While the members of the family have been spotted wearing sombre colours, mostly all-black ensembles, they have chosen to commemorate her memory in small ways, like Queen Consort Camilla wearing the Queen’s favourite jewellery set, a four-strand pearl collar necklace with matching earrings.
In a similar way, Kate Middleton, now the Princess of Wales, is paying tribute to the late monarch by wearing ‘mourning jewellery’ during her public appearances. This consists of simple pearl jewellery, a pair of dangling pearl earrings in Middleton’s case, which is traditionally worn by the women of the royal family on sombre occasions like a funeral.
Middleton was also spotted in a three-strand pearl necklace as she made her way to the Buckingham Palace from Soctland earlier this week. This necklace was also one of the Queen’s favourites, one she was seen wearing at Prince Phillip’s funeral last year.
Believe it or not but the tradition has been going on since the time of Queen Victoria. It is said that, following the death of her husband Prince Albert, the Queen spent the rest of her life wearing black because she was in mourning. She only chose to accessorise her outfits with black or colourless jewellery, like pearls. According to her, the pearls represented tears.
Despite having not-so-pleasant connotations, pearls were always Queen Elizabeth’s favourites. You’d be hard pressed to find an image of her where she’s not wearing a strand of pearls around her neck or on her ears. Over the years, the monarch had built an impressive collection of pearl jewellery.
This is why Middleton’s decision to exclusively wear pearls during the time of mourning holds special meaning.