Our Sparkling Spotlight week of tiara appearances from Diana, Princess of Wales continues today with a gorgeous diamond and emerald moment.
On June 21, 1989, the Prince and Princess of Wales attended a dinner given by the Corporation of London at Mansion House in honor of visiting Australian Prime Minister Robert Hawke. Diana wore a teal Catherine Walker gown with a dramatic single sleeve design, paired with a matching clutch bag and shoes.
With the Grecian-inspired dress, Diana wore diamonds and emeralds. She nestled the Spencer Tiara, worn on loan from her father, the Earl Spencer, in her hair for the occasion. (She would have to briefly return the tiara to Althorp a few months later so that it could be worn by her brother’s bride, Victoria Lockwood, on their wedding day.) She paired the tiara with emerald and diamond pieces from her jewelry box.
Her earrings, made of diamonds with emerald drops, were a birthday present from Prince Charles in July 1983. Her necklace had a much longer royal history. Queen Mary’s Emerald Choker Necklace, which features a distinctive Art Deco design, dates to the early years of the reign of King George V. It was made by redesigning an emerald and diamond necklace that was presented to Mary during the Delhi Durbar in 1911. Diana wore the piece throughout her lifetime, though today it has returned to the royal vaults. Most famously, Diana used the choker as a headband during the 1985 royal tour of Australia.
Diana also wore bracelets on both wrists and rings on both hands, though all of those pieces are only partially visible in photographs from the event. The bracelet on her right hand appears to be a tennis-style piece made of gold and set with diamonds (and perhaps a darker stone, like an additional emerald?). The ring on the pinky finger of her right hand also looks to be a gold piece.
On her left wrist, Diana wore the diamond and emerald bracelet that Prince Charles gave her as a wedding present in July 1981. (You can see a better view of the same bracelet, worn on a later occasion, in this article.) And, as she often did when wearing emerald jewels, she left her famous sapphire engagement ring at home, wearing a toi et moi-style emerald and diamond ring instead.
I thought this photograph from the event was a really interesting study in the way that lighting affects our perception of color. Taken indoors with a brighter flash, this image shows Diana’s dress to be much more on the blue side of teal than the other pictures. It also really darkens the color of the emeralds significantly. I’d wager, though, that the other photos—including the ones taken outdoors in daylight as she arrived for the event—give us a more accurate picture of the dress’s color.