As Kate Middleton attended a lunch reception at Buckingham Palace on Saturday afternoon, she wore one of her favorite jewelry pieces in tribute to Queen Elizabeth. A photo of the newly named Princess of Wales wearing the Queen’s famous three-strand pearl necklace was taken. It was one of her favorite pieces and she wore it almost every day.
Entertainment Tonight confirmed that it was indeed Elizabeth’s necklace and that Kate was wearing it with pearl and diamond earrings and a pearl bracelet that also belonged to her.
It was held to host governors-general from Commonwealth nations, and was attended by King Charles III, Camilla, Queen Consort and Prince William. The group has arrived in anticipation of the queen’s state funeral on September 19. As well as Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau, Joe Biden is expected to attend.
While the crown jewels technically belong to the state, the Queen had an extensive jewelry collection at the time of her death. Royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET that Camilla’s first choice would typically be her private collection, which will likely be divided amongst her family members. There is a possibility that Camilla passed on the pearls or they were intended for Kate from the beginning.
According to Nicholl, there is a hierarchy to all of this. It is really the Queen Consort who gets first choice of the queen’s jewelry. After that comes Kate [Middleton], the Princess of Wales. At some point, I’m sure the Duchess of Sussex will come in for some jewelry, but she is much lower on the pecking order.”
The value of the Queen’s private collection is unknown since these pieces have not been publicly accounted for and appraised. Her jewels were also given to her as gifts throughout her life, adding both sentimental and historical value to them. The collection is essentially priceless in this sense, according to Nicholl.
In 2015, Kate wore her grandmother-in-law’s jewelry at a gala dinner at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; the earrings included diamonds and sapphires. Kate looked beautiful in her jewels, and Elizabeth enjoyed seeing her.