This weekend, the Duchess of Edinburgh will celebrate her birthday. In her honor, let’s take a closer look at one of her recent tiara appearances, which featured jewelry from the collection of her mother-in-law, the late Queen Elizabeth II.
In November 2022, when they were still Earl and Countess of Wessex, Edward and Sophie arrived at Buckingham Palace to attend the first state banquet of his brother’s reign. The gala dinner took place during a state visit from President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa.
For the banquet, Sophie wore an elegant dark teal evening dress from one of her favorite designer labels, Suzannah London. The Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II was pinned to the dress, and she also wore the sash and star of the Royal Victorian Order.
But it was Sophie’s jewelry that, of course, caught all of our attention at the event. Her tiara choice wasn’t a shocker—she wore her modern aquamarine and diamond tiara, which is also convertible for wear as a necklace. The sea-green shade of the aquamarine picked up the dark green color of her dress for the evening.
The necklace and earrings, though, were a special surprise. Just a few weeks after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Sophie’s brother-in-law, King Charles III, loaned her pieces of the late monarch’s diamond jewelry to wear for the dinner. The earrings come from a modern suite of jewels set with delicate pear-shaped diamond drops. Sophie had worn them previously for a state banquet in 2019.
Here’s the late Queen wearing the earrings with their matching necklace and the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara in 1996. Many have guessed that the earrings and necklace may have been gifts from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, because Elizabeth wore them for the first time at a return dinner during the King’s 1987 state visit to Britain.
Instead of wearing the matching necklace from the diamond demi-parure, Sophie coordinated with a different modern diamond necklace from the late Queen Elizabeth II’s jewelry box. This necklace is a modern, floral-inspired take on a fringe necklace.
The late Queen wore the necklace numerous times for gala events in the last two decades of her reign. She memorably paired it with the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara and the Mackinnon Floret Earrings for a state banquet at Dublin Castle during her landmark state visit to Ireland in May 2011.
Here’s one more look at the combination of jewels worn by Sophie for the banquet. What do you think of the tiara, necklace, and earrings together?