Today we have Part Three of our series looking at the jewelry loaned to the Duchess by HM; the focus in this report is on earrings. We first saw the Duchess in earrings loaned to her by The Queen at the BAFTA gala in Los Angeles during the couple’s first overseas tour.
The palace confirmed on that trip that they were a loan from the Queen. They were next seen when the Cambridges attended the Queen’s 2013 Diplomatic Reception.
The Duchess wore the earrings to her first state dinner in October 2015.
And just a few months later for the 2015 Diplomatic Reception.
The experts at Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault describe them as having “three thin strands of round and baguette diamonds supporting a large pear-shaped diamond pendant and a diamond arc below; at the very bottom rests a fringe of three additional strands of round and baguette diamonds.”
They were worn again for an EACH fundraiser in June 2016.
More about the earrings via this post by Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault, which points out the earrings were not publicly seen before the 2011 BAFTA event.
Neither The Queen nor any other royal lady is known to have worn these earrings in public prior to that occasion, but that’s not entirely unusual; as we’ve seen here, pieces can go unworn in the royal collection for decades at a time if they are not in favor with their royal owner. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother seemed especially prone to this, and I do wonder if these earrings were in her collection before passing to The Queen and being loaned to The Duchess (purely my speculation).
Regardless, they now have a prime showcase on The Duchess of Cambridge. They are regular choices for “major event” earrings, for use with tiaras and occasionally at other evening events, and she wears them well.
The Duchess paired them with a much-loved Jenny Packham evening gown for the 2018 Tusk Conservation Awards.
The earrings were worn for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebration at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. Most recently, we saw the sparklers at a Royal Foundation fundraiser this February, accenting a dress by Eponine London.
Here is a closer view of the earrings as worn to the EACH benefit, the Tusk Awards, and the Paris dinner.
Our next pair of earrings has only been worn a few times.
We’re talking about the Queen Mother’s Sapphire and Diamond Earrings, first worn with an Erdem gown for the 2015 100 Women in Hedge Funds dinner.
The sapphire and diamond drops originally belonged to the Queen Mother. More from Her Majesty’s Jewel Chest, referencing The Queen Mother:
…when it came to earrings, she had her favorites and didn’t do much branching out. She did, however, have these earrings, which were rarely worn. They include sapphires surrounded by diamonds with a fringe of diamonds and small sapphires suspended below. Like many pieces in her collection, their history is unknown.
Along with the rest of The Queen Mother’s jewels, we can assume these earrings were inherited by The Queen in 2002. The Queen, who has plenty of sapphire options in her own vault, has never worn them publicly.
The Duchess wore the earrings again to the June 2019 state dinner with the United States.
Next, a pair seen frequently on the Duchess; they appear to be a long-term loan. The Duchess first wore them for a 2016 Place2Be function, pairing them with a Preen dress.
We’re referring to HM’s Diamond Frame Earrings. Below, HM wearing the earrings for Order of the Garter in 2013.
The Duchess paired them with an Alexander McQueen evening gown for a 2018 black-tie dinner in Oslo.
She also wore them for July 2018 events marking the RAF’s 100th anniversary.
We learn more about them from The Court Jeweller:
The pair features a cluster stud with a floral motif, from which a pendant of four graduating diamonds is suspended. The pendant is surrounded by a diamond frame.
A view of HM wearing the earrings for the State Opening of Parliament in 2012; Kate is shown wearing them to the Place2Be function.
They were worn for an Anna Freude Centre gala in 2017.
The earrings were seen again at the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank.
Most recently, the Duchess wore them to a December 2019 NATO reception at Buckingham Palace, seen below left; they were also part of her ensemble at the 2016 Diplomatic Reception (C) and Trooping the Colour in June 2016 (R).
The next shiny, shimmering topic: the Bahrain Pearl and Diamond Drop earrings, so-called because the pearls used for the earrings were a wedding gift to Princess Elizabeth for her wedding. The Duchess first wore them for Remembrance Sunday in November 2016.
Then again at Royal Ascot in June 2017.
More information about them comes via Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault:
One of the wedding gifts received by Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten in 1947 was a pearl shell containing seven large pearls from the ruler of Bahrain at the time. According to the Royal Collection, two of these pearls were used not long after to create this pair of earrings.
The earrings each contain one large round diamond and four smaller ones, three baguette diamonds, and a Bahrain pearl dangling below.
Here you see HM wearing the earrings at the Festival of Remembrance in 2015.
The Duchess wearing them when she accompanied HM to church at Balmoral in August 2018.
And also for Trooping the Colour 2019.
These photos offer a better view of the glittering chandelier-style earrings. The Duchess also wore the Queen’s Nizam of Hyderabad necklace to the reception.
The earrings are part of a demi-parure, matched jewelry pieces that are part of a set (a full parure generally includes a necklace, earrings, brooch, bracelet, and sometimes a ring, all of them matching). The earrings are part of the ‘Diamond Chandelier Drop Demi-Parure,’ a necklace and earring set worn with some frequency by HM. Her Majesty’s Jewel Chest notes, “A matched set of a necklace and a pair of earrings, this demi-parure is made of diamonds in multiple intricate pendants, each tipped with a pear-shaped diamond drop.” The Countess of Wessex wore the earrings and necklace for the United States state dinner.
Our next pair of earrings: the Silver Jubilee Diamond and Pearl Earrings. They were first seen on the Duchess during the 2016 Canada tour.
The Queen has several pairs of discreet diamond-and-pearl earrings that she wears in the daytime. However, for the Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977, she donned earrings with a distinctly larger drop pearl. After that, no one saw them in public. But in 2016, Kate borrowed them for two overseas trips, first to Canada and then to the Netherlands.
It looked like they were loaned to Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, for a 2012 trip to Luxembourg, according to the fab folks at Majesty’s Jewel Chest. Below, the Duchess wearing them to Christmas Day church service in 2016 and the Duke of Westminster’s memorial service, also in 2016.
A closer look at the earrings, showcasing a circular diamond atop a pearl.
This is a pair we see the Duchess wearing quite often. Below, you see Kate wore the earrings for a 2017 service at Westminster Abbey (L); when leaving the Lindo Wing with Prince Louis in April 2018; and at 2017 Easter Sunday services in Windsor.
Most recently, the Duchess wore the earrings to last November’s Festival of Remembrance.
And that wraps up our look at the loaned earrings worn by the Duchess.
In case you missed previous reports, Part One focused on Kate’s Borrowed Brooches.
Part Two covered the Borrowed Bracelets worn by the Duchess.
Our final report on the topic will cover tiaras!