Eagle-eyed observers have noticed that the sapphire earrings Kate wore to Wimbledon and in later California look remarkably similar to ones owned by the late Princess Diana and appear to have had the attachments altered to suit Kate’s more modern style. It seems that William has begun to pass on some of his mother’s favourite gems to his bride.
William gave Kate the one item of jewellery that was most precious to him, his mother’s engagement ring that he remembers fondly from his earliest childhood. We can expect some of the royal family’s jewel collection that Diana wore to be seen on Kate soon. After Diana’s death in 1997, the jewels were returned to the queen and stored in a huge eighteen foot high vault in Buckingham Palace.
In Canada Kate wore the Queen Mother’s maple leaf brooch, given to her as Queen Consort by the people of Canada in 1939 and passed on to the queen. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall also wore it in Canada in 2009. This is the first time we have seen Kate and Camilla sharing jewels - it won’t be the last. Kate has also worn a charm bracelet, said to have been given to her by Camilla as a wedding gift.
On her wedding day Kate wore the Cartier ‘Halo’ diamond tiara loaned by the queen. It was originally a gift from the queen’s father, George VI, who had it made for her mother just before they came to the throne in 1936. They gave this precious tiara to their eldest daughter, Princess Elizabeth, on her 18th birthday. As queen, she has loaned it to her sister, the late Princess Margaret and to her daughter, Princess Anne.
The tiara is now on exhibition with Kate’s wedding dress at Buckingham Palace, as are the diamond earrings given to the bride by her own family. The special oak leaf design on the upper part of the earrings reflects the delicate curves of the Halo tiara, suggesting that Kate will keep this tiara for life. The fact that the queen still adores her late parents and kept the Halo tiara closely within the immediate family underlines the faith she places in Prince William’s young wife. This tiara was simply not on offer to any of the queen’s daughters-in-law: Diana, Sarah Ferguson, Sophie Rhys-Jones, or Camilla.
We could soon see Kate wearing the fabulous Cambridge emeralds, handed down from the queen’s grandmother, Queen Mary. Diana wore some of these in a choker on her head or round her throat. They will at least match Kate’s new name: Duchess of Cambridge!
When Charles accedes to the thone, Camilla will wear all the gems suitable for the wife of a king. William would then be heir to the throne and Kate will also have a much wider choice too of sumptuous jewels, but when William becomes king and she becomes Queen Catherine, she will have unlimited access to the best royal jewellery collection in the world.