Why Kate Middleton Was Wearing a Blue Sash to the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace

The royal mom was sporting a new accessory signifying her new position as a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order

Kate Middleton may have worn her go-to tiara for Monday’s state banquet at Buckingham Palace for President Donald Trump’s official state visit to the U.K. — but she was also sporting a brand new accessory.

For the first time, the royal mom of three wore a blue, red, and white sash over her white gown. The sash signifies her position as a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, the highest ranking of chivalry personally awarded by Queen Elizabeth for being in her service. Kate, 37, was bestowed the honor on April 29 — which happened to be Kate and Prince William‘s eighth wedding anniversary.

The order is also represented by a Maltese cross, which Kate wore near the bottom of the sash.

The Royal Victorian Order was created by Queen Victoria in 1896 to allow her to recognize people who helped her or represented her. The ruling monarch personally selects who is given the honor.

Catherine,Duchess of Cambridge
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Catherine,Duchess of Cambridge
Victoria Jones- WPA Pool/Getty Images

Kate is in great company. Fellow Knights and Dames Grand Cross include the Queen’s sons Prince Andrew and Prince Edward as well as Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. The position of Grand Master of the Order was created in 1937 and was occupied by the Queen Mother until her death in 2002. Queen Elizabeth then appointed her daughter, Princess Anne, to the spot in 2007.

Camilla, Princess Anne and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, also wore their blue sashes for Monday’s banquet.

President Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth II, Melania Trump, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall
Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth, Melania Trump, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. PA Images/Sipa

Royal wives are typically given the Royal Victorian Order or the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II, and they can collect additional orders as time goes on, and they have done more work for the family. (For his part, Prince William is a Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, while Prince Charles has seven orders.)

Each order is represented with a different sash, varying in color and width. They aren’t worn often, but are broken out for formal occasions.

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Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty

For a state banquet honoring King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands in October, Kate sported a yellow badge with a brooch featuring a portrait of the Queen, which she wore on her shoulder, indicating that she had been given the Royal Family Order.

Kate wore it again a month later for a reception for diplomats at Buckingham Palace. She wore the yellow badge for Monday’s state banquet with the Trumps as well.

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