I think it’s safe to say that the pearl has become the signature gem of the Duchess of Cornwall, don’t you? Today, our tribute to June’s birthstone in our Sparkling Spotlight continues with a look at an excellent pearly outing from Camilla back in 2009.
Charles and Camilla generally make at least one appearance annually at the Royal Ascot races. On June 17, 2009, they attended the second day of the races, riding in the royal carriage procession and mingling in the parade ring.
For the outing, Camilla chose a springy ensemble in a light shade of pink. Appropriately, she also reached for one of the pink pieces from her jewelry box. This diamond, pink topaz, and pearl choker necklace features an antique clasp. The Edwardian-era brooch was sold at auction in 2000, and it was converted to serve as the clasp of this five-stranded pearl necklace sometime before 2008. (Many think the topaz cluster was purchased for her by Prince Charles.) The necklace is easily the most magnificent pearl piece in Camilla’s collection, which is really saying something!
The pink topaz and diamond cluster brooch was sold at auction with a pair of coordinating pink topaz and diamond earrings, which Camilla also now owns and wears. She also sometimes pairs this choker necklace with her favorite earrings, which feature a diamond floral stud and a pearl drop. (See a close-up of that pair here.) But on this occasion, she wore the necklace with another set of earrings: delicate pearl drops suspended from a slender diamond chain. These pearl drop earrings also appear to be antiques.
It was a windy day at the races, and many photographs show Camilla working to make sure that her spectacular hat doesn’t fly off in the breeze! Thankfully, that also allowed us to have a glimpse of the bracelet she wore on her left wrist. It’s a gold piece set with cabochon gems.
Here’s a look at Camilla’s entire ensemble for her Royal Ascot appearance. Note the sensible umbrella, made of clear plastic to allow the public to see her even if she needed to take shelter from the rain.
Say what you will about Camilla—or, actually, don’t, given our longstanding policy of talking about jewelry, not the people wearing the jewels!—she has shown herself to be a capable and impressive jewelry-wearer since joining the royal family. She’s able to carry off pieces that might overpower royals like Kate or Sophie, and she wears them really effortlessly.