Queen Elizabeth understood the power of jewelry to send a message. In tribute to that virtue, Queen consort Camilla Parker-Bowles, Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle specially selected jewelry to honor the former monarch at her funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday.
Camila, who was by King Charles’ side at all time during the ceremony, wore Queen Victoria’s Hesse Diamond Jubilee Brooch – diamonds in the shape of an open heart, with two sapphire pendants. Inside the heart is the number 60 inside, which marks the number of years in a Diamond Jubilee reign. Several British media outlets pointed out that the queen consort chose to wear the broach as a special tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning British monarch. The 96-year-old’s reign surpassed that of Queen Victoria, who was on the throne for 63 years. Ahead of the funeral, at a religious ceremony at Edinburgh Cathedral, Camila’s jewelry also honored the queen. For that occasion, she wore a diamond brooch in the shape of a bouquet of flowers, a family piece that originally belonged to the Queen Mother’s private collection. After her death in 2002, it was passed on to Queen Elizabeth II, who later gave it to Camilla. It is not known when the broach was gifted to her, but according to Hello! magazine, the queen consort first appeared publicly with the piece in 2015.
Kate Middleton, the wife of Queen Elizabeth’s grandson, Prince Williams, chose two pieces of great symbolic importance to the British royal family. To pay her respects to the late queen, she wore Bahrain drop pearl earrings and a four-row pearl choker with a diamond brooch in the center, both from Elizabeth II’s personal collection. The pearl earrings were a wedding gift from Bahrain, when the then-princess married Philip of Edinburgh in 1947. And the necklace was made with pearls that the Japanese government gave Elizabeth II when she made an official visit to the country in the 1970s. The queen later wore the choker at a state banquet in Bangladesh in 1983. The Four Row Japanese Pearl Choker was also worn by Lady Di during a state visit to the Netherlands.
This was not the first time Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, has worn the pieces. She also wore the jewelry on two other special occasions: the 70th wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 2017, and for Prince Philip’s funeral in 2021. More recently, in June 2022, the Princess of Wales wore the earrings for the queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Meanwhile, Meghan Markle, the wife of Prince Henry and the Duchess of Sussex, wore pearl earrings that were personally gifted to her by Queen Elizabeth II. While Princess Charlotte, the daughter of the Prince Williams and Kate Middleton, wore a horseshoe-shaped brooch on her lapel in clear tribute to her great-grandmother, a lover of horses who had gifted her the piece.