Today we’re back with part two of our ongoing series on borrowed jewelry worn by the Duchess. In the first part we covered brooches.
Today we’re tackling bracelets.
We begin with the state dinner in honor of China in October 2015, when the Duchess debuted two pieces loaned to her by the Queen.
The White Tie event was her first state dinner, and she wore both Queen Mary’s Diamond Choker Bracelet (L) and the Wedding Gift Bracelet (R).
We’ll take a closer look at the Diamond Choker Bracelet first. Below, the Duchess wearing it with a Jenny Packham dress at a 2017 dinner in Paris.
Here are better views: the photo on the left shows Queen Mary wearing the necklace before it was converted into a bracelet, which is what gives the piece its name.
We learn more about it from Her Majesty’s Jeweled Vault::
This necklace, featuring a series of diamond rods or links, was one of several diamond necklaces in the Queen Mary collection. It is included in The Queen’s diamonds Book referring to it as Queen Mary’s chain link bracelets so there’s a little bit of confusion between these two similar jewels. Like the chain link bracelets, this choker seems to have been used later as a bracelet. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother carried it within her charming portraits for Norman Parkinson’s 75th birthday (which are among my favorite royal portraits).
The Duchess wore the bracelet she wore at every fundraising dinner in June 2016.
And also for the diplomatic reception in 2018.
Next, take a look at the wedding gift bracelet. Below is the Duchess wearing it at the 2017 BAFTAs.
The bracelet was a present to (then) Princess Elizabeth from her husband on the occasion of her wedding.
We learn more about the piece in this post by The court jeweler. In the first paragraph she refers to a tiara given to Prince Philip by his mother, Princess Alice von Battenberg.
Alice had kept the Romanov tiara for years, long after it was regularly wearing gala jewels, and she gave it to her son to have it disassembled. Some of the stones were used to make Princess Elizabeth’s engagement ring while others were used to make the piece we are talking about today: the diamond bracelet he offered to his new wife as a wedding gift.
Philip went to a London-based jewelry company, Philip Antrobus Ltd., to make the new diamond pieces in 1947. The engagement ring claimed a three-carat diamond and several smaller stones. The new bracelet also contains three large brilliant cut diamonds. The design of the bracelet is geometric, almost Art Deco inspired. It has three large square links connected by vertical sections. Like the engagement ring, the bracelet is set in platinum.
From the start, Elizabeth chose the new bracelet for major white tie events. She has also worn it for numerous portraits during her reign, from the earliest pictures to photos taken to mark her 2012 Diamond Jubilee.
More detailed views of the piece.
Below is another view of Kate, who wears the bracelet at the state dinner in China (l) and then again at the diplomatic reception in 2016 (r).
As Ella points out her Court jeweler post Office“In 2015 the Queen loaned the bracelet to another family member: the Duchess of Cambridge. The credit was significant – the sentimental bracelet had been worn in public by none other than the Queen. “Here you see Kate wearing it at dinner in Oslo in 2018 with a tie and an Alexander McQueen dress.
The Duchess made her debut in November 2017 with a third loaned bracelet.
It’s a spectacular piece called the Diamond Quatrefoil Bracelet, and the occasion was a gala for the Anna Freud Center, one of the Duchess’s patrons. Below is Kate talking to Peter Fonagy, the CEO of the Freud Center.
The Duchess was in a ‘Zarita’ dress from Diane von Furstenberg, a piece that she had previously worn. A closer look at the piece.
More on this from Her Majesty’s Jeweled Vault::
The wide diamond bracelet features multiple diamond quatrefoil motifs, the four-lobed design popular in architecture, art, heraldry and elsewhere. Each quatrefoil outline is filled with five individual diamonds.
This bracelet is not a known member of the royal collection and can easily be confused with other bracelets such as Queen Victoria’s bracelet. The quatrefoil motif bracelet was worn by the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. It could have been another treasure from the Greville estate. It then went to the Queen, along with the rest of the Queen Mother’s jewels on her death in 2002.
HM wore the bracelet at the state opening of Parliament in 2010.
A closer look at both the Queen (l, r) and the Duchess (c).
We saw how the bracelet was combined with an elegant one Alexander McQueen Evening dress in February 2019 at the BAFTA Awards. Below, the Duchess speaks to actress Olivia Colman.
Another set of close-ups.
Another look at the Duchess at the BAFTAs.
Three very different pieces with fascinating stories – do you have a favorite?
I would like to say a big thank you to the royal jewelry experts from Her Majesty’s Jeweled Vault and Ella at The court jeweler. These contributions would not be possible without their expertise and wisdom.
- The full post on Queen Mary’s Diamond Choker Bracelet is below Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault is here;; the Court jeweler Post on the bracelet is here.
- The court jeweler Post on the wedding gift bracelet is here;; the post on the bracelet Her Majesty’s Jeweled Vault is here.
- Her Majesty’s Jeweled Vault Post on the quatrefoil bracelet is here.
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