Like the Duchess of Cambridge, Diana received many gifts from global heads of state when she married Prince Charles in 1982. From the Saudi Crown Prince, the young Princess was given a watch featuring tiny sapphires surrounded with diamonds.
The Duchess of Cambridge has been seen wearing the earrings on multiple occasions, but they appear different to the versions Diana had.
Kate’s earrings are in a drop style, instead of studs, which suggests she has altered them.
She has also never been seen to wear the extra sapphire attachments in a double-drop design, like Diana.
While this design embodied Diana’s “fabulous 1980s style”, according to Kate Earlam-Charley, Design Director at jewellers Taylor & Hart, the altered earrings are more “practical” and “understated”.
Charlotte White, Head of Design at Europe’s largest online diamond jeweller 77 Diamonds, agreed. She noted Kate’s earrings are “less formal” than the original pair.
Charlotte said: “What is immediately striking about the sapphire earrings that belonged to Diana and are now worn by Kate is how the style blends with Diana’s legendary sapphire engagement ring.
“Both the earrings and the ring have a halo setting which sees the central sapphire surrounded by dazzling diamonds.
“The way Kate has re-styled the earrings is less dressy and formal and while still being very glamorous gives the feel of a more everyday kind of luxury, fit for a princess of course.
“They suit her impeccable taste perfectly.”
Interestingly, it seems that Kate has used one of the attachable sapphire and diamond clusters as a pendant too.
The Duchess of Cambridge was seen wearing the necklace for the first time in 2020, for her first official audience meeting at Buckingham Palace since the start of the pandemic, alongside Prince William.
Kate wore a belted blue knit Emilia Wickstead dress, the altered sapphire and diamond earrings, as well as a never-before-seen sapphire and diamond pendant.
The pendant looked exactly the same as the drop-earrings, suggesting it came from Diana’s detachable double-drop earrings and has been altered to suit Kate’s fashion tastes.