On Remembrance Sunday, the women of the British royal family wore elegant jewels of memorial and remembrance as they attended the annual ceremony at the Cenotaph in London.
King Charles III led the tributes as Britain honored the brave men and women who have made immense sacrifices in service during armed conflicts. The Cenotaph in London was originally dedicated in 1920 as a memorial to those who died in World War I. It was later rededicated to the memory of those who perished in World War II and in subsequent conflicts. The word “cenotaph” means “empty tomb,” honoring the memory of those buried elsewhere.
The King was joined by the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, and the Duke of Edinburgh during the service to lay wreaths of remembrance at the foot of the memorial.
More members of the royal family watched the service from balconies at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office overlooking the Cenotaph. Here, the Queen watches the tributes beside the Princess of Wales.
The ladies of the royal family almost always wear jewelry set with diamonds and pearls for this event, because those pieces are suitable for occasions of memorial and remembrance. This year, Queen Camilla wore her favorite diamond and pearl drop earrings, plus her pearl choker necklace with the round diamond clasp.
With her poppy, Queen Camilla also wore the badge of the Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own). King Charles appointed her to be the regiment’s Colonel-in-Chief on June 8, 2023. The appointment was a sentimental one, as Camilla’s late father, Major Bruce Shand, served with the 12th Lancers during World War II.
Beside the Queen, the Princess of Wales also wore diamond and pearl jewelry for the service. With her poppy, Kate wore the badge of the Fleet Air Arm, the naval aviation component of the Royal Navy. She was named their Commodore-in-Chief by King Charles in August 2023. But it was Kate’s earrings that drew my attention, as they come from the collection of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
The earrings feature pearls nestled into pavé-set diamond leaves. Eagle-eyed royal watchers on social media noted that they’re the same ones worn by the late Queen for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Dinner in Nigeria on December 5, 2003.
On that occasion, Queen Elizabeth paired them with a pearl bracelet and a pearl necklace with a pavé-set diamond heart pendant.
The earrings appear to be part of the same suite that includes the late monarch’s Diamond and Pearl Leaf Brooch, notably worn by her in South Korea on her birthday in 1999. It’s possible that the earrings are either separate pieces that match the brooch, or two detachable leaves from the brooch itself. (As Kate has previously worn the stem of the brooch with a trio of paper poppies, I’m leaning toward the latter.)
The Princess of Wales has been wearing the brooch since she was Duchess of Cambridge. She made her debut in the piece in July 2017 during a ceremony in Belgium to mark the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele.
Here’s another look at the brooch on that 2017 occasion, worn with the Collingwood Pearl Drop Earrings from the collection of Diana, Princess of Wales.
And here’s another look at Kate wearing the earrings at the Cenotaph on Sunday.
The Duchess of Edinburgh stood beside Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence during Sunday’s Cenotaph service, watching their spouses lay wreaths at the memorial below.
Sophie wore pearl drop earrings from her collection for the occasion.
She secured a trio of paper poppies with a poppy-shaped brooch featuring the badge of The Rifles. She has been the Royal Colonel of the 5th Battalion since 2007.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester also watched the service from a nearby balcony.
Birgitte wore delicate floral earrings from her jewelry box for the service. She also pinned the badge of the Adjutant General’s Corps to her coat. She was named Colonel-in-Chief of the corps earlier this year.
A scheduling note: I’ll be back here with another sparkling article on Tuesday morning. See you then!