The queen has a brooch for every occasion—even the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip. The queen’s mourning clothes, though a stark contrast to her usual pastel ensembles, came accented with a special accessory that paid homage to her partner of 73 years.
According to Express, the queen wore her Richmond Brooch on Saturday. It’s one of the largest in her collection, the paper reported, and was a wedding present for her grandmother Queen Mary’s nuptials in 1893. Usually the Queen wears the pin, made of diamonds, with a hanging pear-shaped pearl drop. But that feature was removed for the funeral.
The sparkling accessory lit up the queen’s all-black look, and matched her face mask—also black, with white trim around the edges. The monarch sat alone through the funeral, which was pared-down due to the pandemic, like so many others.
But the queen was not solitary in her statement jewelry. Kate Middleton also brought her own. Actually, it came from the queen: the Duchess wore a four-strand pearl necklace borrowed from Elizabeth’s collection.
Today reports that it was made with pearls gifted from the Japanese government. Princess Diana wore the choker to a dinner in 1982.
Kate’s matching pearl-drop earrings, which peeked out from underneath her netted black fascinator, were also from the Queen’s jewelry box. For the somber affair, the Duchess was able to sneak in a dash of glamour with her veil and Roland Mouret dress.
One photographer caught Kate right before she exited her vehicle, and she stared straight into the camera’s lens. Such determined, direct eye contact isn’t something the Duchess is known for, but her look set the tone for a dignified, if very different, type of royal funeral.
As had been previously reported, the royals did not wear military dress. Following their father and grandfather’s coffin, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Prince William, and Prince Harry were all seen wearing medals, a compromise reached after an internal debate in the royal family about the appropriate dress for Harry and Andrew.
Camilla Parker Bowles wore pearls and a brooch that also dripped with significance. As Hello noted, she showed up in the so-called Bugle brooch, which honored Philip’s tenure as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles, an infantry regiment of the British Army.
For his final public engagement last year, the Duke of Edinburgh passed on his position to Camilla, who is his daughter-in-law. So it’s a significant and symbolic jewelry choice for the day.
Princess Eugenie, a new mother who named her infant son after Philip, wore a netted veil to the ceremony. It was similar to Kate’s, though Eugenie paired hers with an oversized black headband.
Unlike the other women, Eugenie did not wear much jewelry, save for a simple pair of earrings. She did, however, wear a rather trendy Gabriela Hearst trench coat, per the Daily Mail.
Penny Brabourne, Countess Mountbatten, a close friend of Philip’s and fellow equestrian, was one of the 30 guests who was not a direct family member. (She is married to Philip’s godson, Norton Knatchbull.) She wore a black pillbox hat and fitted suit, along with a crystal fern brooch.
Of course Meghan Markle, who is pregnant, was unable to travel from Los Angeles with Prince Harry. She might not have been there in person—the former Duchess reportedly watched from home—but Meghan ensured a part of her was present. Per The Daily Mail, Meghan left a handwritten note on a wreath left at the chapel.
The royal family did not speak at the event. Emotions were expressed in other ways. Some of it was literal, like when Sophie, the Countess of Wessex wiped away tears in the chapel. Some of it was more symbolic, like the queen sitting alone while bidding goodbye to her husband. Or William and Harry chatting after the ceremony, two estranged brothers brought together through grief.
And much of it was through fashion: small nods to history, and hand-me-downs representing the continuation of longstanding royal tradition.