The good news from Queen Elizabeth II’s London procession was that the Duchess of Sussex didn’t have to ride in the car with the new Princess of Wales. Meghan rode to Westminster Hall with the Countess of Wessex. The imagery from the procession reminded me of several things all at once: British people do solemn pageantry so well and the new Princess of Wales will stop at nothing to become the center of attention at someone’s funeral. I rarely think to reuse the photos of Kate at Prince Philip’s funeral, but she did the most to turn that into her own personal photoshoot. For Philip’s funeral, she wore a new Catherine Walker dress and borrowed pearls-and-diamonds from the Royal Collection, a four-strand pearl necklace with a diamond center, plus coordinating earrings. Guess what she did for QEII’s procession? Something very similar.
Kate wore a new-to-us Catherine Walker coatdress which was actually pretty nice. Kate owns at least one hundred black coats and dresses, so I’m not sure why this one, for this event, but it’s pretty flattering. Less flattering? The giant brooch. None of the other women wore big, statement jewelry but Kate. Looks like the Daily Mail got briefed on the significance of the jewelry too:
The Duchess of Cambridge and Cornwall, as she is now known, looked somber in a Catherine Walker dress as she followed the procession in a car. For the occasion, she wore a pair of pearl dropped earrings and a pearl brooch. Kate looked elegant in a black dress, which she adorned with a brooch made of three imposing pearls and a stem which matched her earrings.
It is believed the Queen wore the brooch during her visit to South Korea in 1999 and Kate wore it in Belgium for the 100th anniversary of Passchendaele in 2017. It matched the dropped earrings she wore for the occasion.
The earrings belonged to Princess Diana and were a wedding gift to her from Collingwood Jewellers for her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981.
You see? Kate made a special effort to homage Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana! Honestly, the earrings are fine and Kate wanted to emphasize that she has access to some (not all, but some) of Diana’s jewelry collection. I don’t really understand the significance of the brooch other than “the Queen wore it” though. And it’s such a gaudy brooch too, too big and shiny for a somber procession.
Anyway, I wonder what this means for the actual funeral on Monday. Will Kate cosplay Jackie Kennedy and wear a full black veil? A pillbox hat? Full on diamond-and-pearl set, including chandelier earrings, matching brooch, necklace and bracelet? I was just idly wondering this, btw, then I saw this piece at Page Six. Apparently, the “mourning veil” is a tradition for royal women at royal funerals, and we’ll likely see many royal women wear full black veils or netted veils. Now I wonder if Meghan will wear one.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.