Imperial Conference Banquet at Buckingham Palace, 1923

King George V and Queen Mary (wearing her Lover’s Knot Tiara) hosted a Banquet for Dominion Prime Ministers, the British Cabinet and Colonial Leaders in the Picture Gallery of Buckingham Palace on this day in 1923, 100 years ago, during the 1923 Imperial Conference, which was the precursor of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM).

The King and Queen entertained delegates to the conference and the ladies accompanying them at dinner at Buckingham Palace to night The party which included members of the British Cabinet numbered about 60 Their Majesties mingled with the guests in the drawing room after dinner

The King and Queer entertained dinner at Buckingham Palace last night the delegates to the Imperial Conference, together with their ladies and members of the Government. The party, which numbered about sixty, included, besides the Dominions representatives, the Duke and Duchess of York, the Prime Minister, and Mrs. Baldwin. Presentations were made in the drawing-room, and dinner was laid in the State dining-room, their Majesties sitting opposite each other in the centre. Afterwards their Majesties joined the guests in the drawing-room. The Scots Guards and pipers provided the music.

On arrival the guests were conducted to the drawing-room, where they were presented to the King and Queen The party being completed, their Majesties, at half. past eight, led the way to the State dining. room, where dinner had been laid at one long table. Red roses had been chosen for the table decorations. After dinner the party returned to the drawing-room, where the King and Queen mingled with their guests, remaining there for some time before retiring.

Among the invited guests unable to attend the dinner were the Earl of Balfour and Miss Balfour, Mr. and Mrs. Asquith, Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd George, and Mr. Cos-grave (President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State).

The King and Queen were joined by the Duke and Duchess of York (likely wearing the Lotus Flower Tiara) among members of the extended Royal Family.

The Queen wore a gown of nattier blue and silver English brocade with a pearl and diamond Tiara (likely her Lover’s Knot Tiara) gleaming in her hair. Among other jewels worn were the lesser Stars of Africa and the Order of the Garter.


3 thoughts on “Imperial Conference Banquet at Buckingham Palace, 1923

  1. I do hope that the white-tie dress code is kept for this event (now in the shape of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM)) in the future also! A couple of questions on the tiaras worn by the Royal ladies; in some newspaper articles from 1923 the tiara worn by the Queen is described as a “pearl and diamond tiara”. I know that one cannot trust these articles blindly so I was wondering if you have seen any conflicting information elsewhere as you indicate that the Queen wore the Delhi Durbar tiara (one that I would LOVE to see worn by Queen Camilla again soon!). Also you suggest that the Duchess of York (future Queen Mother) wore the Lotus Flower tiara. As you know the tiara was originally a necklace given to the Duchess as a wedding gift from her husband. And their wedding had only taken place a few months earlier (in April that year). Did she really break up the necklace to make this tiara that quickly?

    1. I suspected that Queen Mary may have been wearing the Lover’s Knot Tiara but the sketch seemed to make it look like the Delhi Durbar. I only found one description of blue and silver brocade gown with a diamond tiara in her hair, but please share where you saw the ‘pearl and diamond tiara’, which is probably likely. I thought the shape in the sketch looked more like the Lotus Tiara than the Strathmore Rose, and I recall the Duchess of York wearing it in portraits in early 1924 so it could be possible she had it by late 1923.

Leave a Reply