Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton have worn Princess Diana’s jewelry on more than one occasion. In fact, the duchesses have been seen wearing their late mother-in-law’s necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings dozens of times over the years, and it doesn’t look like they’re stopping any time soon.
But can we blame them? With a stocked jewelry collection at their disposal from one of the British royal family’s most fashionable and beloved members, it’s hard to imagine—let alone the daughters-in-law of Princess Diana herself—passing on that opportunity. But when are the exact times that Prince William and Prince Harry’s wives have worn Princess Di’s jewelry? We did the leg work to find out.
From the big and small tributes in their engagement rings to pearls, diamonds and gold they’ve borrowed from Princess Di’s jewelry collection over the years, Markle and Middleton are making sure that the memory of their husbands’ late mother stays alive. Below, we’ve tracked down 10 times the Duchess of Sussex and the Duchess of Cambridge have been seen sporting Princess Di’s jewelry.
Some are as simple as wearing her tiara on their heads. Others are more complicated, like using her diamonds to create a brand-new piece of jewelry. Whatever their tribute was, there’s no doubt that Markle and Middleton have a deep appreciation for Princess Diana, and, of course, her jewelry.
Markle paid tribute to her late mother-in-law at her wedding in May 2018 when she wore Princess Diana’s famous aquamarine ring to her wedding reception. The ring was seen as newlyweds Markle and Harry waved to photographers from their car. The emerald-cut aquamarine ring was first worn by Princess Di in June 1997 when she attended an auction for her own clothes at Christie’s in London. The ring was part of a set with an aquamarine bracelet, which connected the gem with five strands of pearls. The ring, which Markle wore again at a royal engagement in Tonga in October 2018, was a gift to Diana from her good friend Lucia Flecha de Lima. The ring was meant to be replacement for Diana’s engagement ring after she divorced Prince Charles in 1996.
Soon after announcing her pregnancy, Markle wore Princess Diana’s butterfly earrings on her first stop on her royal tour with Prince Harry in Sydney, Australia in October 2018. Markle wore the earrings, which featured a butterfly-like stud with small diamonds, with a fitted sleeveless white dress. Given Markle’s pregnancy, the earrings could’ve been a tribute to her husband’s mother. Princess Diana first wore the earrings in May 1986 at an engagement in Canada—about a year after she gave birth to Markle’s husband, Prince Harry.
Collingwood Pearl Earrings
For her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981, Princess Diana was gifted a set of pearl earrings from Collingwood Jewelers. One of the most notable times that she wore the earrings was in November 1988 when she attended a dinner in France. She famously wore the jewelry with a bold dash of blue eyeliner. Though Middleton’s look wasn’t as old as her late mother-in-law’s, the Duchess of Cambridge has worn the Collingwood pearl earrings on many occasions. The most recent one was in October 2018 at the State Banquet in London where she wore the earrings with Diana’s Lover’s Knot tiara and Cinderella-like blue dress. Two Princess Diana tributes in one.
When Middleton announced her engagement to Prince William in November 2010, fans noticed her ring looked a little familiar. Middleton’s engagement ring, which featured a unique 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire, was originally worn by Princess Diana, when the royal got engaged to Prince Charles in February 1981. The ring is supposedly especially special, given reports that claim Princess Diana hand-selected the ring herself by picking it out of a catalogue.
Along with Princess Diana’s butterfly earrings, Markle paid another tribute to her late mother-in-law with her gold bracelet. The Duchess of Sussex wore the accessory on her royal tour in Australia in October 2018. She was seen accessorizing a shirt dress with the bracelet, which featured an open clasp, at a visit in Sydney. Princess Diana was last seen wearing the gold bracelet while visiting the Lord Gage Centre for Old People in East London in September 1990.
Lover’s Knot Tiara
One of Princess Diana’s most notable pieces of jewelry is her Lover’s Knot tiara, which is sometimes also known a the Cambridge Lover’s Knot. Middleton has worn the tiara on many occasions, but of her most memorable looks was at a Diplomatic Reception in London in December 2016, where she was photographed with the expensive sparkler on top of her head. Princess Diana modeled the tiara in April 1983, a couple years after her wedding, at an event in New Zealand.
Many considered Princess Diana’s high-collared look in Hong Kong in November 1989 her “Elvis” look, but the outfit is also memorable because of the pearl bracelet on her wrist, which was designed by Nigel Milne. Since Diana’s “Elvis” look, Middleton has modernized the pearl bracelet by wearing it on several occasions—most notably, at a reception in Germany in July 2017.
Though unconfirmed, many speculate that Markle’s engagement ring, which she first wore in November 2017 at her engagement announcement with Prince Harry, includes two diamonds from Princess Diana’s famous pearl necklace. The engagement ring consists of three large diamonds, with one stone in the center flanked by two smaller stones. According to Harry, the side stones are from his mother’s jewelry collection (though it’s unclear which piece of jewelry they are from) while the large stone is from Botswana, a country close to the prince’s heart. Many speculate that the diamonds are from Diana’s famous sapphire pearl necklace, which was made from a sapphire and diamond brooch given to her by the Queen Mother.
Sapphire and Diamond Earrings
Princess Diana’s original sapphire and diamond earrings gems: a smaller one studded to the ear and a bigger one dangling from the first. (She wore the earrings, a gift from the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, on several occasions but most notably at a reception in Brisbane in April 1983.) When Middleton wore the earrings, years later at the Diamond Jubilee in June 2012, the duchess chose to wear only one of the gems, instead of two.
Cartier Tennis Bracelet
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey regarding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to move to Los Angeles away from the rest of the royal family, Markle wears a bracelet that once belonged to Princess Diana—in fact, the same bracelet was used when crafting Markle’s engagement ring. Given that the tell-all interview was so controversial, it’s likely Markle wears it to imply that that they aren’t cutting ties with the family altogether, and still intend to honor Princess Di’s legacy.
A version of this article previously appeared in January 2019.
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