Why Princess Kate And Meghan Markle Never Got To Wear Necklace Worn By Princess Diana Just Before Her Death

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Why Princess Kate And Meghan Markle Never Got To Wear Necklace Worn By Princess Diana Just Before Her Death

The Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex have worn many jewels previously owned by their late mother-in-law Princess Diana, but there is one special necklace that both royals have missed out on showcasing – a diamond and pearl necklace that the late Princess famously wore at her last official engagement before her tragic death.

The incredible jewel, created by Crown jewellers Garrard back in 1997, was made from 178 diamonds totalling 51 carats and five matching 12mm South Sea pearls.

Diana debuted the jewel, thought to be the first one she had chosen herself and not borrowed from the Crown, at the gala evening for Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall in June 1997. 

Whilst Diana was involved in the design and creation of the jewel for many months before its debut, contrary to reports, the royal never actually owned the jewel — nor did she intend to purchase or keep it after the event.

Following the Princess’s official engagement, Diana returned the necklace to David Thomas at Garrard, who later made a pair of coordinating diamond and pearl drop earrings mounted in platinum, which were not finished when Diane died that August.

Upon her passing, Princess Diana’s family authorized the sale of the Swan Lake Suite to a private buyer, directing a portion of the proceeds to UNICEF in honour of the Princess’s efforts in landmine abolition. 

Evelyne Poumellec, head of jewellery design at Garrard between 1996 and 1998, has now spoken exclusively to the Daily Mail as the incredible necklace and matching earrings, known as the “Swan Lake Suite,” are going up for auction next month.

Evelyne reveals that the necklace was made deliberately to represent the Princess’s modern take on fashion – and it includes an incredible hidden detail.

“It has movement by having one row at the back, allowing the wearer flexibility,” Evelyne told the publication. “It reflects modernity against a backdrop of formal jewellery; it is classic yet fashionable.”

Of the hidden detail she couldn’t resist adding, she added: “The necklace is based on a reversed tiara and [the style mimics] when you write by hand lots of letter Es joined together. E is the first initial of my name, designed by me and fit for a princess.”

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