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Entertainment: Camilla speaks of her 'greatest honour' taking over Prince Philip's cherished role

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The Duchess of Cornwall has spoken of succeeding a "cherished" role from the late Duke of Edinburgh, describing it as one of the "great honours" of her life.

Camilla made the comments during 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 a glamorous one as she wore one of the most spectacular suite of jewels in her collection.

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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, delivers a speech during the biennial Rifles Awards Dinner at the City of London Guildhall on November 24, 2021. © Getty Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, delivers a speech during the biennial Rifles Awards Dinner at the City of London Guildhall on November 24, 2021.

Camilla, 74, was joined by the Countess of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra - who are all Royal Colonels of Battalions with the Rifles - at the Guildhall in London on Wednesday evening.

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The Duchess was named Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifles after the role was transferred from Prince Philip in July, 2020.

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

The Countess of Wessex arrives for the dinner in London. © Getty The Countess of Wessex arrives for the dinner in London.

Two separate socially-distanced 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 at Windsor, where he had been isolating with the Queen during lockdowns.

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Speaking to guests about serving as the new Colonel-in-Chief the Duchess of Cornwall said: "To step into the boots of my dear, much missed, late father-in-law, The Duke of Edinburgh, is quite frankly terrifying.

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"I know it was a role that he cherished and of which he was immensely proud and it is one of the greatest honours of my life to have followed him into this illustrious role."

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Prince Philip at Windsor Castle to transfer the Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifles role to the Duchess of Cornwall in July, 2020. © AP Prince Philip at Windsor Castle to transfer the Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifles role to the Duchess of Cornwall in July, 2020.

The Duchess already had close links with the Regiment, having served as Royal Colonel of its fourth Battalion since 2007.

Camilla wore her Bugle Horn brooch, made of silver and diamonds, which is central to the heritage of the Regiment and every Rifleman wears a silver bugle as their cap badge.

She also wore a suite of jewels known as the Saudi Arabia emerald parure (meaning 'set').

Featuring a necklace, earrings and bracelet the suite is made from square-cut emeralds surrounded by diamonds.

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The Duchess of Cornwall wore a suite of emerald and diamond jewels gifted from the Saudi Arabian royal family. © Getty The Duchess of Cornwall wore a suite of emerald and diamond jewels gifted from the Saudi Arabian royal family.

It was gifted to Camilla by the royal family of Saudi Arabia, most likely during their visit in 2006.

The jewels were included on an official list released by Clarence House detailing the extensive gifts they had received during royal tours between 2003 - 2006.

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

Also gifted by the Saudi royals during that tour was a sapphire parure and a ruby parure.

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

The Saudi royal family has a long history of gifting expensive jewels to the British royals. One of the most famous of these is the Saudi sapphires suite given to Diana, the Princess of Wales, for her wedding in 1981. Some of those jewels are now worn by Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

And controversially Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, wore a pair of diamond chandelier earrings during a royal tour in Fiji in 2018. They were a wedding gift by Saudi Arabia's crown prince, who's since been accused of ordering the murder of an American journalist. At the time of the royal tour, Meghan's team had allowed the public to believe they had been borrowed.

The Countess of Wessex wore her diamond flower brooch alongside her Rifles brooch and a blue gown by Emilia Wickstead.

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