On Wednesday, we were treated to an outing of royal gala jewels in London! Here’s a closer look at the gorgeous emeralds worn by the Duchess of Cornwall—and the story behind them.
On Wednesday evening, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were at the British Museum in London for a reception to celebrate the British Asian Trust, a charitable group founded in part by Charles in 2007. (Unfortunately, on Thursday morning, Prince Charles tested positive for the coronavirus. So far, Camilla’s tests are negative, and Buckingham Palace is closely monitoring the Queen, who met with Charles earlier in the week.)
For the reception, Camilla wore an elegant gown of deep green velvet embroidered with paisley designs. Paisley designs, of course, are actually modeled on palm-leaf designs from India called boteh. Throughout history, the motif has been used extensively in artwork and art objects from India, including the palm-shaped sarpech ornaments worn by Indian princes on their turbans. The pattern became popular in Britain thanks to textiles imported by the East India Company from Asia. The boteh patterns were replicated by the weavers in Paisley, and as the shawls they produced became more and more popular, the pattern began to be generically called “paisley” by English speakers.
With the green gown, Camilla wore a suite of magnificent emerald and diamond jewels from her collection. The earrings, necklace, and bracelet are believed to be the emerald demi-parure given to her by the Saudi royal family during a visit to the Middle East in 2006. (You can read more on that here!) Camilla wore all three parts of the set for Wednesday’s reception. She also layered another necklace underneath the emerald necklace from the demi-parure. I think it’s her Golden Kiwi Necklace—you can see a gold pendant caught against the emeralds at her right shoulder.
You’ll spot the matching emerald and diamond earrings from the demi-parure peeking through Camilla’s hair in this photograph.
And here, you get a good look at the emerald and diamond bracelet from the suite on Camilla’s left wrist. This image also shows off her engagement ring and wedding band nicely.
On her right wrist, Camilla wore a stack of bracelets, including her blue Magic Alhambra bracelet from Van Cleef & Arpels, which has clearly become a quick favorite.
Here’s a look back at some of the ways Camilla has styled the emerald set over the years. Her first appearance in the necklace, earrings, and bracelet came in June 2009, when she attended a gala performance of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.
She wore the necklace and bracelet with the earrings from her diamond pear-drop suite in December 2010 for the Royal Variety Performance in London.
More recently, we saw the Duchess wearing the emeralds for the biennial awards dinner for The Rifles in London in November 2021.