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Kate Middleton wears Duchess of Cambridge brooch for first time in new portrait

The dazzling accessory was originally created to honour Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kessel

Joanna Whitehead
Thursday 23 June 2022 13:47 BST
The new portrait of the Duke of Duchess of Cambridge
The new portrait of the Duke of Duchess of Cambridge (PA)

Kate Middleton has worn the Queen’s Duchess of Cambridge brooch for the first time in a new portrait of her and Prince William unveiled at Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum on Thursday.

Painted by award-winning portrait artist Jamie Coreth, the picture was commissioned in 2021 by the Cambridgeshire Royal Portrait Fund, as a gift to Cambridgeshire.

The full-length painting shows the royal couple standing side-by-side and looking off to the right, with relaxed expressions on their face.

A new portrait of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge painted by Jamie Coreth (Jamie Coreth/Fine Art Commissions/Kensington Palace/PA) (PA Media)

In the portrait, Kate can be seen wearing the beautiful brooch which consists of a large pearl surrounded by a cluster of diamonds.

A second, smaller pearl hangs from the brooch as a pendant.

The jewel is believed to date back to the nineteenth century, where it was crafted by the London-based jeweller Garrard.

The opulent accessory was originally created to honour Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kessel.

Born in Germany in 1797, the Princess became Duchess of Cambridge after marrying Prince Adolphus, the Duke of Cambridge, at Buckingham Palace in 1818.

The Duchess can be seen wearing the brooch in a portrait commissioned by her niece, Queen Victoria, in 1877.

After her death, the lavish piece of jewellery was passed down through the royal family, and eventually gifted to the Queen by her grandmother, Queen Mary, in 1953.

The Queen has since worn the eye-catching brooch on a number of public engagements, including for her official 50th birthday portraits.

The Queen wears the Duchess of Cambridge broach in a portrait taken for her 50th birthday in 1976 (AFP via Getty Images)

In addition to the brooch, Kate Middleton can be seen wearing a pair of green Manolo Blahnik heels and an emerald green dress by The Vampire’s Wife design label in the new portrait,

The Duchess has previously worn the Falconetti silk-blend dress during a trip to Ireland in 2020.

Kate also wore a bright pink dress from The Vampire’s Wife during her and William’s controversial tour of the Caribbean in March this year.

Established in 2016, the cult fashion label has proved a hit with royals, celebrities and fashion insiders alike.

Created by model Susie Cave, the brand is renowned for its vintage aesthetic, ruffles and dramatic gowns.

The label was named after an abandoned book project by Cave’s husband, the musician Nick Cave.

The royal portrait will be on display to the public at the Fitzwilliam Museum for an initial period of three years, after which the artwork will be exhibited in other community spaces and galleries around Cambridgeshire.

The painting will also be loaned to the National Portrait Gallery for a short time in 2023 to mark the gallery’s reopening.

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