Happy 40th Birthday to the Duchess of Cambridge! All week, we’ve been counting down the best royal jewels from her collection, and today, we’ve arrived at the top eight pieces. Get excited: the tiaras are here!
In 2014, Kate wore this important royal necklace for the first time at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The piece, made by Cartier, was part of a suite of jewels given to the Queen as a wedding gift by the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1947. Kate’s worn it on several subsequent occasions as well.
The Queen loaned this diamond and ruby necklace, made by Boucheron for Mrs. Greville in 1907, to Kate for the Spanish state banquet at Buckingham Palace in July 2017. The Queen received the necklace as a wedding gift from her parents in 1947. Unlike the vast majority of jewels featured in this post, the necklace must have been a one-time loan, as the Queen wore it again herself in April 2018 at the CHOGM banquet.
On her wedding day in April 2011, Kate arrived at Westminster Abbey wearing an heirloom tiara from the collection of William’s great-grandmother, the late Queen Mother. The diamond halo tiara, made by Cartier in 1936, was an anniversary gift from King George VI to Queen Elizabeth. It was later worn by both Princess Margaret and Princess Anne, but it belongs to the Queen, who loaned it to Kate for the occasion.
Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton in 2010 with the same diamond and sapphire ring that his father gave to his mother back in 1981. In the couple’s engagement interview, William explained that the ring was “my way of making sure my mother didn’t miss out on today, and the excitement, and the fact that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together.” Kate still wears the ring regularly, stacking it with her gold wedding ring and a diamond eternity band.
One of the most significant loans offered to Kate by the Queen is this diamond bracelet, which was the Duke of Edinburgh’s wedding gift to the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947. You’ll spot this often on Kate’s wrist for important gala occasions, including an appearance at the BAFTAs in February 2017.
For the Dutch state banquet at Buckingham Palace in October 2018, Kate delved into the royal vaults and unearthed the grand diamond and pearl necklace worn by Queen Alexandra at her wedding to King Edward VII in 1863. The necklace, a favorite of the late Queen Mother, hadn’t been seen in public since 2002. For the occasion, Kate paired it with another prominent diamond and pearl jewel: the Lover’s Knot Tiara.
The second royal tiara that the Queen loaned to Kate is the Lotus Flower Tiara, another legacy from the late Queen Mother. The Queen Mother had it made using stones from a dismantled necklace in the early 1920s. Kate’s most important appearance in the tiara to date came during the Chinese state banquet at Buckingham Palace in October 2015.
Kate is now the fourth royal woman to wear this classic diamond and pearl tiara, after Queen Mary (who had it made as a copy of the original Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara), the present Queen, and, of course, Diana, Princess of Wales. Kate wore the tiara for the first time at the diplomatic reception in December 2015, and it’s since become her go-to diadem.