Today in London, the royal family gathered for the monarch’s official birthday celebration, Trooping the Colour. For the occasion, the Princess of Wales wore sentimental diamonds and sapphires—and an important gold and emerald brooch.
Princess Catherine and her three children joined Queen Camilla in a carriage for the procession from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade for Trooping the Colour this morning.
Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis were all dressed in their best for the celebrations.
And Prince Louis delightfully reacted to the spectacle like the five-year-old boy that he is. (I’d want a better look at the horses and the uniforms, too!)
Meanwhile, Prince William rode on horseback alongside his father, King Charles III, and his aunt and uncle, the Princess Royal and the Duke of Edinburgh.
For the first time, Kate watched the colour being trooped from the reviewing stand, alongside Queen Camilla (whose jewels we’ll discuss shortly in another article) and the Duke of Kent.
The family was reunited afterward on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to watch the traditional RAF fly-past.
For the first Trooping the Colour celebrations of King Charles’s reign, and her first as colonel of the Irish Guards, Kate wore bright green: an Andrew Gn dress with a coordinating Philip Treacy hat. The brooch-like elements on the dress are part of the garment’s embellishments.
The inclusion of those jewel-like touches is something of a trademark for Gn, who has dressed numerous other royals, including the Crown Princess of Norway and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal, daughter-in-law of the last King of Greece. In April 2022, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark wore an Andrew Gn dress for Princess Isabella’s confirmation at Fredensborg. (She recently repeated the same dress for a pre-coronation reception at Buckingham Palace.)
Princess Alexandra, the elder daughter of Princess Benedikte of Denmark, wore an Andrew Gn dress for a church service in Copenhagen celebrating Queen Margrethe II of Denmark’s Golden Jubilee in September 2022.
And in March, Princess Salma of Jordan wore a fuschia Andrew Gn dress for the wedding of her elder sister, Princess Iman.
Gn’s designs have also been worn by at least one other member of the British royal family. Princess Eugenie wore a red and black Andrew Gn dress on Christmas Day in December 2018.
The jeweled embellishments on Kate’s Andrew Gn dress are so eye-catching that—in a departure from my usual take on things—I probably wouldn’t add a brooch to the outfit. But the brooch that Kate wore this morning isn’t just there for aesthetics: it’s part of her role as colonel of the Irish Guards.
Here’s a closer look at the Irish Guards Brooch, a shamrock-shaped jewel made of textured gold and a single emerald. The brooch belongs to the Irish Guards and is loaned out to royal ladies who are associated with the regiment.
Previous royal wearers include the Princess Royal and the late Queen Mother, who wears the brooch above for a service of thanksgiving marking the centenary of the regiment in 2000.
Kate has been the sole wearer of the Irish Guards Brooch since 2011, as her husband, Prince William, was appointed colonel of the regiment shortly before their royal wedding. She made her first appearance in the brooch in June 2011 at the regiment’s medal parade at Victoria Barracks in Windsor.
Since then, Kate has worn the brooch almost every year on St. Patrick’s Day, as she helped to present shamrocks to the regiment.
She also occasionally wears the brooch for events related to Northern Ireland in general. Here, she has the brooch pinned to her coat during a garden party at Hillsborough Castle in June 2016.
In December, Kate was appointed to take over the role of colonel of the Irish Guards by her father-in-law, King Charles III. (It was part of a post-accession royal regimental shuffle, which also saw Prince William become colonel of the Welsh Guards and Queen Camilla take over as colonel of the Grenadier Guards.) She wore the Irish Guards Brooch in March for her first St. Patrick’s Day visit to the regiment as colonel.
This year was also Kate’s first Trooping the Colour as the colonel of the Irish Guards, so I was expecting that we’d see her wear the brooch today as well.
For today’s celebrations, Kate also wore a familiar pair of diamond and sapphire earrings.
These sapphire and diamond cluster earrings come from the collection of her late mother-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales. She liked to pair the earrings with her grand seven-stranded pearl choker necklace with the diamond and sapphire clasp. The clasp, a wedding gift from the Queen Mother, was originally a brooch and could still be worn that way after the necklace conversion.
Diana wore the earrings often throughout her royal life. One highlight appearance took place in November 1985, when she famously danced with John Travolta at the White House in Washington, D.C.
She continued to wear the earrings after her divorce, including a notable appearance at the Met Gala in 1996.
Kate wore the earrings for the first time in public last year during Trooping the Colour.
Like Diana, she also brought them along for an American visit, wearing them in Boston last November.
Here’s one more look at Kate’s jewels for today’s Trooping the Colour festivities. Stay tuned—we’ve got closer looks at more royal jewels from the event on the way!