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Kate Middleton's first state banquet: Duchess of Cambridge attends lavish bash with Chinese president Xi Jinping

Published 20/10/2015

The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at Buckingham Palace ahead of this evening's state banquet to honour China President Xi Jinping on the first full day of his state visit to the UK. Photo: PA
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at Buckingham Palace ahead of this evening's state banquet to honour China President Xi Jinping on the first full day of his state visit to the UK. Photo: PA

The Duchess of Cambridge is attending her first state banquet - complete with a glittering tiara.

The Duchess joined the president, his wife Madame Peng Liyuan and more than 170 guests in the Palace ballroom for a sumptuous slap-up meal.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrive for a state banquet to honour the state visit by China's President, Xi Jinping on October 20, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrive for a state banquet to honour the state visit by China's President, Xi Jinping on October 20, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Kate, who is accompanying husband Prince William, paid tribute China's president Xi Jinping's home country by wearing a red gown.

Kate also chose to wear the delicate Lotus Flower Tiara for her first glittering sit down dinner in the UK in honour of a world leader.

Her sparkling, floor length bespoke red gown was by one of her favourite designers Jenny Packham.

She borrowed the tiara - also known as the Papyrus Tiara - from the Queen after first wearing it two years ago to a diplomatic reception in 2013.

Made of diamonds in fanned motifs crowned by floating diamond arches, the tiara was owned by the Queen Mother, who used to wear it low on her forehead, and was later given to Princess Margaret.

It is only the third time Kate has been seen in a tiara. She wore the Cartier Halo tiara for her wedding in 2011.

Four-and-a-half years after she became an HRH, Kate made her first appearance at what is considered a staple royal duty - dining in the opulent palace ballroom with 170 guests in honour of a visiting president.

Kate joined the Royal Procession into the Ballroom, following behind William who walked with Caroline Welby - the wife of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping (L) at the royal pavilion on Horse Guards Parade in central London on October 20, 2015, during Xi's ceremonial welcome on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / CHRIS JACKSONChris Jackson/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping (L) at the royal pavilion on Horse Guards Parade in central London on October 20, 2015, during Xi's ceremonial welcome on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / CHRIS JACKSONChris Jackson/AFP/Getty Images
China's President, Xi Jinping (L), accompanied by Prince Philip (behind, not pictured) reviews an honour guard on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
TOPSHOTS Members of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery ride into Buckingham Palace in central London on October 20, 2015 during the carriage procession as part of the ceremonial welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / TOBY MELVILLETOBY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images
A protester at The Mall in London, as Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan arrive on the first day of their state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 20, 2015. See PA story ROYAL China. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire
MoD handout photo of the Duke of Edinburgh and Chinese President Xi Jinping inspecting the troops at Horse Guards Parade, London, during the ceremonial welcome for the president on the first day of his state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 20, 2015. See PA story ROYAL China. Photo credit should read: Sgt Rupert Frere/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn talks with the President of The PeopleÄôs Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping, on the first day of the President's state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 20, 2015. See PA story ROYAL China. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
President of The People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and China's First Lady Peng Liyuan, meet the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House, London for China Tea on the first day of the President's state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 20, 2015. See PA story ROYAL China. Photo credit should read: Eddie Mulholland/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire
President of The People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and China's First Lady Peng Liyuan, meet the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House, London for China Tea on the first day of the President's state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 20, 2015. See PA story ROYAL China. Photo credit should read: Eddie Mulholland/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire
President of The People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and China's First Lady Peng Liyuan, with Royal harpist Anne Denholm as they tmeet the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House, London for China Tea on the first day of the President's state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 20, 2015. See PA story ROYAL China. Photo credit should read: Eddie Mulholland/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire
Demonstrators outside Buckingham Palace in London ahead of this evening's state banquet to honour China President Xi Jinping on the first full day of his state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 20, 2015. See PA story ROYAL China. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
(Left to right) The Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth II, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and his wife Peng Liyuan, view a display of Chinese items from the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace in London, during the first day of the Chinese state visit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 20, 2015. See PA story ROYAL China. Photo credit should read: Matt Dunham/PA Wire
Chinese President Xi Jinping during the ceremonial welcome on Horse Guards Parade for the Chinese President on the first day of his state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 20, 2015. See PA story ROYAL China. Photo credit should read: Nick Ansell/PA Wire
The Duke of Edinburgh accompanies Chinese President Xi Jinping (left), as he inspects a Guard of Honour during the ceremonial welcome on Horse Guards Parade, London, for the President on the first day of his state visit to the UK. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 20, 2015. See PA story ROYAL China. Photo credit should read: Chris Jackson/PA Wire
Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, China's President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan pose as they meet for tea at Clarence House in central London on October 20, 2015, on the first official day of Xi's state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / EDDIE MULHOLLANDEDDIE MULHOLLAND/AFP/Getty Images
British opposition Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, (R) meets with China's President Xi Jinping at Buckingham Place in London on October 20, 2015, on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / YUI MOK / POOLYUI MOK/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (R) meets with China's President Xi Jinping at Buckingham Place in London on October 20, 2015, on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / YUI MOK / POOLYUI MOK/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (L) meets with China's President Xi Jinping at Buckingham Place in London on October 20, 2015, on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / YUI MOK / POOLYUI MOK/AFP/Getty Images
China's President Xi Jinping delivers a speech to lawmakers in the Royal Gallery in the Palace of Westminster in London on October 20, 2015, on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / DAN KITWOODDan Kitwood/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II reacts as she travels with Chinese President Xi Jinping to Buckingham Palace in London, in the horse-drawn Diamond Jubilee State Coach on October 20, 2015, following the Chinese president's ceremonial welcome on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / RICHARD POHLERICHARD POHLE/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) shakes hands with China's First Lady Peng Liyuan (C) as Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (2nd R) looks on at the royal pavilion on Horse Guards Parade in central London on October 20, 2015, during the Chinese president's ceremonial welcome on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / CHRIS JACKSONChris Jackson/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Chinese President Xi Jinping si aboard the horse-drawn Diamond Jubilee State Coach before travelling to Buckingham Palace in London on October 20, 2015, following the Chinese president's ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / CHRIS JACKSONChris Jackson/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Chinese President Xi Jinping travel in the horse-drawn Diamond Jubilee State Coach to Buckingham Palace in London on October 20, 2015, following the Chinese president's ceremonial welcome on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / YUI MOKYUI MOK/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Chinese President Xi Jinping travel in the horse-drawn Diamond Jubilee State Coach to Buckingham Palace in London on October 20, 2015, following the Chinese president's ceremonial welcome on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / YUI MOKYUI MOK/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (L), and Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, look on at the royal pavilion on Horse Guards Parade in central London on October 20, 2015, during the Chinese president's ceremonial welcome on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / CHRIS JACKSONChris Jackson/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) and China's First Lady Peng Liyuan look on at the royal pavilion on Horse Guards Parade in central London on October 20, 2015, during the Chinese president's ceremonial welcome on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ALASTAIR GRANTALASTAIR GRANT/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping (L) on Horse Guards Parade in central London on October 20, 2015, during Xi's ceremonial welcome on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / CHRIS JACKSONChris Jackson/AFP/Getty Images
An officer of the Grenadier Guards leans out of a file of Guardsmen to check their positions in the guard of honour on Horse Guards Parade in central London on October 20, 2015 ahead of the ceremonial welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / RICHARD POHLERICHARD POHLE/AFP/Getty Images
Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) inspects the guard of honour on Horse Guards Parade in central London on October 20, 2015 during the ceremonial welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ALASTAIR GRANTALASTAIR GRANT/AFP/Getty Images
Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) inspects the guard of honour on Horse Guards Parade in central London on October 20, 2015 during the ceremonial welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ALASTAIR GRANTALASTAIR GRANT/AFP/Getty Images
China's First Lady Peng Liyuan (C) greets dignitaries flanked by Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (L), at the royal pavilion on Horse Guards Parade in central London on October 20, 2015, during the ceremonial welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ALASTAIR GRANTALASTAIR GRANT/AFP/Getty Images
Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) and Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (L) inspect the guard of honour on Horse Guards Parade in central London on October 20, 2015 during the ceremonial welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / RICHARD POHLERICHARD POHLE/AFP/Getty Images
Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (back) inspect the guard of honour on Horse Guards Parade in central London on October 20, 2015 during the ceremonial welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / RICHARD POHLERICHARD POHLE/AFP/Getty Images
A protester carrying a Tibet flag is surrounded by activists holding a large Chinese flag on the Mall in central London on October 20, 2015 ahead of the carriage procession as part of the ceremonial welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / JACK TAYLORJACK TAYLOR/AFP/Getty Images
Armed police officers patrol in front of anti-Chinese government protesters positioned on the Mall in central London on October 20, 2015 for the carriage procession as part of the ceremonial welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / JACK TAYLORJACK TAYLOR/AFP/Getty Images
Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (R) inspect the guard of honour on Horse Guards Parade in central London on October 20, 2015 during the ceremonial welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / CHRIS JACKSONChris Jackson/AFP/Getty Images
Wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Peng Liyuan (L) talks with Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (R) as they leave a hotel in central London on October 20, 2015 on the first official day of a state visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge shakes hands with the China's President, Xi Jinping on the first day of the President's state visit on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of the Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Pro-China and Tibetan independence activists demonstrate near Parliament ahead of a visit by China's President, Xi Jinping on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Pro-China activist demonstrate near Parliament ahead of a visit by China's President, Xi Jinping on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Pro-China and Tibetan independence activists demonstrate near Parliament ahead of a visit by China's President, Xi Jinping on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: A pro-China activist holds a Chinese flag as he demonstrates near Parliament ahead of a visit by China's President, Xi Jinping on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: A member of the Household Cavalry marches onto Horseguards Parade ahead of the Official Ceremonial Welcome for the Chinese State Visit on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 20: China's First Lady Peng Liyuan walks with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as they arrive at Buckingham Palace on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Leon Neal - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 20: Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan greets dignitaries during the official welcome ceremony at Horseguards Parade on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Alastair Grant - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 20: Chinese President Xi Jinping inspects a guard of honour during the official welcome ceremony at Horseguards Parade on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Alastair Grant - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 20: Spectators wait for Queen Elizabeth II and President of The People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping, to pass along The Mall after the ceremonial welcome on Horse Guards Parade on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 20: Spectators wait for Queen Elizabeth II and President of The People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping, to pass along The Mall after the ceremonial welcome on Horse Guards Parade on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 20: Spectators wait for Queen Elizabeth II and President of The People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping, to pass along The Mall after the ceremonial welcome on Horse Guards Parade on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 20: Queen Elizabeth II and President of The People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, ride in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach along The Mall after the ceremonial welcome on Horse Guards Parade for the Chinese President on the first day of his state visit to the UK on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Prime Minister David Cameron talks with Home Secretary Theresa May after greeting China's President, Xi Jinping, at an honour guard on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Household Cavalry on Horseguards Parade ahead of the Official Ceremonial Welcome for the Chinese State Visit on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: A Pro-China supporter wears stickers with the Chinese flag on during a counter protest held nearby Amnesty International who are protesting against claims of a deterioration in human rights and censorship of the internet and media during a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Pro-China supporters perform a dragon dance infront of supporters of Amnesty International who are protesting against claims of a deterioration in human rights and censorship of the internet and media during a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: A Pro-China supporter wears stickers with the Chinese flag on during a counter protest held nearby Amnesty International who are protesting against claims of a deterioration in human rights and censorship of the internet and media during a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: A small girl waves a Chinese flag during a counter protest held by Pro-China supporters nearby Amnesty International who are protesting against claims of a deterioration in human rights and censorship of the internet and media during a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: A man holds a scarf with the slogan "Free Tibet" on as supporters of Amnesty International protest against claims of a deterioration in human rights and censorship of the internet and media during a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: A Pro-China supporter wears stickers with the Chinese flag during counter protest held nearby Amnesty International who are protesting against claims of a deterioration in human rights and censorship of the internet and media during a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 20: The President of China, Xi Jinping, is driven to Horse Guards Parade for a ceremonial welcome on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Prime Minister David Cameron ties his shoe laces during the Official Ceremonial Welcome for the Chinese State Visit on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Chinese President Xi Jinping reviews a Guard of Honour on Horseguards Parade during the Official Ceremonial Welcome for the Chinese State Visit on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Horseguards Parade during the Official Ceremonial Welcome for the Chinese State Visit on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Pro-China supporters perform a dragon dance infront of supporters of Amnesty International who are protesting against claims of a deterioration in human rights and censorship of the internet and media during a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Pro-China supporters perform a dragon dance infront of a supporter of Amnesty International who is holding a sign with the slogan "stand up for the oppressed in China and Tibet". Amnesty International are protesting against claims of a deterioration in human rights and censorship of the internet and media during a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Pro-China supporters perform a dragon dance infront of supporters of Amnesty International who are protesting against claims of a deterioration in human rights and censorship of the internet and media during a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen. They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)

Kate walked alongside Wang Huning, one of the Communist Party of China's top leaders.

She was seated in the most prominent position for a female member of the royal family after the Queen - on the President's right while the monarch, as is custom, sat on Mr Xi's left.

As the wife of the second in line to throne, Kate takes William's status when she accompanies him, so outranks blood princesses such as the Princess Royal, who was also present.

On Kate's right sat Mr Huning.

Guests at the lavish bash are dining on fillet of West Coast turbot and Balmoral venison.

The musical programme, played by the Countess of Wessex's String Orchestra, includes a number of Chinese folk songs - which are likely to be popular with Madame Peng - who is a famous folk singer in China.

Among the pieces is a medley entitled Chinese Folk Fantasy and a folk song called Xiao He Tang Shui. Other ensembles include the Beatles track Eleanor Rigby and Nobody Does It Better - the theme music from the 1977 Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.

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The Pipe programme includes the Sound of Sleat and the Caledonian Canal and is led by Pipe Major Martin MacDonald and performed by the 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming.

Here is the menu in full:

  • Fillet of West Coast turbot with lobster mousse
  • Roasted loin of Balmoral venison in a Madeira and truffle sauce
  • Braised red cabbage
  • Cocotte potatoes
  • Timbale of celeriac and butternut squash
  • Delice of dark chocolate mango and lime
  • Fruits de dessert
  • Ridgeview Grosvenor 2009 Brut
  • Meursault 1er Cru Santenots 2007
  • (Domaine Marquis d'Angerville)
  • Chateau Haut-Brion 1989, Graves
  • Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2008
  • Warre's Vintage Port 1977

Mr Xi's four-day trip is expected to set the seal on more than £30 billion of trade and investment deals.

But the Prime Minister is facing pressure to raise with the president concerns about China's human rights record, and the "dumping" of cheap steel - which is blamed for the loss of thousand of British steel jobs in the last few days.

Critics have warned that Britain will "rue the day'' it forged deeper ties with China and accused the Government of acting like a "panting puppy'' in its relations with the country.

But Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond insisted the move was in the national interest.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has raised China's human rights record and the impact of its exports on the UK steel industry in direct talks with the country's president.

Mr Corbyn held what the party described as "cordial and constructive" discussions with Xi Jinping at Buckingham Palace

Online Editors

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From Belfast Telegraph