On Friday, members of the royal family made brief public appearances to mark the first anniversary of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, paying tribute to the late monarch with pearls.
On Friday morning, a service was held in the late monarch’s memory at St. David’s Cathedral in Wales. People gathered outside the cathedral ahead of the service, which was attended by the Prince and Princess of Wales.
Prince William and Princess Catherine were greeted by members of the clergy, including the Very Rev. Dr. Sarah Rowland Jones, Dean of the cathedral, and Sara Edwards, the Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed.
William and Kate were shown to their seats ahead of the brief, private service. Prayers were said in both Welsh and English, and one of the late Queen’s funeral hymns, “Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts,” was sung.
In one of the most moving moments of the service, the prince and princess paid a special tribute to William’s grandmother.
Kate curtseyed and laid a bouquet of flowers before a portrait of the late Queen that had been placed in the cathedral. On their social media account, the couple shared that the moment was particularly poignant for them, too: “A moment of reflection at St Davids Cathedral honouring Her Late Majesty and all that she did for communities like this around the UK, the Commonwealth and the world.”
This is the portrait, signed by the late monarch in 2015, that was chosen by the cathedral staff. It features the late Queen wearing Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik Tiara with Queen Mary’s Mackinnon Floret Earrings and the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace. Kate has already worn the necklace on multiple occasions, and I’m hopeful that we’ll see her wear the tiara in the coming years as well. It’s a grand piece, but after all it was made for and worn by a previous Princess of Wales for years before her husband’s accession.
Before departing from the cathedral, William and Kate viewed a book of condolences that had been signed by members of the public.
They also signed the cathedral’s visitors book before their departure.
For the church service, Kate chose a coat dress with matching accessories in a muted, autumnal shade of burgundy.
She added a bejeweled touch with a poignant pair of earrings, loaned to her several years ago by the late Queen Elizabeth II.
These are the late Queen’s Silver Jubilee Pearl Earrings. They feature a lovely round diamond stud and a petite pearl drop.
The earrings take their name from one of their most important public appearances: the celebration of Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee in London in June 1977.
Queen Elizabeth wore the diamond and pearl earrings for a service of thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral and a luncheon at the Guildhall in London. She paired them with the Hanoverian Pearls and the Williamson Pink Diamond Brooch.
The earrings were never among Elizabeth’s most-worn jewels, and over the last decade she loaned them to two members of the family. The Duchess of Edinburgh, when she was Countess of Wessex, wore the earrings for the royal wedding of the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg in October 2012.
Four years later, the Queen loaned the earrings to the Duchess of Cambridge, who wore them for the first time during a royal visit to Canada in September 2016.
Kate has reached for the earrings for important daytime occasions several times in the years that followed. She brought them with her to the Netherlands for her very first solo foreign trip in October 2016.
In April 2017, she wore them on Easter Sunday at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.
In the days after Queen Elizabeth II’s death last September, the new Princess of Wales wore the pearls several times. Above, she wears them with a diamond cross pendant as she views floral tributes laid by members of the public at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk.
And here, she wears the pearl drop earrings with one of the late monarch’s pearl necklaces for a luncheon held for governors-general of Commonwealth nations at Buckingham Palace.
Kate wasn’t the only British royal lady who paid a pearly tribute to the late monarch on Friday. King Charles and Queen Camilla attended a quiet, private service in his mother’s memory at Crathie Kirk near Balmoral. For the service, Camilla wore the diamond, sapphire, ruby, and pearl earrings that also come from the late Queen’s jewelry collection.
Camilla debuted the earrings last March at the annual Commonwealth Day service. Above, I’ve added a close-up of the earrings from that occasion.