The Prince and Princess of Wales stepped out in Boston this evening for the Earthshot Prize awards ceremony, and Kate treated us to yet another royal jewelry rewind moment!
William and Catherine arrived on the green carpet for the second annual Earthshot Prize awards ceremony, held this year at the MGM Music Hall in Boston.
Following the evening’s suggested theme of sustainability, Kate wore a neon green gown that she rented for the occasion. Royal reporters revealed that the dress, made by Solace London, was sourced from the fashion rental platform HURR. The rental cost the princess a cool £74 for the evening.
Kate’s jewelry followed the vintage theme as well. For the first time, she was pictured wearing Queen Mary’s Emerald Choker, a piece of fabulous royal jewelry that dates to 1911.
She paired the necklace with petite emerald and diamond earrings. (The writers and readers at UFO No More believe they’re from Asprey London.)
The necklace, though, comes straight from the Buckingham Palace vaults. It’s part of the Delhi Durbar Parure, a set of jewels collected by Queen Mary at the time of the Delhi Durbar in December 1911. You can read about all of the pieces from the suite in our extensive article here. The choker necklace is seen at the bottom of this photograph, which was taken at a palace exhibition in 2006.
The necklace is actually a really excellent example of royal jewelry recycling and renovation. It originally looked quite different—the first iteration of the necklace can be seen in this photograph of Queen Mary taken at the time of the Delhi Durbar celebrations in 1911. The choker is second from the bottom in her stack of necklaces, sitting just atop the Delhi Durbar Necklace (with its famous négligée pendants).
The original version of the choker was called the Ladies of India Necklace. As the name suggests, the emerald and diamond necklace was presented to Mary by the Maharani of Patiala during the durbar on behalf of a committee called the Ladies of India.
Ten years later, in 1921, Queen Mary had the necklace renovated by Garrard. It was reimagined as an Art Deco-style choker necklace featuring the original diamonds and emeralds placed in a new platinum setting. Mary wears the new Art Deco choker with other pieces from the original Delhi Durbar Parure in this later portrait. This time, the smaller, tighter necklace is placed at the top of her necklace stack, nearest to her chin.
When Queen Mary died in 1953, the necklace was inherited by her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II. To my knowledge, Elizabeth was never photographed in the choker. Instead, she loaned it to her daughter-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales, who wore it often—and with flair. Diana experimented with the piece, famously wearing it as a bandeau stretched across her forehead during a royal visit to Australia in 1985.
She also wore it in its more traditional choker necklace form. Here, she pairs the necklace with the Spencer Tiara and her emerald drop earrings (a 1983 birthday gift from Charles) for a dinner given by the Corporation of London at Mansion House in honor of visiting Australian Prime Minister Robert Hawke in 1989.
Diana’s final appearance in the emerald choker necklace took place on her 36th and last birthday—July 1, 1997—when she attended the centenary gala dinner at the Tate Gallery in London. She paired the necklace with a glittering black Jacques Azagury and additional diamond and emerald jewels from her personal collection. Diana tragically died just a few weeks after this gala dinner, and the necklace went back into the royal vaults. Until today, we’d only seen it displayed in jewelry exhibitions.
But now, a new Princess of Wales has begun wearing the necklace. I’m so happy to see it sparkling on a royal lady again!