Jewellery expert Susannah Lovis considers the glittering array of jewellery belonging to the Duchess of Cambridge and offers advice on purchasing alternative pieces with the same sparkle.
The Duchess of Cambridge has become iconic in the world of jewellery, as a result of the beautiful, bespoke treasures that she wears. From historical, antique jewels that have been passed down the Royal Family for generations, to her love of the modern pearl. That’s not to mention the world-famous, show-stopping blue sapphire engagement ring, which once belonged to the late Princess Diana.
It’s undeniable that Kate Middleton boasts one of the most sought-after jewellery collections of our time, but what exactly is inside her renowned jewellery box? Below you will find a few favourite royal jewels that have been worn by the Duchess of Cambridge for some inspiration from the princess herself.
The Engagement Ring
The most famous of them all, Kate’s jaw-dropping blue sapphire and diamond engagement ring was made by British jeweller Garrard & Co, which remains in the prestigious Bond Street to this day, and once belonged to the late Princess Diana. The oval-shaped gem is surrounded by 14 sparkly diamonds in a 18ct white gold setting. The ring was slightly too big for Kate, and so the Crown Jeweller G. Collins and Sons were asked to resize the band, from size I to H. It was reported to have cost £28,000 when it was first bought in 1981 and was chosen by Diana herself, causing controversy at the time as it is traditional for royalty to have their jewels custom made. The gorgeous sapphire ring is now valued at around £300,000, and following the announcement of the royal engagement, sales of blue sapphire engagement rings rocketed through the roof, with jewellers all over the world frantically sourcing blue gems to satisfy the public demand.
When the Princess married in 2011, she wore a diamond Halo tiara that was lent to her by Queen Elizabeth herself. The spectacular piece originally arrived on the scene in 1913, when Queen Mary commissioned Garrard to create it based on a design worn by her grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse, or better known as the Duchess of Cambridge. The spectacular tiara boasts 739 brilliant-cut and 149 baton-cut diamonds with an array of stunning pearls and features a lover’s bow design, hence the name. The royal accessory helped to keep Kate’s veil in place and sparkled brilliantly as she walked down the aisle. Interestingly enough, Princess Diana complained that the tiara was so heavy that it gave her headaches; a very royal problem indeed!
The Duchess of Cambridge loves earrings and is unlikely to be spotted at a royal appearance without them. From stunning diamond studs to intricate chandelier designs and flawless golden hoops; there’s no doubt in our minds that earrings take up much of her jewellery collection and there’s certainly a pair for every occasion. She is also known to borrow earrings from the Queen’s collection, sporting priceless sets that are steeped in history and have been worn by a number of royal women before her. She particularly values the works of Kiki McDonough, and a favourite of hers are the blue topaz and white diamond hoops, which she pairs with a number of outfits and evening dresses. On her wedding day, Kate looked towards a lesser-known Chelsea-based jeweller, Robinson Pelham, to provide a bespoke pair of diamond earrings for the occasion. The earrings feature a pear-shaped drop of pave-set diamonds, featuring an oak leaf and an acorn, both of which are part of the Middleton family’s coat of arms.
When looking at Princess Kate’s love of all things bejewelled, it’s difficult to ignore her passion for brooches. Her pairings are simple, yet effective, and she works them into a variety of outfits in any which way she can. In 2016, the Duchess of Cambridge wore a diamond maple leaf brooch during the royal tour of Canada, and it is somewhat of a favourite, as she has worn it at least three times since. The piece was originally bought as a gift for the Queen’s mother when they went on tour there in 1939. The gorgeous and sparkly accessory completes any outfit and is the perfect, elegant and respectable option for the royal.
The Duchess of Cambridge has an unrivalled collection of vintage and antique jewels and is the perfect place to look for inspiration. Her royal links provide her with a bespoke range of treasures that are steeped in history and worn by some of the most influential women in history, but that doesn’t stop you from being able to reflect such an elegant style with a touch of grandeur. There are a plethora of vintage rings for sale and antique brooches, earrings and tiaras all over the world for you to discover and explore until you create a collection of your own that is fit for a royal!
About Susannah Lovis:
Susannah Lovis is one of Mayfair’s most respected and knowledgeable jewellers. Boasting a plethora of bespoke antique jewels, the collection is truly spectacular in both stone and design. From phenomenal Art Deco tiaras to antique engagement rings; there is something for every jewellery enthusiast. Susannah also offers an unparalleled service in resetting, repair and valuation, ensuring you can make the most of your treasures.