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'Purity and elegance’: Why royals like Kate Middleton and the Queen wear pearls

Pearls are often associated with Her Majesty, and vice versa. The Queen is rarely seen without her iconic three strings of pearls around her neck, as well as the pair of pearl earrings she has worn for decades. But what is so special about pearls?

Many famous women in the spotlight have worn pearls in the past, from Princess Anne to Margaret Thatcher.

These women’s pearls were not worn only for aesthetic reasons, but to also give the world an insight into their personalities, backgrounds, and personal lives.

Arseiny Budrevich, founder of Budrevich Fine Jewellery Studio, told “Pearls have been associated with class, elegance and sophistication since the Ptolemaic dynasty in ancient Egypt, where the royal family wore pearls to show their status.

“This tradition was then passed down through the holy Roman empire to the French monarchs who carried it into fashion in the middle ages, where it was subsequently dispersed through Europe.

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“This is when the British empire picked up the style.”

Similarly to Her Majesty, Queen Victoria was pictured wearing pearls during her reign from 1837 to 1901.

Victoria wore pair of dangling pear-drop pearl earrings that Queen Elizabeth II now owns.

The late former monarch also donned two strings of pearl necklaces – the gemstones slightly larger than the ones Elizabeth wears.


The Queen’s three-strand pearl necklace was given to her as a gift from her father, George VI, when she was a young girl.

Interestingly, she had an identical necklace made at the same time and, later, she was gifted a third.

The third necklace – again a three-strand pearl chain – was given to her in 1953 by the Emir of Qatar.

It is understood that Her Majesty wears these three necklaces on rotation.

Charlotte White, head of design at 77 Diamonds, added that the Duchess of Cambridge is “deeply fond of classic pearls”.

“She has even been known to borrow pearl earrings owned by the Queen, wearing the monarch’s Bahrain pearl drop earrings for more than one Remembrance Sunday service in recent years,” she said.

Charlotte added: “Pearls are always in style.

“Royals have been known to wear their classic pearl jewellery pieces for decades and even across multiple generations.

“The perennial appeal of pearls among royals is partly due to the way that, not unlike diamonds, they cast a gentle and kind light on all that surrounds them and flatter complexions.

“They are versatile, blending in with different styles of dress for different occasions.

“There is also something discreet and understated about pearls, their true value not glaringly obvious, and often known only to the wearer.

“Yet for those who know how to look closely at precious jewellery, high quality, lustrous pearls are highly valued.”



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