Happy Birthday, Princess Catherine! Today, the Princess of Wales—daughter-in-law of King Charles III and future Queen of the United Kingdom herself—celebrates her 42nd birthday. Of course we need to join in the birthday tributes with some sparkling jewels!
Since joining the royal family in 2011, the Princess of Wales has, little by little, appeared in more and more pieces of gala jewelry. She’s often reached for pieces that were previously worn by her husband’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. From the Lover’s Knot Tiara and the Japanese Pearl Suite to the Emerald Art Deco Choker and the Collingwood Pearl Drop Earrings, Kate has breathed new life into numerous jewelry pieces that we hadn’t seen worn in decades.
But there are still many more Diana-linked jewels still waiting to be worn again. To celebrate Kate’s birthday, I thought I’d compile a list of some of the pieces of Diana’s gala jewelry that I’d like to see Kate wearing next. There’s a lot of sparkle still hidden away in safes and vaults—and you know that I believe jewelry should be worn!
When Charles and Diana married in 1981, royals and rulers from across the globe offered glittering presents to the new princess. The Emir of Qatar sent along a spectacular pair of earrings featuring a modern diamond floral stud and exquisite pearl drops. Diana wore them often for evening events during her marriage, including a memorable outing at the London premiere of When Harry Met Sally in 1989. Kate has already worn the Nigel Milne pearl bracelet that Diana paired with the earrings for that premiere, and I’d love to see her wear the earrings soon as well.
Speaking of earrings, Diana also wore this pair of modern ruby and diamond earrings with pearl drops on numerous occasions for receptions, premieres, and galas. Above, she sports them for a visit to the opera in Tokyo during the 1990 trip to Japan to witness the enthronement of Emperor Akihito. Technically, Kate has worn half of these earrings already: she uses these pearl drops with the diamond studs from Diana’s horseshoe and laurel earrings. But I’d really like to see her try out the ruby and diamond stud portion, too!
Back in 2022, we were all delighted to see Kate wear Queen Mary’s Art Deco Emerald Choker for the first time. Diana often wore the antique necklace with a lovely pair of diamond and emerald earrings. These earrings, which have a classic design, were given by Charles to Diana as a birthday present in the summer of 1983. Kate looks great in emeralds, and these earrings would be a great pair that could easily be worn for both evening occasions and more formal daytime moments.
While lots of the pieces on this list are pretty traditional and classic in design, I’d also love to see Kate take this more unusual set of jewelry out for a spin. Diana’s fascinating sapphire and diamond set, which features swooping, curling crescents in its design, was a gift from the Sultan of Oman in 1986. I think that these would look so interesting on Kate, especially paired with the right dress or the right occasion.
Back to the classics, though: Diana had a fabulous suite of diamond and amethyst pieces in her jewelry box as well, featuring a pair of double cluster earrings and a necklace and bracelet strung with amethyst beads. Kate looks great in purple, and these earrings especially would be a home run with a beautiful purple, navy blue, or emerald green gala gown.
Diana sometimes wore the amethysts with a classic pearl choker necklace. The necklace features eleven rows of seed pearls set between diamond and ruby spacer elements. Wouldn’t the choker look fabulous on Kate’s long neck, too?
For years, Kate has been wearing sapphires from Diana’s jewelry box, including her famous engagement ring and her lovely double cabochon cluster earrings. Why not take it a step further and bring out some of the gorgeous pieces from her very first sapphire demi-parure? Crown Prince Fahd of Saudi Arabia gave Diana these sapphire and diamond jewels as a wedding present in 1981. The sapphires are set in modern, sunburst-inspired diamond clusters, adding a little bit of an interesting edge to a classic jewelry combination.
And speaking of sapphires—you know this one tops my list! Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother gave Diana an incredible sapphire and diamond cluster brooch as a wedding present in 1981. Diana wore it both as a brooch and as the clasp on a seven-stranded pearl choker necklace. She wore the necklace for some iconic moments, including her dance with John Travolta and her appearance at the Met Gala. It’s not been seen since Diana’s passing, and I think we’re all chomping at the bit to see Kate bring this incredible jewel out of the shadows again!