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The stunning necklace of a queen made famous again by the Princess of Wales

Sparkling with diamonds and studded with creamy pearls, it is a perfect fit for bridal white so it’s no surprise that a rather impressive royal necklace was created for a marriage.

Queen Alexandra’s Wedding Necklace is a rarely seen royal gem but it has a romantic as well as regal history.

You get no prizes for guessing the provenance of this particular royal jewel. As it name states quite clearly, this necklace was the property of Alexandra, consort to Edward VII, and she received it as a gift when they got married in March 1863. It was one of her most important marital presents, coming from her groom himself, and she wore it on their wedding day at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.

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Poor Alexandra needed all the sparkle she could get as she said ‘I do’ for hers was very far from a happy royal event. Her soon to be mother-in-law, Queen Victoria, was still in mourning for her beloved husband, Prince Albert, who had died in December 1861. The grieving queen wore head to toe black for the ceremony which she watched from a small area above the main chapel and then went on to insist that the newlyweds pose for official portraits in front of a bust of the long-lamented Albert. Let’s hope Alix enjoyed her new jewels.

She wore the gems with a lace trimmed dress that would set the standard for royal bridal gowns for decades to come. Alexandra was always a fashion icon and her wedding outfit was at the forefront of setting her style image. It was made of white silk, from Spitalfields, with an off the shoulder bodice, puffed sleeves and a huge skirt. It was decked with orange blossom and myrtle as well as lace. And her only gems was the pearl and diamond jewellery given to her by her groom for their marriage.

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The necklace itself features eight large pearls surrounded by small diamonds and joined by garlands of diamonds. There are also drop pearls on the three central pearl and diamond clusters. It passed through generations of royal women to the Queen Mother who, on her death in 2002, left it to the Queen.

It was worn, in 2018, by the Princess of Wales when she attended the State Banquet given in honour of the King and Queen of the Netherlands. It was a rare outing for this necklace which has as much family significance as royal symbolism.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.