A royal tribute. It was considered a high honor whenever the late Queen Elizabeth II would allow family members to borrow her jewels — and Duchess Kate made sure to return the favor by honoring the monarch with her chosen gems.
Throughout her seven decades as Britain’s longest-reigning sovereign, the queen — who died in September 2022 at age 96 — would lend her jewelry out on special occasions, always abiding by royal protocol. Tiaras, in particular, came with their own set of rules, including one that states family members can’t wear the headpiece until they’re married — and non-family members can’t don one until they marry into the family.
Kate first wore one of Queen Elizabeth’s tiaras at her April 2011 wedding to Prince William, sporting the sparkling Cartier “Halo” design that held her sheer veil. The stunning headpiece was initially purchased by the monarch’s father, King George VI, for his wife, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who passed it down to her eldest daughter on Elizabeth’s 18th birthday.
While Kate has often chosen to honor her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, with her style and jewels, she has also frequently worn many of the queen’s accessories — at celebratory and somber occasions alike — in the years since she wed William.
At the queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June 2022, the Duchess of Cambridge gave a nod to the crown while wearing the sovereign’s Bahrain pearl drop earrings at the Service of Thanksgiving. Though Elizabeth was unable to attend the ceremony due to experiencing “some discomfort,” as Buckingham Palace said in a statement at the time, her granddaughter-in-law’s subtle tribute made her presence known.
During Prince Philip’s April 2021 funeral, Kate paid homage to the royals — and Elizabeth and Philip’s love story — by borrowing the queen’s four row Japanese pearl choker, which she previously wore at the royals’ 70th wedding anniversary celebration in 2017.
Two years prior to Queen Elizabeth’s death, a source exclusively told Us Weekly about the bond between Kate and the monarch.
“Her Majesty sees the Cambridges as the future of the monarchy and trusts Kate and William’s judgment implicitly,” the insider told Us in April 2020. “Kate asks for advice about speeches she’s due to make, whom she can depend on most within the palace and protocol dos and don’ts. The queen’s more than happy to impart her wisdom — she’s proud to be Catherine’s go-to adviser about royal life.”
Keep scrolling to see every time Kate honored the late monarch with her jewelry: