Camilla made the comments during an awards dinner for Rifles, the largest infantry regiment in the British Army.
The evening was not only meaningful for the Duchess but also a glamorous one as she wore one of the most spectacular jewels in her collection.
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Camilla, 74, was joined by Countess of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra – all of whom are royal colonels of battalions with rifles – at the Guildhall in London on Wednesday night.
The Duchess was appointed Colonel Colonel after the role was transferred from Prince Philip in July 2020.
It had been held by the Duke for nearly seven decades.
Two separate social-distance transfer ceremonies took place during the coronavirus pandemic, with Prince Philip at Windsor Castle while Camilla was in Highgrove.
The Duke briefly retired to attend the ceremony in Windsor, where he had isolated himself with the Queen during lockdowns.
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Speaking to guests about serving as the new Colonel-in-Chief, the Duchess of Cornwall said, “Stepping on the boots of my dear, much-missed, deceased father-in-law, the Duke of Edinburgh, is frankly intimidating.
“I know it was a role that he loved and that he was hugely proud of, and it’s one of the greatest honors in my life to have followed him into this famous role.”
The Duchess already had close ties with the regiment, having served as Royal Colonel for its Fourth Battalion since 2007.
Camilla wore her Bugle Horn brooch, made of silver and diamonds, which is central to the regiment’s legacy, and each Rifleman wears a silver bugle as their cap brand.
She also wore a series of jewels known as Saudi Arabia’s emerald parure (meaning ‘set’).
With a necklace, earrings and bracelet, the suite is made of square emeralds surrounded by diamonds.
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It was presented to Camilla by the royal family of Saudi Arabia, most likely during their visit in 2006.
The jewels were included on one official list published by Clarence House describes the extensive gifts they had received during royal tours between 2003 – 2006.
However, the emeralds were not worn in public by Camilla until three years later in 2009.
Also gifted by the Saudi royals during this trip was a sapphire and a ruby parure.
The Saudi royal family has a long history of donating expensive jewels to the British royals. One of the most famous of these is Saudi sapphire suite given to Diana, Princess of Wales, for her wedding in 1981. Some of these jewels are now worn by Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.
And controversially, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, wore a pair of diamond chandelier earrings during a royal tour of Fiji in 2018. They were a wedding gift of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, who has since been accused of ordering the killing of an American journalist. At the time of the royal tour, Meghan’s team had allowed the public to believe they had been loaned out.
The Countess of Wessex wore her diamond flower brooch along with her Rifles brooch and a blue dress from Emilia Wickstead.
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