These Are the Jewels Kate Middleton Borrows the Most From the Queen
As if having one of the most envied wardrobes in the world, a doting husband, and two gorgeous children wasn't enough, Kate Middleton also has access to the queen's personal vault of diamonds. Jealous? Us? No . . .
Cartier "Halo" Tiara
At her 2011 wedding, Kate's "something old" was the Cartier "Halo" tiara, which had been a gift from the queen's father to her mother when they were the Duke and Duchess of York. It is set with 739 brilliant diamonds and 149 baton diamonds and was passed on to their daughter the then Princess Elizabeth on her 18th birthday. Seven years later, on the occasion of her coronation, she lent it to her sister Princess Margaret, and later to her daughter Princess Anne, but Kate was the first to wear it on her wedding day. The scrolls of the tiara were copied by the jeweler Robinson Pelham, whom Kate's parents commissioned to make her wedding day earrings, so it seems likely the duchess will wear this tiara again.
Diamond Maple Leaf Brooch
The royal family are always mindful about paying tribute to the members of the Commonwealth, and it's thought the brooch was a gift from King George VI to his wife ahead of their tour of Canada in 1939. It was first seen publicly on the queen in 1951, and later Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, wore it on her first official tour of Canada in 2009. Kate wore it three times on her own tour of Canada in 2011: at the Canada Day daytime celebrations with her cream Reiss dress and red maple leaf hat, at the evening celebrations on a purple Issa dress, and on a scarlet Catherine Walker coat when she and William departed the country.
Diamond Earrings and Lotus Flower Tiara
Little is known about the impressive diamond chandelier earrings Kate first wore at a BAFTA reception in Downtown LA back in 2011, but over the past few years, they have become a firm favorite of the duchess. She also borrowed them for the queen's annual diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace back in December 2013 and again recently for the state banquet to honor President Xi Jinping of China.
Kate chose "The Language of Flowers" as the theme for her wedding, so it's not likely to be a coincidence that for the recent Chinese state banquet, she chose to wear the Lotus Flower tiara, as in China the lotus flower represents luck, good fortune, and joy. The tiara was originally a necklace given to the Queen Mother by her husband on their wedding day in 1923. The jewelers Garrard dismantled it and created the Lotus Flower tiara (also known as the Papyrus tiara.) It was then passed down to Princess Margaret, and it became one of her favorite pieces. She also lent it to her daughter-in-law Serena Stanhope for her wedding to Viscount Linley in 1993. When Margaret died, it was returned to the royal collection, and Kate not only wore it to the Chinese state banquet but also at the diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace in 2013.
Cartier Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace
Cartier is a favorite of the royal family, and when the queen married in 1952, the Nizam of Hyderabad's gift to her was her own choice of necklace and tiara from the renowned jeweler. The tiara she chose has since been dismantled into three brooches that she still wears, but the necklace remains intact (although shortened slightly to suit the queen's taste). Featuring 38 diamonds plus 13 emerald-cut diamonds and a pear-shaped drop diamond, it remains a favorite of the queen's, while Kate borrowed it for the National Portrait Gallery black-tie gala back in February 2014.
Diamond Fern Brooch
The Women of Auckland gifted the brooch to the queen during her first tour of New Zealand in 1953-54. The money was generated through fundraising, and the brooch was presented on Christmas Day to the new monarch, who went on to wear it before the trip was out. The queen has worn it many times since, and Kate sported it twice last year on her tour of New Zealand. The first time was for her arrival into the country on a red Catherine Walker coat, and the second time was on a teal Emilia Wickstead dress to a Palm Sunday church service in Dunedin.
Diamond Bracelet #1 and #2
Bringing us right up to date are the pair of diamond bracelets that Kate recently borrowed for the Chinese state banquet. On her left wrist she wore the bracelet that was a wedding gift to the queen from Prince Philip in 1947. It was made from diamonds that had come from a tiara that belonged to his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, and created by jeweler Philip Antrobus, who also made the queen's engagement ring from Prince Philip — with diamonds from the same tiara. The queen chose to wear the bracelet for her official Diamond Jubilee portrait.
For her most diamond-laden appearance to date, the bracelet on Kate's right wrist was also borrowed from the queen. The duchess selected a bracelet that had been made from a choker that had belonged to Queen Mary of Teck — the wife of King George V — and was converted into a bracelet at the request of the queen mother.
The Queen Mother's Sapphire Earrings
Kate is fast becoming a fan of some of the queen mother's key pieces of jewelry, and at the 100 Women in Hedgefunds event, she dipped into the vaults once more. The sapphire and diamond fringe earrings she teamed with her Erdem dress were worn by the queen mother on many occasions, including her 93rd birthday.