Today we are back with part two in our continuing series on loaned jewelry the Duchess wears. In Part One, we covered brooches.
Today we tackle bracelets.
We’ll begin with the October 2015 state dinner honoring China when the Duchess debuted two pieces loaned to her by the Queen.
The white-tie event was her first state dinner, and she wore both Queen Mary’s Diamond Choker Bracelet (L) and the Wedding Gift Bracelet (R).
We’ll take a closer look at the Diamond Choker Bracelet first. Below, the Duchess wearing it with a Jenny Packham gown at a 2017 black-tie dinner in Paris.
Here are better views: the photo on the left shows Queen Mary wearing the necklace before it was converted to a bracelet, thus giving the piece its name.
We learn more about it from Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault:
This necklace, featuring a series of diamond bars or links, was one of several diamond chokers in Queen Mary’s collection. It is included in The Queen’s Diamonds book where it is labeled as Queen Mary’s Chain-Link Bracelets, so there’s a bit of confusion between these two similar jewels. Also like the Chain-Link Bracelets, this choker later appears to have been used as a bracelet. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother wore it in her charming 75th birthday portraits by Norman Parkinson (which are among my favorite royal portraits).
The Duchess wore the bracelet to an EACH fundraising dinner in June 2016.
And also to the 2018 Diplomatic Reception.
Next, a look at the Wedding Gift Bracelet. Below, the Duchess wearing it at the 2017 BAFTAs.
The bracelet was a gift to (then) Princess Elizabeth from her husband on the occasion of their marriage.
We learn more about the piece in this post by The Court Jeweller. In the first paragraph, she is referencing a tiara given to Prince Philip by his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg.
Alice had kept the Romanov tiara for years, long after she regularly wore gala jewels, and she handed it over to her son to have it dismantled. Some of the stones were used to create Princess Elizabeth’s engagement ring, while others were used to make the piece we’re discussing today: the diamond bracelet he offered his new wife as a wedding present.
Philip went to a London-based jewelry firm, Philip Antrobus Ltd., to create the new diamond pieces in 1947. The engagement ring claimed a three-carat brilliant, plus several smaller stones; the new bracelet also includes three large brilliant-cut diamonds. The bracelet’s design is geometric, almost Art Deco-inspired. It features three large, square links connected by vertical sections. Like the engagement ring, the bracelet is set in platinum.
From the start, Elizabeth chose the new bracelet for significant white-tie events. She has also worn it for numerous portraits throughout her reign, from the earliest images to photographs taken to mark her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
More detailed views of the piece.
As Ella points out in her Court Jeweller post, “In 2015, the Queen loaned the bracelet to another member of the family: the Duchess of Cambridge. The loan was a significant one — the sentimental bracelet had never been worn in public by anyone but the Queen.” Here you see Kate wearing it at a 2018 black-tie dinner in Oslo, with an Alexander McQueen gown.
The Duchess debuted a third borrowed bracelet in November 2017.
It is a spectacular piece called the Diamond Quatrefoil Bracelet, and the occasion was a gala for the Anna Freud Centre, one of the Duchess’s patronages. Below you see Kate speaking with Peter Fonagy, the Freud Centre’s CEO.
The Duchess was in the ‘Zarita’ dress by Diane von Furstenberg, a piece she had previously worn. A closer look at the piece.
More about it from Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault:
The wide diamond bracelet features multiple diamond quatrefoil motifs, the four-lobed design popular in architecture, art, heraldry, and elsewhere. Each quatrefoil outline is filled with five individual diamonds.
This bracelet is not a well-known member of the royal collection and it’s easy to mistake for other bracelets, such as Queen Victoria’s Bracelet. The quatrefoil-motif bracelet was worn by the late Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother; it may have been another treasure from the Greville bequest. It then went to The Queen, along with the rest of The Queen Mother’s jewels on her death in 2002.
HM wore the bracelet to the State Opening of Parliament in 2010.
A closer view of it on both the Queen (l, r) and the Duchess (c).
Another set of closeups.
One more view of the Duchess at the BAFTAs.
Three very different pieces with fascinating histories — do you have a favorite?
- The full post about Queen Mary’s Diamond Choker Bracelet at Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault is here; the Court Jeweller post on the bracelet is here.
- The Court Jeweller’s post on the Wedding Gift Bracelet is here; the post on the bracelet at Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault is here.
- Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault’s post on the Quatrefoil Bracelet is here.