On March 10, 1863, the future King Edward VII of the United Kingdom married Princess Alexandra of Denmark, at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. As was the tradition at the time, various organisations from around the U.K presented to the new Princess with wedding gifts.
One such society was the Ladies of North Wales, who presented Alexandra with this stunning Pendant/Brooch that emphasised her new position’s history.
The 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.
The use of ostrich feathers in royal heraldry first appeared during the reign of Edward III. The origins of this symbol are unknown but they were later adopted by the Princes of Wales.
According to the Royal Jewels Message Board, The Royal Collection considers the brooch as being part of the jewels that are worn by the wife of the Prince of Wales.
Prince Charles was created Prince of Wales on 26 July 1958 and he began to use his official symbol after his investiture in 1969. On her marriage in 1981, the Pendant/Brooch was gifted to Princess Diana as the first Princess of Wales in over a century.
Diana debuted her Prince of Wales Feather Pendant at the Royal Opera House in 1982. She had combined it with the diamond line necklace from her Saudi Sapphire Suite and would continue to wear it throughout her public life.
In 1986, she chose to wear the pendant with its cabochon emerald drop during an official tour of Austria.
It was assumed that after her divorce in 1996, Diana would have returned all the jewellery she had been given by the British Royal Family. But thanks to The Royal Watcher and Franck of the Royal Jewels Message Board
the last known sighting of the Prince of Wales Feather pendant was in 1996.
Princess Diana, The Princess of Wales, attends a private piano recital performed by Madame Helene Mercier-Arnault and Brigitte Engerer at The Queen Elizabeth/Purcell Room complex at The Royal Festival Hall. Picture taken 11th April 1996. (Photo by Kent Gavin/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
The fourth series of the popular Netflix drama ‘The Crown’ portrays a young Princess Diana and her early experiences within the Royal Family.
In Episode Six ‘Terra Nullius’, we see the actress Emma Corrin wear a replica of the necklace along with a (slightly exaggerated) version of
The Spencer Tiara
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.