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British RoyalsPrince & Princess of Wales

Kate at 40: Jewels and The Duchess

On 9 January, the Duchess of Cambridge will be turning 40. To mark this milestone, we are looking at some of her most famous jewellery choices. 

Catherine’s introduction to royal jewellery came in October 2010 when Prince William proposed to her with his mother’s sapphire and diamond engagement ring. Set in Ceylon gold, it was made by Garrard, the royal jeweller. 

At her wedding to Prince William, on 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey, she became the Duchess of Cambridge. The Queen lent Catherine the Cartier Halo Tiara for her wedding. The tiara is a significant piece in the Windsor family; the future-King George VI gifted the tiara to his wife shortly before he took the throne. The Queen gave it to Princess Elizabeth for her 18th birthday, and several different royal women have worn the tiara since (The Duchess has not worn this tiara since her wedding.) 

The Royal Wedding 2011

The Queen has lent the Nizam of Hyderabad necklace to the Duchess, as well. First seen on Catherine at a 2014 reception at the National Portrait Gallery, the Nizam gave the necklace to Elizabeth for her 1947 wedding. The Duchess wore it a second time at a diplomatic reception in 2019. 

Fittingly, Catherine has also worn the Cambridge Lovers Knot tiara. Queen Mary commissioned this tiara and left it to her granddaughter. The Queen has lent it out multiple times, including to the late Princess of Wales and now the Duchess of Cambridge. Mary commissioned the tiara from Garrard in 1913 and modelled it on one of her grandmother’s tiaras (her grandmother was the Duchess of Cambridge). 

Image licensed to i-Images Picture Agency. 11/12/2019. London, United Kingdom. The Duchess of Cambridge at a reception for members of the Diplomatic Corps at Buckingham Palace in London. Picture by i-Images / Pool

She paired the Cambridge Lovers Knot tiara with Queen Alexandra’s Wedding Necklace at a state banquet during the 2018 State Visit from the Netherlands. The necklace was part of a set that the Prince of Wales commissioned for his future wife and included a tiara, earrings, and a brooch in addition to the necklace. 

Catherine wore relatively new earrings in the family, the Queen Mother’s Sapphire and Diamond Fringe Earrings, in 2015. Originally worn by the Queen Mother with unknown provenance, these fringe earrings match the Duchess’s engagement ring perfectly. 

The Duchess’s jewellery is often chosen with a particular purpose, and we see this on royal tours. When visiting New Zealand, she has borrowed the New Zealand Fern Brooch from The Queen, and when in Canada, she has typically worn the Maple Leaf Brooch. 

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