Royal Wedding Jewelry: I Wish There Had Been More Color

EditorsMay 22, 2018

Royal Wedding Jewelry: I Wish There Had Been More Color

Senior Editor Brecken Branstrator takes a look at the jewelry the Duchess of Sussex chose for her wedding day.

Meghan Markle wore Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara made in 1932, along with a Cartier bracelet and diamond studs, for the royal wedding on Saturday.
Saturday morning began with a very special wake-up call for me (and I’m sure for many of you as well): the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle or, as they now are called, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

Overall, I thought the wedding had a lot of fantastic aspects: the Kingdom Choir, the talents of 19-year-old Sheku Kanneh-Mason on the cello, Markle’s stunning veil, all the great fascinators and, of course, the look on Prince Harry’s face as his bride-to-be started down the aisle. 

I think no matter how it goes, there’s something romantic and magical about a royal wedding, and this one meant so much in terms of the progress of the crown. 

But when it comes down to why many of us largely were watching--to see the dress and the jewels--I have to admit that I was a bit underwhelmed. 

The shape and design of the dress, beautiful. Understated and classy. And yet, I couldn’t help feeling like it was missing something.

Embed from Getty Images

It was so sleek and simple, without any lace or bejeweled details at her waistline, that I felt it was a chance for a woman already known for shaking things up to go big and bold with the jewelry or, even better, to add some color. 

Thank goodness for her tiara. The platinum piece (designer unknown) was Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara made in 1932 and lent to Markle by the Queen. The tiara is a flexible band comprised of eleven sections, set with ovals and pave-set with large and small brilliant diamonds. 

The centerpiece was a diamond brooch dating from 1893, which the tiara was created specifically to display.

Embed from Getty Images

It was beautiful and regal but also provided something a little different from what we’re used to seeing when it comes to royal headpieces.

But, as I learned combing through royal wedding details while the ceremony was taking place, the tiara has been set with a sapphire in the center at times.

According to Kensington Palace, the diamond brooch was given as a present to the then-Princess Mary in 1893 by the County of Lincoln upon her marriage to Prince George, Duke of York. I suppose this history of the piece played a large part in why Markle chose to keep it that way, but to me it was a missed chance at adding a pop of color to her look. 

She topped off her bridal jewelry with diamond and white gold Galanterie de Cartier studs (which, according to The Adventurine, she had been wearing for a few weeks prior to the big day) and a Reflection de Cartier diamond bracelet. Prince Harry capped everything with the Welsh gold Cleave & Co. band he put on her finger. 

Thankfully, the day did end on a more colorful note.

As Harry and Meghan were leaving Windsor Castle to attend an evening reception at Frogmore House (in a dress I absolutely loved), we were treated to a large blue rock on her finger. 

It turns out His Royal Highness gave her a lovely aquamarine ring from Asprey with an extra special meaning--it belonged to his mother, Princess Diana. The emerald-cut ring set in 24-karat gold was created in 1997. 

Embed from Getty Images

OK readers, I know you all have your own thoughts and opinions on what the Duchess of Sussex chose for Saturday. Please share them with me in the comments section below.
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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