Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 25 October 2020

Kate Middleton repurposes jewellery given to Princess Diana by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Sapphire Suite was a wedding present and regularly worn on royal tours

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge talk with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyand his wife Olena, during an audience at Buckingham Palace. AFP
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge talk with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyand his wife Olena, during an audience at Buckingham Palace. AFP

It is not unusual for Kate Middleton’s style choices to receive attention. From magazine editors poring over her outfits to brands selling out when she has championed their wares, the Duchess of Cambridge’s every sartorial move is well documented.

But her most recent official engagement has garnered even more speculation than usual, on account of her jewellery. When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met the President and First Lady of Ukraine on Wednesday, in their first royal engagement since the pandemic, Middleton wore a blue long-sleeved Emilia Wickstead dress, paired with diamond and sapphire jewels that soon got style commentators talking.

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and his wife Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge talk with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyand his wife Olena, during an audience at Buckingham Palace in central London on October 7, 2020. (Photo by Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP)
The Duchess of Cambridge was seen sporting a new sapphire necklace. AFP

Her diamond and sapphire drop earrings were paired with a new, matching pendant necklace, which in turn complements her engagement ring. The set appears to be repurposed from one of Princess Diana’s most well-known collections of jewels, the Saudi Sapphire Suite.

This was gifted to Diana by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia on her wedding day. Crafted by Asprey and featuring earrings with attachable drops, a necklace, watch and ring, the set was frequently worn by Diana on royal tours. The last documented appearance of the Saudi Sapphire Suite dates back to 1997, when Diana wore it to dinner with Prince Charles while in Melbourne, Australia.

The set was inherited by Princes William and Harry after Diana’s death and gifted to the Duchess of Cambridge on her engagement to the future king.

Middleton has worn the earrings on multiple occasions over the proceeding years, having refashioned them into a more subdued style. While each earring originally consisted of two diamond-encircled sapphires, Middleton pared that back to a single stone in drop style. But it appears that the remaining stones have now been converted into a new necklace.

If she has reworked the pieces, she is following in her late mother-in-law's footsteps. Diana herself recrafted the watch from the Saudi Sapphire Suite into a choker necklace, complete with a blue velvet ribbon backing, which she also sometimes wore as a headband.

Updated: October 11, 2020 02:05 PM

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