Queen's funeral: The significance behind Kate's pearl necklace

Catherine, Princess of Wales, wore pearl earrings and the Queen's pearl necklace for the late monarch's funeral. (Reuters)
Catherine, Princess of Wales, wore pearl earrings and the Queen's pearl necklace for the late monarch's funeral. (Reuters)

Kate wore a long black coat dress for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II today.

Catherine, Princess of Wales, attended the Queen’s funeral today with her husband, William, Prince of Wales wearing a black midi dress.

Also in attendance were Kate and William’s two eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

As is obligatory during mourning periods, Kate, 40, wore an all-black outfit for the sombre occasion, held at Westminster Abbey with over 2,000 guests.

Her Alexander McQueen coat dress is in the same style as a white one worn during the G7 Summit with Camilla, Queen Consort, and Queen Elizabeth. The British designer has long been a go-to for the Princess of Wales, with her 2011 wedding dress designed by the brand.

She also wore a wide-brimmed hat with a netted veil at the front.

Princess of Wales arrives at Westminster Abbey ahead of the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on September 19, 2022 in London, England. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in Bruton Street, Mayfair, London on 21 April 1926. She married Prince Philip in 1947 and ascended the throne of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth on 6 February 1952 after the death of her Father, King George VI. Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III.  (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
The Princess of Wales wore a wide-brimmed hat with a veil, as is traditional. (Getty Images)
Britain's Princess Charlotte of Wales (L), Britain's Prince George of Wales (2nd L) and Britain's Catherine, Princess of Wales (2nd R) arrives at Westminster Abbey in London on September 19, 2022, for the State Funeral Service for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. (Photo by Geoff PUGH / POOL / AFP) (Photo by GEOFF PUGH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Kate's pearl necklace has a special significance. (Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Camilla, Queen Consort, Prince George of Wales, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales and Sophie, Countess of Wessex are seen during The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022 in London, England. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in Bruton Street, Mayfair, London on 21 April 1926. She married Prince Philip in 1947 and ascended the throne of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth on 6 February 1952 after the death of her Father, King George VI. Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Meghan, Camilla, Kate, Sophie along with George and Charlotte outside Westminster Abbey following the service. (Getty Images)

“It is traditional for veils to be worn at the funeral of a monarch,” says Bethan Holt, royal fashion expert and author of The Queen: 70 years of Majestic Style. So it makes sense that the Princess of Wales and Duchess of Sussex would make a “nod to the custom, even if they don’t fully cover their faces”.

Watch: Queen's children and grandchildren walk behind coffin at funeral

Kate’s pearl necklace stood out against her V-neck coat dress, in her signature fit-and-flare style.

The Queen’s four-string pearl and diamond choker – that was also previously worn by her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana – has been on long-term loan to Catherine, Princess of Wales for some time.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge  during the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021 in Windsor, England. Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born 10 June 1921, in Greece. He served in the British Royal Navy and fought in WWII. He married the then Princess Elizabeth on 20 November 1947 and was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich by King VI. He served as Prince Consort to Queen Elizabeth II until his death on April 9 2021, months short of his 100th birthday. His funeral takes place today at Windsor Castle with only 30 guests invited due to Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. (Photo by Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The then Duchess of Cambridge also wore the pearl and diamond choker to the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 2021. (Getty Images)

Kate previously borrowed the choker to wear to the Queen and Prince Philip's 70th anniversary celebration in 2017, and later to the Prince’s funeral in 2021. Given the sentimental backstory behind the necklace, it's no wonder she wore it again to honour the late monarch.

Featuring four strands of pearls and a diamond clasp, the choker was originally gifted to the Queen from Japan in the 1970s and she often wore it herself, including on a state visit to Bangladesh in 1983.

Queen Elizabeth II wears a four strand diamond and pearl choker with 'Granny's Tiara' to an engagement in Bangladesh
The Queen frequently wore the four-strand diamond and pearl choker herself for state visits. (Getty Images)
The Queen also lent the pearl necklace to Diana, Princess of Wales, seen here beneath a pink ruffled collar to greet Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in 1982. (Getty Images)
The Queen also lent the pearl necklace to Diana, Princess of Wales, seen here beneath a pink ruffled collar to greet Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in 1982. (Getty Images)

Lady Diana Spencer also borrowed the valuable piece of jewellery for several public appearances during her time as Princess of Wales, including a state visit to the Netherlands in 1982.

Kate also wore the Queen's Bahrain pearl earrings for the monarch's funeral. Created from pearls gifted to the Queen on her wedding to Philip in 1947, the elaborate drop earrings feature a large, round brilliant-cut diamond with a smaller diamond below it; three baguette diamonds and three further small diamonds leading to the large drop pearl underneath.

The Princess of Wales has worn the sentimental earrings on several occasions in the past, including the funeral for Prince Philip in 2021 and the Remembrance Day service in 2016.

Live Updates
  • Tom Parfitt

    Thanks for following today's coverage

    Following 70 years of service, the monarch has been laid to rest on an emotional day for the Royal Family and the country.

    Hundreds of thousands lined the funeral procession route from Westminster Hall to her state funeral and on to Windsor Castle.

    Senior royals, including King Charles, will say a final goodbye to Elizabeth II at a private service at 7:30pm tonight.

    Thank you for following our live coverage.

    Photo by WPA/Getty Images

  • Tom Parfitt

    Royals gradually leave St George's Chapel

    Members of the Royal Family gradually left St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle following the committal service for the Queen.

    The Prince and Princess of Wales left the chapel by car with their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

    The Duke and Duchess of Sussex departed separately shortly after.

    Photo by PA Media

  • Tom Parfitt

    Queen's coffin lowered into Royal Vault

    The Queen's coffin has been lowered into the Royal Vault of St George’s Chapel.

    As the coffin was lowered, the Dean of Windsor recited Psalm 103, which includes the traditional line: "Go forth upon thy journey from this world, O Christian soul."

    He also offered the commendation – a prayer in which the deceased is entrusted to God's mercy.

    The Garter King of Arms then pronounced the styles and titles of the Queen.

    The King appeared emotional as those in attendance at St George's Chapel sang the National Anthem.

    Charles sat in the same seat the Queen had sat in for Prince Philip's funeral during COVID pandemic.

    Photo by PA Media

  • Tom Parfitt

    Crown, Orb and Sceptre removed from coffin

    The Imperial State Crown, Orb and Sceptre, have been removed from the Queen's coffin by the Dean of Windsor.

    The final hymn was sung as the King prepared to drape the Queen's Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin.

    Once in place, the colour was then accompanied by the Lord Chamberlain's Wand of Office, which he symbolically broke.

    The purpose of breaking the wand is to create a symmetry with the three Instruments of State that had been removed from the coffin.

    Photo by PA Media

  • Tom Parfitt

    Dean of Windsor praises Queen's 'calm and dignified presence'

    The Dean of Windsor, the Rev David Conner, praised the late Queen's "calm and dignified presence" in a "rapidly changing and frequently troubled world".

    He said the late monarch's disposition "has given us confidence to face the future, as she did, with courage and with hope".

    He then gave a reading from Revelation 21.1.

    The same passage was read at the funerals of the Queen’s father King George VI and her grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary.

    Photo by PA Media

  • Tom Parfitt

    Committal service begins

    The service has begun with the choir singing Psalm 121, set to music by Sir Henry Walford Davies.

    Following the psalm, the choristers sing The Russian Contakion of the Departed, which was also performed at Prince Philip's funeral last year.

    Photo by PA Media

  • Tom Parfitt

    Queen's coffin carried into St George's Chapel

    The Queen's coffin has been lifted from the state hearse and carried into St George's Chapel ahead of the committal service.

    The procession was led into the chapel by members of the Queen's royal household.

    Photo by PA Media

  • Tom Parfitt

    Queen's corgis make poignant appearance during funeral procession

    The Queen's beloved corgis and one of her favourite ever horses made a special poignant appearance at Windsor during the procession.

    The young dogs – Muick and Sandy – were brought out by two pages in red tailcoats for the arrival of the Queen's coffin.

    Emma, the Queen's Fell Pony, had greeted the procession, standing between the floral tributes along the Long Walk in honour of her late owner.

    Photo by Getty Images

  • Tom Parfitt

    King re-joins funeral procession behind Queen's coffin

    The King has re-joined the funeral procession behind the Queen's coffin.

    Also with him are the Princess Royal, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex.

    The coffin is heading in the direction of the West Steps of St George's Chapel for the committal service.

    Photo by PA Media

  • Tom Parfitt

    Queen's coffin passes along Long Walk towards St George's Chapel

    Thousands of people fell silent, held their phones aloft and waved flags as the Queen's coffin passed along the Long Walk towards St George's Chapel.

    The crowd was so dense that those at the back could only view the procession through their phones held high on selfie sticks.

    Children sat on their parents' shoulders and some clapped as the procession passed by.

    Photo by Getty Images