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Chinese Media Can't Understand Why Kate Has To Borrow a Tiara From The Queen And Won't Buy a New One

( [email protected] ) Oct 23, 2015 12:38 PM EDT
It's a case of East meets West, the moment when the Chinese head of state Xi Jinping was flanked by the Duchess of Cambridge and the Queen during the red carpet walk to the state banquet especially held for the visiting dignitary.
The Chinese national anthem played as the guests, assembled at Buckingham Palace's lavishly decorated ballroom, rose for a toast to Xi Jinping and his wife, pictured Kate and Mr Xi toast the visit. PA

It's a case of East meets West, the moment when the Chinese head of state Xi Jinping was flanked by the Duchess of Cambridge and the Queen during the red carpet walk to the state banquet mainly held for the visiting dignitary.

The images have caught the excitement and imagination of the entire Chinese mainland and have fueled the Chinese media's passion for everything British. Media outlets in China, a country that upholds a nationwide "firewall" where Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are blocked, are now rushing like wildfire to serve reports to a Chinese audience awash with national pride for British royalty's treatment of what the Chinese call as their modern-day "Chinese emperor."

But the meeting of two cultures has also exposed just how far the cultural divide is between China and the United Kingdom. After images of the state banquet had emerged of a fresh-faced, scarlet-garbed, and bejeweled Kate, the Chinese press published inquiries into Kate's fashion and, most of all, befuddled commentaries on why Kate had to borrow a tiara from the Queen for the official state banquet, the Daily Mail reports.

In Chinese culture, borrowing heirlooms are not traditional practice, hence the Chinese's baffled response to Kate wearing the famed Papyrus or Lotus Flower tiara not just once, but twice, the first worn during the Queen's annual diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace in 2013. 

The prevailing Chinese sentiment is: "Why doesn't Kate just buy a new one?"

But apparently it was not just the tiara that was loaned from the Queen:  Kate wore an entire diamond suite featuring two bracelets and chandelier drop earrings in addition to the Lotus Flower tiara. The only jewelry that seemed to belong to Kate was the Garrard sapphire engagement ring that once belonged to Princess Diana.

Nevertheless, the answer no doubt to the Chinese's question over the borrowed jewelry pieces lies in the rich history of the Crown Jewels. The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret both wore the Papyrus tiara during their younger days. Apparently, borrowing jewelry pieces from the monarchy is great honor to the royal family.

China's President Xi Jinping in United Kingdom
The Queen was joined by Mr. Xi in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach as they made the journey along crowd-lined Mall towards the palace. AFP/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Chinese netizens were also enthralled over other "magical" elements of the Chinese state visit. The grand arrival of President Xi in a golden carriage with the Queen has impressed Chinese Weibo users while others felt that the UK was "trying too hard to impress" China, and this was "painful to see," the BBC reports.