Kate Middleton has received many incredible pieces of jewellery from the royal family since marrying Prince William in 2011, however just like her late mother-in-law Princess Diana, she wears them in her own unique way, unafraid to alter the lavish pieces.
So what is the trick to ensuring that vintage jewellery never goes out of style? To celebrate the Princess of Wales’ 41st birthday, jewellery experts at Steven Stone have taken a close look at what our favourite royal ladies did…
Princess Diana’s diamond and emerald headband
Princess Diana’s Art Deco diamond-and-emerald choker was a wedding gift from Queen Elizabeth II. This enviable piece of jewellery was a gift to Queen Mary by the Delhi Durbar during her visit with King George to India on 12th December 1911. It was given to commemorate the succession of the Emperor of India during the British Reign in India.
Whilst designed to be worn as a necklace, Princess Diana reinvented the piece, often wearing this sensational choker as a headband. The trend-setting Princess was last seen wearing her stunning diamond-and-emerald choker during a low-key gala celebration to mark her 36th birthday at London’s Tate Gallery on 1st July 1997.
Despite the headband looking fabulous, Royal biographer Kitty Kelley claimed in her book ‘The Royals’ that the fashion statement was actually an accident, as in a rush, Diana tried to put the choker over her head, rather than wait for someone to help her clasp it. When it got stuck and wouldn’t go over her nose, Canadian diplomat Victor Chapman convinced her to wear it as a headpiece instead.
Kate Middleton’s diamond bracelet
Taking inspiration from Diana, Kate has often worn Queen Mary’s diamond chain link choker as a bracelet. Reportedly created around the 1920s, the piece was one of several diamond chokers in Queen Mary’s collection and was notably worn by her in a portrait.
After Queen Mary’s death in 1953, her diamond chain link choker was not publicly seen until 1975, when the Queen Mother wore it as a bracelet in a series of portraits taken by Norman Parkinson to mark her 75th Birthday.
After the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, the piece was inherited by the Queen but remained unworn, until the late monarch loaned it to Kate.
The Princess of Wales first wore the bracelet to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at a State Banquet in 2015. She also wore it at the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices ‘A Taste of Norfolk’ Gala at Houghton Hall the following year, as well as at a Gala Dinner hosted by the British Ambassador to France, during her and Prince Williams visit to Paris in 2017.
The latest appearance of the bracelet came in 2018, when the Princess wore it to the Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace, alongside Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Tiara.
Kate has also re-modelled other pieces of jewellery that she inherited from Royal family members – including a pair of sapphire earrings from Princess Diana’s jewellery collection.
The drop earrings feature a small central sapphire surrounded diamonds. In a bid to keep them true to her personal style, she made alterations to the jewels by removing some of the stones, transforming them into a pair of single diamond topped sapphire and diamond cluster earrings.
Are you inspired to remodel a piece of your own jewellery? If you’re keen to revamp a vintage design and give your diamonds or gemstones a fresh new look, why not contact us and find out more about the bespoke remodelling process?
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