The new Queen Consort wasn’t the only royal lady adjusting to a new role in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death. The Duchess of Cambridge became the Princess of Wales on September 9, when King Charles III elevated Prince William to the Wales title. Here’s a look at the jewels that Kate wore during the official mourning events for the late Queen.
The death of Queen Elizabeth II coincided with William and Kate’s move to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor, and the start of Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis at a new school. Kate made her first public appearance after the Queen’s death on September 10, when she joined William, Harry, and Meghan at Windsor, viewing floral tributes and speaking with members of the public.
No jewelry surprise here: Kate has always been a big fan of pearls, which are appropriate mourning jewels as well, and she wore pearl and diamond jewels throughout the public mourning period. For the walkabout in Windsor, she reached for a pair that she’s had for more than a decade: her Annoushka pearl drops, worn with a pair of diamond Kiki McDonough hoops.
On September 14, Kate joined the other members of the royal family at Westminster Hall as the Queen’s coffin was moved there for the formal lying-in-state. She paid tribute to the late monarch by wearing one of her brooches: the Diamond and Pearl Leaf Brooch. She also wore the Collingwood Pearl Drop Earrings, which belonged to the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
She also wore another piece of Diana’s jewelry: her three-row pearl bracelet, made in the 1980s by Nigel Milne.
On September 15, William and Kate traveled to Sandringham to view more tributes and speak with more members of the public. For this outing, Kate chose earrings loaned to her by the Queen: the Silver Jubilee Pearl Drop Earrings. She also wore a diamond cross pendant that she’s sported on previous occasions, including Trooping the Colour.
On the following day, September 16, the Prince and Princess of Wales headed to Army Training Centre Pirbright in Guildford to offer their thanks to Commonwealth troops deployed to the United Kingdom to take part in the Queen’s funeral ceremonies. Kate again wore the Silver Jubilee Pearl Earrings for the engagement.
Kate sported the same earrings once more on September 17 at Buckingham Palace for a luncheon held for governors-general of Commonwealth nations. She also wore a three-stranded pearl necklace, confirmed to be from the late Queen’s jewelry collection. (Differentiating between pearl necklaces can be extremely difficult, but I think it’s possibly the one she wore on this occasion.) And she also added Diana’s three-stranded pearl bracelet to her ensemble.
On September 18, for a reception for heads of state and other overseas visitors at Buckingham Palace, ahead of the late Queen’s funeral, Kate chose more jewels from the collection of the late Diana, Princess of Wales: her diamond and pearl drop earrings with the horseshoe and laurel leaf design motifs. Kate most recently wore the earrings at Royal Ascot.
For the Queen’s funeral services, held on September 19, Kate wore more jewels from the late monarch’s jewelry collection. She paired the Bahrain Pearl Drop Earrings with the Queen’s four-row pearl choker necklace, thought to have been made with pearls gifted by the Japanese government.
She also wore a four-row pearl bracelet, which we previously saw her wear for the American state banquet in 2019. At that time, it was speculated that the bracelet was another loan from the Queen, perhaps a companion piece to the Japanese pearl choker. And, after this occasion offered us a better look at the other side of the bracelet, including the diamond clasp, that speculation seems to be correct.
Here’s a view of the Queen wearing the necklace and bracelet together (with the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara) in Bangladesh in November 1983. Note the clasps on both the bracelet and the necklace. At this point, we can definitely say that the bracelet was also a loan from the Queen, and given the similarities in the designs of the clasps, I think we can also say that the necklace and bracelet were likely made as a set.
UPDATE: On Thursday, the Prince and Princess of Wales made an unannounced visit to the Guildhall in Windsor to thank volunteers and operational staff who contributed time and effort to the funeral ceremonies for the late Queen. Kate again reached for her Annoushka pearl drops and Kiki McDonough diamond hoops for the visit.