Kate Middleton Stuns In One Of Princess Diana's Engagement Gifts

William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales received the president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, Tuesday on behalf of King Charles III. The royals first welcomed the president at the Corinthia Hotel in London, then proceeded to the Royal Pavilion for the official, ceremonious welcome. While the annual visit included a horse-drawn carriage on the road to Buckingham Palace, a viewing of photographs in the royal Picture Gallery, and a tour of Westminster Abbey, the Princess of Wales included one special touch to her attire that caught the attention of the public.

Per a tweet from Roya Nikkhah, the Royal Editor for the Sunday Times, the Princess of Wales, Princess Catherine, who wore a plum-purple Emilia Wickstead collared dress, also wore the late Princess Diana's feather brooch for the first time during the visit. An engagement gift from the Queen Mother, Princess Diana first wore the more-than-100-year-old brooch as a necklace at the Royal Opera House in 1982, per The Beau Monde.

The Princess of Wales honors the late Princess Diana

The Ladies of North Wales first gifted the brooch to the new Queen Alexandra of Denmark when she married King Edward VII in 1863, per The Beau Monde. The main emblem depicts three ostrich feathers surrounding a crown, adorned with the words "Ich Dien," or "I Serve," in German, which came to represent the Prince of Wales. The cabochon emerald is also detachable. Princess Diana last wore the pendant in 1996, the same year she and Prince Charles divorced (via History), and the year before her death.

The Princess of Wales also wore another piece of Princess Diana's jewelry to complete her ensemble during the annual visit: her pearl earrings, known as the Collingwood Pearl Earrings, which were a wedding gift to the late princess from Collingwood Jewelers (via The Court Jeweller). The Princess of Wales frequently wears Princess Diana's jewelry: She subtly honored Princess Diana at the Queen's Trooping the Colour with a piece from her collection, and honored Princess Diana at the British Remembrance Sunday Service.

Of course, being respectful of the past doesn't mean Kate is stuck in it. "The new Princess of Wales appreciates the history associated with this role but will understandably want to look to the future as she creates her own path," a source told People about the royal inheriting Princess Diana's former title.

The Princess of Wales pays further homage to Diana

For the South African state dinner banquet, the Princess of Wales paid further homage to Princess Diana when she wore the Lover's Knot tiara, said to be one of Diana's most-beloved pieces, per Town and Country. So cherished, apparently, that she powered through the weight of the piece. "Because it was so heavy she used to get terrible headaches from wearing it," fashion expert Miranda Holder said on TikTok.

Princess Diana was loaned the Lover's Knot tiara in 1981 for her wedding to Prince Charles by the queen, but famously chose to wear her family's tiara to her wedding instead, the Spencer Tiara, per The Beau Monde. The Lover's Knot tiara was first made by Garrard jewelers for Queen Mary in the late 20th century. It features 38 pearls — 19 drop-down arches, and another 19 are detachable spikes, per Reader's Digest. The twists on the tiara are called "lover's knot bows," as Reader's Digest noted, which gives the tiara its name. 

Princess Diana last wore it in 1991. Catherine, the Princess of Wales, previously wore the Lover's Knot tiara to the annual Diplomatic Reception in 2015. The Princess of Wales also wore Princess Diana's diamond and pearl drop earrings to the banquet, although slightly modified, per The Court Jeweller.