Kate Middleton Wears Prince of Wales Feathers Brooch For the First Time

Kate Middleton is stepping into her Princess of Wales role. As the first State Visit of King Charles’s reign began this morning, Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales traveled with South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa to the official welcome ceremony at London’s Horse Guards Parade.

ceremonial welcome by the king and the queen consort, horse guards parade
Karwai Tang - Getty Images

For the occasion, Kate opted for a regal Emilia Wickstead coat dress. Of significance, too, was her jewelry choices: For the first time, the Princess of Wales wore Queen Alexandra’s Three Feathers Brooch, which features the Prince of Wales feathers emblem. The brooch is made up of diamonds, emeralds, and rubies, and has a long royal history. She paired the brooch with Princess Diana's diamond and pearl drop earrings.

The brooch dates back to 1863, when it was gifted to Queen Alexandra upon her marriage to King Edward VII, who was then the Prince of Wales. It features the Prince of Wales's Feathers, the heraldic badge of the title.

Past Princesses of Wales have worn the brooch, including Princess Diana and Queen Camilla. After her engagement to Charles, then the Prince of Wales, Diana was gifted the brooch by the Queen Mother. She wore it as a pendant on multiple occasions, including a visit to Austria in 1986:

charles and diana visit austria
John Shelley Collection/Avalon - Getty Images

Upon Princess Diana's death in 1997, the jewelry reverted back to Queen Elizabeth's collection. In the 2000s, Camilla began wearing the brooch (back as a brooch) on numerous occasions, though she never formally used the Princess of Wales title.

camilla duchess of cornwall cheltenham festival ladies day
Camilla, then Duchess of Cornwall, in 2012.Alan Crowhurst - Getty Images

This was the first time that Kate, the new Princess of Wales, wore the brooch.

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