Whether it’s a State Dinner at the Buckingham Palace or an award ceremony in New York City, the royals always show up to every event dressed to the nines. Although they’re known to deck themselves out in striking jewelry, it’s not every day that they sport a special accessory linked to a royal wedding. At the annual diplomatic reception at the palace on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, Queen Consort Camilla brought her A-game by pairing her blue Anna Valentine ensemble with a sparkling set of sapphire and diamond jewels. The earrings, necklace, and tiara all play a special role in royal family (and royal fashion) history.
After Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Philip in 1947, the then-princess’s father, King George VI, gave his daughter the Belgian sapphire set (the earrings and necklace) as a wedding gift, according to The Court Jeweller. At the time, the pieces were a little less than a century old and were reportedly designed in 1859.
It wasn’t until 1963 that Elizabeth decided to upgrade her collection. The Court Jeweller reports that the queen wanted to add a sapphire and diamond tiara to match the Victorian-era sapphire jewels, otherwise known as the Victorian Sapphire Tiara. When she purchased the accessory 10 years after she became queen, the headpiece was actually a necklace. Elizabeth found the 19th-century sapphire jewel that once belonged to Princess Louise of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and had it set on a frame to create a crown, the outlet says. The queen wore the item exclusively as a tiara from the 1960s to the early 1990s. Although the gem-encrusted accessory was a go-to for the monarch, it didn’t appear on her head again until a state banquet for Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2015.
As for the gown Camilla wore to the 2022 diplomatic reception, the Queen Consort tapped her wedding dress designer, Anna Valentine, to create her look. Although it’s a tradition that royal brides wear white for their nuptials, Camilla decided to sport two unconventional getups. For her civil ceremony to now-King Charles on April 9, 2005, she wore a cream silk chiffon dress by the British fashion designer, a silk coat, and a wide-brimmed straw hat with feather detailing by Philip Treacy. Her second bridal outfit was a pale blue full-length chiffon gown, a pale blue coat dress with gold embroidery, and a gold headpiece, according to Royal Central.
Time and time again, Camilla has sported stunning designs by the British luxury fashion maven for royal outings, most notably to Kate Middleton and Prince William’s wedding on April 29, 2011 and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials on May 19, 2018, according to Express.