Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall speaks of the highest honor taking the role of Prince Philip’s Rifles as she attends the gala dinner with Sophie Countess of Wessex


The Duchess of Cornwall has spoken of succeeding a role “darling” of the late Duke of Edinburgh, describing it as one of the “top honors” of his life.

Camilla made the comments at an awards dinner for the Rifles, the largest infantry regiment in the British Army.

The evening was not only meaningful for the Duchess, but also glamorous as she wore one of the most spectacular jewelry suites in her collection.

READ MORE: Camilla “dreads” the spotlight when Charles becomes king and “comparisons with Diana”

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, delivers a speech at the biennial Rifles Awards dinner at the City of London Guildhall on November 24, 2021. (Getty)

Camilla, 74, was joined by the Countess of Wessex, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra – all of whom are Royal Colonels of the Rifle Battalions – at London’s Guildhall on Wednesday evening.

The Duchess was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Fusiliers after the role transferred from Prince Philip in July 2020.

It had been held by the Duke for almost seven decades.

The Countess of Wessex arrives for dinner in London. (Getty)

Two separate social distancing transfer ceremonies took place during the coronavirus pandemic, with Prince Philip at Windsor Castle while Camilla was at Highgrove.

The Duke briefly came out of retirement to attend the ceremony in Windsor, where he had isolated himself with the Queen during the blockades.

READ MORE: Camilla continues the tradition of the Duke of Edinburgh on Remembrance Day

Speaking to guests about her role as the new Colonel-in-Chief, the Duchess of Cornwall said: “Putting yourself in the shoes of my dear and late father-in-law The Duke of Edinburgh is frankly terrifying.

“I know it was a role he cherished and was immensely proud of and it was one of the greatest honors of my life to have followed him into this illustrious role.”

Prince Philip at Windsor Castle to hand over the role of Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifles to the Duchess of Cornwall in July 2020 (AP)

The Duchess already had close ties to the regiment, having served as Royal Colonel of her Fourth Battalion since 2007.

Camilla wore her Bugle Horn brooch, made of silver and diamonds, which is at the heart of the regimental heritage and each rifleman wears a silver bugle as a cap badge.

She also wore a suite of jewelry known as the Saudi Arabian Emerald (which means “set”).

Composed of a necklace, earrings and a bracelet, the suite is composed of square-cut emeralds surrounded by diamonds.

READ MORE: The largest diamond jewels in the collections of the royal family around the world

The Duchess of Cornwall wore a suite of emerald and diamond jewelry donated by the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia. (Getty)

It was given to Camilla by the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia, most likely when they visited in 2006.

The jewelry was included on a official list published by Clarence House detailing the many gifts they had received on royal tours between 2003 and 2006.

However, the emeralds were not worn in public by Camilla until three years later, in 2009.

The Saudi royal family also donated sapphire and ruby ​​adornment during this tour.

The Countess of Wessex wore a rose diamond brooch and her Rifles brooch. (Getty)

The Saudi royal family has long offered expensive jewelry to the British royal family. One of the most famous of these is the Suite of Saudi sapphires offered to Diana, the Princess of Wales, for her wedding in 1981. Some of this jewelry is now worn by Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

And controversially, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, wore a pair of diamond earrings during a royal tour of Fiji in 2018. It was a wedding gift from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia , who has since been accused of ordering the murder of an American journalist. During the royal tour, Meghan’s team had let the public believe she was borrowed.

The Countess of Wessex wore her diamond flower brooch next to her Rifles brooch and a blue dress from Emilia Wickstead.

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