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Unveiling Kate’s Dazzling Legacy: Keeping Queen Elizabeth’s Jewelry Collection Alive

A dazzling legacy – how Kate keeps Queen Elizabeth’s memory alive through the late monarch’s world-beating collection of jewellery

The late monarch, who would have celebrated her 98th birthday tomorrow, possessed an astonishing depth and variety of pieces gathered over the years through purchases, gifts and inheritance.

She frequently lent items to Catherine, the  Princess of Wales, for special occasions, another sign of the strong bond between the while the Queen was still alive.

Since Elizabeth’s death, Kate has continued to honour the monarch by wearing some of her most cherished treasures.

Queen Elizabeth’s emerald tassel suite

The Princess attends a dinner hosted by the Governor General of Jamaica in 2022Queen Elizabeth wears her emerald tassel suit at a state banquet in Africa

Arriving for dinner at Claridge’s, she was spotted wearing the tassel necklace, paired with complementary jewels from the royal vaults.

Since the dinner took place during a state visit of the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, it is thought that Elizabeth’s necklace had been a gift from the Sheikh.

The necklace formed part of a four-piece suite that also included a pair of earrings, a bracelet and a ring.

The Princess of Wales wore the earrings and bracelet for a dinner in 2022, hosted by Patrick Allen, the Governor General of Jamaica, at King’s House in Kingston.

The event was scheduled during a royal tour of the Caribbean, timed to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Queen Alexandra’s wedding necklace

The Princess of Wales during a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace in 2018The Queen Mother inherited Queen Alexandra's wedding necklace

The Princess of Wales wore Queen Alexandra’s wedding necklace in 2018

This alluring necklace was a wedding gift from King Edward VII – the eldest son of Queen Victoria – to his bride, Alexandra of Denmark.

The pair married at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, in 1863, and the then Prince of Wales presented Alexandra with a parure of diamonds and pearls.

In addition to the opulent necklace, the collection consisted of pearl and diamond cluster earrings, a brooch with a detachable pendant and a diamond tiara.

The tiara, later known as the Rundell Tiara, was the only piece that Alexandra did not wear on her wedding day.

Following the Queen’s death in 1925, the headpiece was passed down to her daughter, Princess Victoria, but its fate remains uncertain.

The other accessories were inherited by Queen Mary, Alexandra’s daughter-in-law, who gifted the necklace to the Queen Mother.

It became one of her most-loved pieces of jewellery; she even wore it for her daughter’s wedding at Westminster Abbey.

The necklace, earrings and brooch were inherited by Queen Elizabeth, who wore them for evening events.

More recently, Kate selected the necklace for a state banquet with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Maxima at Buckingham Palace in 2018.

Queen Elizabeth’s three-strand 1952 pearl necklace

Queen's Elizabeth delivers a speech to the nation amid the Covid pandemic in 2020The Princess of Wales attends a lunch at Buckingham Palace in 2022

The Princess of Wales wore the three-strand pearl necklace two years after Queen Elizabeth had worn it

Queen Elizabeth was often photographed wearing pearl necklaces, most frequently her three-stranded 1952 design.

Featuring an elegant arrangement of graduated pearls, the piece, which was commissioned by Elizabeth herself, is completed with a diamond clasp.

Throughout her reign, the Queen wore this necklace countless times, showcasing its elegance across the globe.

In 2020, she layered it over an emerald green dress while delivering a speech to the nation amid the Covid pandemic.

During the inspirational TV address, her majesty paid tribute to a ‘generation of Britons as strong as any’ and said ‘we should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return’.

The Princess of Wales wore Elizabeth’s pearls for a governors-general luncheon, shortly after the Queen’s passing in September 2022, and again at the 2023 Festival of Remembrance at Royal Albert Hall.

Greville chandelier earrings

Queen Elizabeth II attending a dinner hosted by the Canadian Government at the Royal York Hotel, Toronto in 2010The Princess of Wales attending the wedding of Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II of Jordan and Rajwa Khaled Alseif at the Zahran Palace in Amman, Jordan, 2023

Queen Elizabeth and the Princess of Wales have both worn the Greville chandelier earrings on special occasions

The Princess of Wales debuted the Greville chandelier earrings at the wedding of Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan and Princess Rajwa in 2023.

Originally owned by Dame Margaret Greville, the socialite daughter of a successful brewer, the jewels were given to Elizabeth as a wedding present from her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

When Margaret died in 1942, she left a spectacular bequest of jewels to Elizabeth, the Queen Consort, later the Queen Mother .

Queen Elizabeth wrote to her mother-in-law, Queen Mary: ‘I must tell you that Mrs Greville has left me her jewels, tho’ I am keeping that quiet as well for the moment!

‘She left them to me “with her loving thoughts”, dear old thing, and I feel very touched. I don’t suppose I shall see what they consist of for a long time, owing to the slowness of lawyers and death duties etc, but I know she had a few good things.

‘Apart from everything else, it is rather exciting to be left something, and I do admire beautiful stones with all my heart. I can’t help thinking that most women do!’

Margaret requested for the earrings to be altered twice, adding 12 diamonds in 1922, followed by another 10 in 1929.

The design features a mixture of diamond cuts, such as half-moon, trapeze, square, baguette, baton and emerald.

When the King and Queen gave the earrings to their daughter, Elizabeth, in 1947, she couldn’t wear them as she did not have pierced ears.

However, four years later, she pierced her ears and was seen wearing the Greville chandelier earrings countless times over the coming years.

George VI festoon necklace

Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Festival Hall in 1971The Princess of Wales on the coronation of King Charles III in 2023

Kate wore Queen Elizabeth’s George VI festoon necklace for the coronation of King Charles III

A gift from her beloved father, George VI, the Queen wore the diamond festoon necklace throughout her reign.

George commissioned Garrard to create the piece in 1950, using 105 loose diamonds that had been stored in a reserve.

The resulting necklace boasts three strands of graduated stones, suspended between two diamond triangles.

Worn at a number of formal events, such as state openings of Parliament, Elizabeth finally showcased the piece during a 2018 banquet for the state visit of the King and Queen of the Netherlands.

In a heartfelt tribute to the late monarch, the Princess of Wales wore the necklace for the first time in the official portrait for the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

Lover’s Knot Tiara

Kate wearing the Lover's Knot Tiara at a Buckingham Palace reception in 2018Princess Diana wearing the Lover's Knot Tiara during a visit to Canada

Arguably the most famous of the royal tiaras,  the Lover’s Knot has been worn by generations of royal women.

Queen Mary commissioned Garrard to create the exquisite tiara, drawing inspiration from a piece owned by her grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse.

Mary provided jewels from her own collection, which included elements from her dismantled Some Ladies of England Tiara, pearls from the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, and pearls from her favourite brooches.

The finished design originally featured a row of upright pearls, but these were later removed by Queen Mary, who returned them to her brooches.

After Queen Mary’s death, the tiara was inherited by Queen Elizabeth and she was frequently seen wearing the accessory at various locations worldwide, including a tour of the Commonwealth.

Upon marrying Prince Charles in 1981, Diana received the tiara as a gift from the Queen and she debuted it at the state opening of parliament later that year.

Although the tiara reportedly gave Diana headaches due to its weight, she wore it on many occasions, including with her ‘Elvis dress’ by Catherine Walker during an official visit to Hong Kong.

Similar to her late mother-in-law, the tiara has become one of Kate’s preferred pieces and she has worn it at several diplomatic receptions since.

Queen Elizabeth’s Japanese pearl choker

Kate pictured at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in 2022Queen Elizabeth wears the Japanese pearl choker to an engagement in Bangladesh

The Japanese pearl choker was first loaned to Kate for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s 70th wedding anniversary celebrations in 2017.

She has continued to wear it on a number of occasions, including the funeral of Philip in 2021 and the funeral of the late monarch in 2022, where she paired it with the Bahrain pearl drop earrings.

It is believed that the Japanese government gifted pearls to Elizabeth, who commissioned a choker to be made by Garrard in the 1970s.

The distinctive design features a diamond clasp that sits at the centre of four strands of pearls.

Princess Diana was also seen sporting the necklace at the state visit of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in 1982.

Queen Elizabeth’s diamond frame teardrop earrings

Kate attends the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel in 2018Queen Elizabeth attends the Order Of The Garter Service at St George's Chapel in 2013

Kate borrowed Queen Elizabeth’s diamond frame orbital teardrop earrings for the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank

Little is known about Queen Elizabeth’s diamond frame teardrop earrings.

The late monarch adorned herself with the show-stopping accessory on a handful of occasions.

The earrings incorporate a cluster stud with a floral motif, from which a pendant of four graduating diamonds is suspended.

Kate developed a fondness for the design, wearing it for the first time at the 2016 Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools Awards, held at Mansion House in London.

Since then, the Princess has worn the earrings for a variety of events, including Trooping the Colour in 2017, and the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in 2018.

Queen Elizabeth’s diamond and pearl oak leaf brooch 

Queen Elizabeth on her 73rd birthdayThe Princess arrives at Queen Elizabeth's lying-in-state

The Princess wore Queen Elizabeth’s oak leaf brooch at the monarch’s lying-in-state

Mystery also surrounds the origin of Queen Elizabeth’s diamond and pearl oak leaf brooch.

The decorative piece features a trio of large pearls, placed at the centre of a pave-set yellow gold leaf.

The Queen made a notable appearance wearing this brooch on her 73rd birthday, attending a concert in Seoul, during a visit to South Korea.

It is thought that the piece may have been gifted to her at this time.

The Princess of Wales first wore the brooch in Ypres, Belgium, in 2017, while visiting the Tyne Cot Cemetery, commemorating the centenary of Passchendaele.

Queen Elizabeth’s sapphire and diamond suite

Kate borrowed Queen Elizabeth's sapphire earrings in 2021Queen Elizabeth attends the Garter Ceremony Procession up to St George's Chapel in 2009

The Queen loaned her sapphire and diamond loop stud earrings to Kate in 2021

In 1979, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh toured six countries in the Middle East.

During their trip, the royal couple was hosted by Sheikh Rashid, one of the founders of the UAE, in Dubai.

When the rulers exchanged gifts at a glamorous banquet, the Sheikh offered Queen Elizabeth a pair of solid gold camel ornaments and a demi-parure of diamond and sapphire jewellery.

Crafted in London by Asprey, the suite combined a striking necklace, earrings and ring. Elizabeth is said to have gasped upon receiving the set, placing her hand over her chest in awe.

However, the royal didn’t wear the jewels on many occasions. She eventually had the necklace shortened and the detached pieces were used to form a second pair of earrings.

The Queen later had the original earrings and the ring’s sapphire cluster reimagined as a trio of stones on a bracelet.

However, it remained relatively unseen until the early 2000s, when she wore the set several times, including at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2002, an event coordinated to celebrate her Golden Jubilee.

Fast forward to 2021, Kate wore the earrings at an NHS event, held at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

Nizam of Hyderabad necklace

The dazzling Nizam of Hyderabad necklace, valued at £63,623,360, is thought to be one of Queen Elizabeth’s most precious pieces.

At the request of Asaf Jah VII, ruler of Hyderabad, Elizabeth was invited to choose two pieces from Cartier to commemorate her wedding. She opted for a tiara and necklace, inspired by an English rose.

While the tiara has since been dismantled to create other pieces, the necklace remains intact.

Kate attends The Portrait Gallery Gala in 2014Queen Elizabeth features on the cover of French magazine Point de vue images du monde, 1952

The Nizam of Hyderabad necklace is estimated to be worth £63,623,360

It comprises 38 diamonds – reduced from the original 46 – with a diamond-encrusted snap. At the centre of the necklace lies a detachable double-drop pendant, featuring 13 emerald-cut diamonds and a pear-shaped drop.

The piece was initially sold in 1936, but was reacquired by Cartier from the buyer the following year.

The original necklace consisted of eight double-drop and three triple-drop pendants.

However, nine of these pendants were removed before it caught Elizabeth’s eye.

Kate is the only other royal to have worn the Nizam of Hyderabad necklace, debuting it at the National Portrait Gallery Gala in 2014.

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