Why the Queen, Kate Middleton and Camilla wore colourless jewels to the funeral

Diamonds and pearls are traditional mourning jewels

Olivia Petter@oliviapetter1
Sunday 18 April 2021 08:14

Queen bows head as funeral service begins

Leer en Español

The female royal family members in attendance at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral on Saturday wore a selection of meaningful jewels to the event.

Arriving with her lady-in waiting, Lady Susan Hussey, the Queen sat alone in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, maintaining social distancing from those outside her household, to bid farewell to her late husband.

Her Majesty embellished her mourning dress with a pair of pearl and diamond earrings.

She also wore a three-string pearl necklace and Queen Mary’s pearl and diamond Richmond brooch.

The brooch, made by Hunt and Roskell, was given to Queen Mary, the Queen’s grandmother, by the town of Richmond as a gift at her wedding in 1893.

The Queen inherited the brooch when Queen Mary died in 1953.

It usually features two pearls, one in the centre surrounded by diamonds, with another hanging down in a pear-shaped drop.

However, the Queen chose to wear the brooch without the pear-shaped drop pearl for the funeral.

There was a symbolic reason behind her choice of jewels, which was reflected in the fact that both the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall also wore diamonds and pearls.

It is tradition to wear the colourless jewels during periods of mourning, with the Queen having worn them to previous funerals, including that of her uncle, the Duke of Windsor in 1972, for which she wore pearls.

In addition, the Queen wore pearls to the funerals of her mother and her sister, Princess Margaret, in 2002.

The Queen has worn the brooch several times in recent years, including to the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2018.

She also wore it to the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in 2014 and 2018.

In keeping with tradition, Kate Middleton wore a four-strand Japanese pearl choker that features a diamond clasp to the funeral.

She had previously worn the choker at a dinner to celebrate the Queen and Prince Philip’s 70th wedding anniversary.

Meanwhile, Camilla chose the Rifles Brooch (which is also colourless as it is silver), which she previously wore in July 2020, which is when Prince Philip’s role as Colonel-in-Chief of the infantry regiment The Rifles was formally handed over to her.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments