Ever since her marriage to Prince William, Kate Middleton (Catherine, Princess of Wales) has become a style icon for women all over the world. Her choice of clothes and jewellery pieces has both fashion commentators and daily tabloids abuzz. Always elegant, Kate can easily be seen as a trendsetter for the woman of today.
However, the one thing that stands out about Kate’s style is her love for pearl jewellery, specifically pearl earrings. In fact, pearl earrings are Kate’s preferred piece of jewellery. Be it a day at Wimbledon or a diplomatic dinner at Buckingham Palace, Kate is rarely seen without her ubiquitous pearl earrings. The most compelling thing about her choice of jewellery is how she can wear the same pearl earrings at different events, from daytime casual to evening chic, and still make those lustrous jewels stand out effortlessly.
Here are some of Kate’s standout pearl earring choices.
Kate wearing pearls on hoops earrings (Getty Images)
These gold and pearl hoop earrings seem to be Kate’s favourite go-to earrings. From casual to formal wear, Kate has been wearing these freshwater pearl hoop earrings since 2012. Paired with colour blocked outfits, floor-length gowns or even when driving into town, these pearl and gold earrings are the perfect finish for many of her stylish looks.
Kate wearing the late Princess Diana’s pearl and diamond earrings at the 2019 Baftas, (Getty Images); Inset image: Kate wearing the same earrings at the 2022 Royal Ascot (Getty Images)
At the 2019 BAFTAs, Kate wore a pair of exquisite white South Sea pearl and diamond drop earrings, which perfectly complemented her one-shoulder haute couture gown. Then, earlier this year Kate wore the same earrings, this time at the 2022 Royal Ascot, pairing them with a daytime outfit. These earrings originally belonged to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana and were one of her favourite jewellery pieces. That Kate wears them so often is a touching tribute to the memory of the late Princess.
Kate at the 2016 Trooping of the Colours parade (Getty Images); Kate wearing the same ear clips with a coordinating necklace and cocktail ring during an official visit to Poland in 2017 (Getty Images)
While Kate loves wearing pearl jewellery, she is most often seen wearing pieces that are more classic in design- pearl strands and dangling earrings with pearl drops. Nevertheless, at the Trooping of the Colour parade in 2016, Kate debuted a pair of ear clips that were wholly different from her usual jewellery look. Consisting of oversized pearls set in ear clips, Kate’s jewellery choice made a bold fashion statement. The following year, during her official trips to Paris and Poland, Kate was seen wearing the same ear clips, this time round with a coordinating statement necklace and a matching cocktail ring. The entire ensemble created a palpable stir among fashion watchers and style lovers.
Clockwise from left to right: Kate at Prince Philip’s’ Funeral wearing Queen Elizabeth II’s Bahrain Pearl earrings (Getty Images); Princess Kate wearing Queen Elizabeth II’s Bahrain Pearl Earrings at the late Queen’s funeral, 2022 (Getty Images) ; Princess Kate wearing Queen Elizabeth II’s Bahrain Pearl Earrings at the late Queen’s funeral, 2022 (Getty Images)
Kate has worn Queen Elizabeth’s Bahrain pearl earrings on a number of occasions over the years. Most recently, though she wore them at the funeral of Prince Philip in 2021 and just a few weeks ago, at Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral too. While her choice of the Bahrain pearl earrings at Prince Philips’ funeral thrust these earrings into the limelight, it was during Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral that the poignant symbolism behind these earrings came to be fully appreciated. British royalty traditionally wear white pearls and diamonds at funerals. However for Kate to wear these earrings at the Queen’s funeral, was a choice suffused with special meaning - pearls were the late Queen’s favourite gems and these earrings were a cherished piece of jewellery.
The Bahrain pearl earrings have an interesting history. The pearls, which were part of a cache of seven natural pearls, were presented to the Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) as a wedding gift, by the Hakim of Bahrain in 1947. Some time after the royal wedding, two of the pearls were set in a new pair of earrings. These grew to be one of Queen Elizabeth’s favourite pieces of jewellery. In fact, during the early years of her monarchy, she wore them quite often. Kate first wore them in 2016 and since then she has been their only wearer.
Kate wearing the Collingwood earrings for her official 40th birthday portrait, 2022 (Kensington Palace/Getty Images)
Kate has also been seen wearing the late Princess Diana’s Collingwood pearl and diamond earrings on a number of occasions. In fact, Kate chose these earrings for the official portrait commemorating her 40th birthday earlier this year. Most recently she wore them at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession. These drop pearl earrings are in the style most favoured by Princess Kate.
Kate at Wimbledon, 2022(Getty Images) ; Inset image: Kate during a visit to Sweden (Getty Images)
Baroque freshwater pearl earrings are a style staple for every jewellery collection. Kate also own a pair of baroque freshwater pearl earrings which she wears quite often, most recently at Wimbledon this past year. She often pairs them with outfits in different shades of blue and turquoise. However, she once wowed onlookers when she wore these earrings with a red and white houndstooth coat during an official trip to Sweden.
Clockwise from left to right: Pearls of Joy Freshwater Pearl Celeste Earrings ; Pearls of Joy Freshwater Pearl and Diamond Kaisley Earrings ; Pearls of Joy South Sea Pearl and Diamond Lily Earrings ; Pearls of Joy Freshwater Pearl Baroque Earrings
Kate’s jewellery choices are always timeless and sophisticated. She tends to favour drop earrings with white pearls. Simple hoops with suspended pearls or baroque pearl earrings for a more relaxed daytime look are a great choice. For evening wear, white South Sea pearls and diamond danglers are the perfect pick to create memorable sparkle with flair. For statement pearl stud earrings, large freshwater pearls set in a frame of diamonds are a superb choice.
Kate’s choice in jewellery leans towards pieces that are always stylish. For earrings, in particular, Kate goes for unfussy styles that give her the freedom to wear them with different outfits and different looks.
Featured Image: Kate Middleton wearing the Collingwood pearl and diamond earrings (Getty Images)