As the wife to the the heir of the British thrown, the Princess of Wales holds a special position within the Royal hierarchy. Unlike the other monarchies of Europe, there are no set jewels designated to the title but a few jewels have become unofficially associated with the name.
The Prince of Wales Brooch
Made for the wedding of Princess Alexandra of Denmark to the future Edward VII in 1863, this Pendant/Brooch was composed of eighteen Round Cut diamonds with small emeralds that surrounded the traditional symbol of the Prince of Wales, three ostrich feathers surrounded by a crown with the motto ‘Ich Dien’ (I Serve). It also came with a detachable cabochon emerald pendant that can be hung from the bottom of the Pendant.
On her marriage in 1981, the Pendant/Brooch was gifted to Princess Diana as the first Princess of Wales in over a century. She would go on to merge it with the diamond necklace from her Saudi Sapphire Suite
The Pendant/Brooch made a welcome reappearance on Catherine, Princess of Wales in Nov 2022 when she debuted the piece during the South African State Visit and again at the Commonwealth Day celebration service in 2023.
Originally made in 1911 for Queen Mary, this tiara was based on a similar design that was popular amongst the nobility of Europe.
As with the majority of her jewels, Queen Mary left it to her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth.
The Queen did wear the tiara early in her reign but it appears to have fallen out of style and wasn’t seen again until the 1980s.
The tiara became truly iconic though once it began to be worn by Princess Diana. Although it has been said that she preferred her the Spencer Tiara as it was easier to wear, she nether the less wore the Lover’s Knot tiara to many important occasions. After her death in 1997, the tiara returned to the Royal Family.
When she became the Duchess of Cambridge in 2011, Kate Middleton faced many comparisons with her deceased mother in law. Given that she would one day become the Princess of Wales it was assumed that she would wear elements of Diana’s Royal jewellery collection. To everyone’s delight, the Lover’s Knot Tiara has now become a staple of Kate’s Royal wardrobe.
Queen Mary’s Emerald Choker
Once thought to be a part of the Cambridge Emeralds, this choker was actually a gift from the Ladies of India and presented to Queen Mary at the Delhi Dhurbar in 1911. The original necklace laid flat on the neck.
In 1921, Queen Mary had the Crown Jeweller Garrard remodel the necklace into an Art Deco Choker.
Like most of her other jewels, she left it to her granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II but she was sadly never photographed wearing it.
Thought to have been given as a wedding present from the Queen, Princess Diana wore the choker very conventionally at first.
Then on a tour of Australia 1985, she made one of her most memorable fashion statements and wore the choker as a Bandeau headband (although apparently this was due more to a sunburnt neck)
Diana continued to wear the Emerald Choker after her separation from Prince Charles.
Like the Lover’s Knot Tiara and the Prince of Wales Brooch, the choker returned to the Royal Family after Diana’s death only to resurface with Catherine, Princess of Wales in 2022.
Diana’s Sapphire Earrings
The common consensus is that these earrings originated in the wedding gift from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. The original set did include a pair of Sapphire and Diamond earrings but it is said that Diana had the links from the watch converted into earrings.
When she became the Duchess of Cambridge in 2011, Kate Middleton faced many comparisons with her deceased mother in law. As she had inherited her engagement ring it has been assumed that she has also inherited elements of Diana’s Sapphire jewellery but there has never been any official confirmation.