Kate Middleton altered Diana’s favourite sapphire earrings to ‘suit her impeccable taste’September 18, 2021
Princess Diana 'so present' in the modern day says royal expert
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Like the Duchess of Cambridge, Diana received many gifts from global heads of state when she married Prince Charles in 1982. From the Saudi Crown Prince, the young Princess was given a watch featuring tiny sapphires surrounded with diamonds.
Known for redesigning her jewellery collection and altering it to suit her, Diana reportedly removed the sapphires from the watch’s strap and had them made into earrings.
They featured four sapphire and diamond clusters and two were detachable as pendant drops.
The Princess of Wales sometimes wore the earrings as studs and other times attached the pendant drops.
The first time she donned the jewels was to mark Prince Harry’s birth in 1984.
She later wore them for many royal engagements and events, matching her sapphire and diamond engagement ring.
In fact, the pieces were initially created to match Diana’s ring.
It is understood that the earrings quickly became the Princess’ favourite earrings – perhaps because the gemstones brought out her blue eyes.
Shortly before her marriage to Prince William in 2011, Kate received the earrings from her husband-to-be.
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The Duchess of Cambridge has been seen wearing the earrings on multiple occasions, but they appear different to the versions Diana had.
Kate’s earrings are in a drop style, instead of studs, which suggests she has altered them.
She has also never been seen to wear the extra sapphire attachments in a double-drop design, like Diana.
While this design embodied Diana’s “fabulous 1980s style”, according to Kate Earlam-Charley, Design Director at jewellers Taylor & Hart, the altered earrings are more “practical” and “understated”.
The jewellery expert said: “It seems Kate has redesigned the earrings.
“As with modern jewellery trends, the new design is more understated and practical for everyday wear.
“Redesigning an heirloom piece of jewellery is growing in popularity with women having the self-confidence to own their desires and to express themselves as they wish.
“Whilst I love the original design on Diana, the new design is perfect for Kate honouring Diana and keeping true to the original design.”
Charlotte White, Head of Design at Europe’s largest online diamond jeweller 77 Diamonds, agreed. She noted Kate’s earrings are “less formal” than the original pair.
Charlotte said: “What is immediately striking about the sapphire earrings that belonged to Diana and are now worn by Kate is how the style blends with Diana’s legendary sapphire engagement ring.
“Both the earrings and the ring have a halo setting which sees the central sapphire surrounded by dazzling diamonds.
“The way Kate has re-styled the earrings is less dressy and formal and while still being very glamorous gives the feel of a more everyday kind of luxury, fit for a princess of course.
“They suit her impeccable taste perfectly.”
Interestingly, it seems that Kate has used one of the attachable sapphire and diamond clusters as a pendant too.
The Duchess of Cambridge was seen wearing the necklace for the first time in 2020, for her first official audience meeting at Buckingham Palace since the start of the pandemic, alongside Prince William.
Kate wore a belted blue knit Emilia Wickstead dress, the altered sapphire and diamond earrings, as well as a never-before-seen sapphire and diamond pendant.
The pendant looked exactly the same as the drop-earrings, suggesting it came from Diana’s detachable double-drop earrings and has been altered to suit Kate’s fashion tastes.
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