For the past week and a half, the former Duchess of Cornwall—now the Queen Consort—has found herself mourning for her mother-in-law and monarch while also adjusting to the role of spouse to the King. Wearing brooches belonging to the likes of the Romanovs and the Queen Mother, Camilla has worn jewels that reinforce royal history while stepping up to the new challenge.
On September 9, the day after the Queen’s death in Scotland, the new King Charles III and Queen Camilla arrived at Buckingham Palace. They took time to view floral tributes left outside the gates and greeted sympathetic members of the public. Camilla chose pearls and diamonds for her first full day as Queen Consort, wearing pearl drop earrings with small diamond leaf clips, her favorite necklace (four rows of pearls secured with a round diamond clasp), and a diamond knot brooch. You’ll also spot another necklace layered beneath her pearls. She rarely removes this gold chain with a pair of charms: a Kiki McDonough Apollo pendant and a gold disk featuring the initials of her grandchildren.
On September 10, Queen Camilla joined the King and the Prince of Wales at St James’s Palace for the accession council, which was televised for the first time. For this momentous occasion, Camilla wore two of her most familiar and comfortable pieces of jewelry: her pearl drop earrings with the diamond floral clip and the four-row pearl choker necklace with the round diamond clasp. You’ll also spot her diamond engagement ring (which previously belonged to the Queen Mother) and her gold wedding ring, as well as several bracelets layered on her right wrist. I’ve been asked about the significance of these; I don’t know the story behind each of the bracelets she wears regularly, but one of them is a Van Cleef & Arpels Magic Alhambra bracelet. (She’s a big VC&A fan.)
Later in the day, Queen Camilla embarked on an unexpected walkabout near Clarence House. She’d changed her dress and swapped her pearl necklace for a special heirloom brooch. This is the Queen Mother’s Rock Crystal Brooch, a nearly century-old piece made of diamonds and carved rock crystal with black enamel accents. The brooch was a favorite of the Queen Mother when she was Duchess of York—she particularly liked wearing it on the brim of her hats in the 1920s.
On September 11, the Queen Consort joined the King for a reception for the High Commissioners of the Commonwealth Realms and their spouses in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace. She wore a textured gold necklace and diamond drop earrings, as well as a brooch featuring entwined initials (two Cs, I believe?) topped by a small crown.
September 12th was a day packed with royal engagements from beginning to end. The day began with King Charles’s joint address to the House of Commons and House of Lords at Westminster Hall in London. Just as she had for the accession council, Camilla reached for comfortable pieces, including her four-row pearl choker necklace, for this event.
Later in the day, King Charles and Queen Camilla traveled to Edinburgh. There, she waited at St Giles’ Cathedral as Charles and his siblings joined the procession that took the late Queen’s coffin from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to the cathedral to lie in state. She wore her four-row pearl choker with the round clasp for a prayer service at the cathedral, plus a diamond thistle brooch that belonged to the late Queen Mother.
Next, the King and Queen headed to the Scottish Parliament Building to receive a Motion of Condolence. Camilla swapped out her coat for a different one, removing her brooch in the process, but again wore her favorite pearl drop earrings and pearl choker necklace.
That evening, as the King and his siblings stood vigil at their mother’s coffin in the cathedral, Camilla again wore the Queen Mother’s Diamond Thistle Brooch.
On September 13, Charles and Camilla headed to Northern Ireland, where the King made a speech and received condolences at Hillsborough Castle in Belfast. Appropriately, Camilla wore her diamond and turquoise shamrock brooch for the trip. (I received an email from a lovely reader who met Camilla during the couple’s walkabout, and she reports that the brooch is just gorgeous in person.)
That evening, the King and Queen were back in London, where they joined the rest of the royal family to receive the late Queen’s coffin at Buckingham Palace. The next day, they were part of the procession that traveled with the coffin to Westminster Hall, where the Queen would lie in state for the next several days. For the journey and the prayer service at Westminster, Camilla wore some significant jewels. She again wore her pearl drop earrings with the diamond floral clips, but this time she added another four-stranded pearl necklace with a larger diamond clasp, an oval shape with a cross design. She also wore her stick insect brooch, which is said to have been a gift from her late father, Major Bruce Shand.
September 15th was a day of rest for King Charles and Queen Camilla, but they were back to work on the 16th, traveling to Wales. There, Camilla wore her favorite pearl drop earrings with a diamond brooch in the shape of a Welsh leek. The brooch, reportedly a gift from the late Queen, is apparently a replica of the late monarch’s own diamond leek brooch.
On September 17, Camilla attended a luncheon at Buckingham Palace given for governors-general of the Commonwealth nations. She chose a diamond moth brooch from her own collection for the event.
On September 18, Queen Camilla wore diamonds as she and King Charles hosted a reception for heads of state and other overseas visitors ahead of the late Queen’s funeral. Camilla’s jewels for the event included her antique diamond floral earrings (worn on her wedding day in April 2005), her Van Cleef & Arpels Snowflake Necklace, and a tennis bracelet.
A couple of notes: first, thanks in advance for keeping the comment section civil and focused on jewelry, as usual. And second, a programming update. To allow myself a little time to recharge, I’ll be posting one article a day for the rest of this week. We’ll have plenty of jewels to marvel at in each of those posts, and we’ll resume our normal content calendar on Monday, September 26th. Thanks for your understanding as always!