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Then and Now: Kate Middleton Wears an Emerald Necklace with a Royal Past

The emerald choker belonged to her mother-in-law, Princess Diana.

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IN HER ROYAL trip to Boston, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Wales, went all green, wearing a stunning historic emerald necklace when she presented the second annual Earthshot Prize. The program was established by Prince William and Sir David Attenborough to award five grants annually to ideas, people and projects aimed at combating global warming. Middleton often dresses with specific intent; she is becoming a style icon and is carrying out her role with grace and elegance.

But back to the green. Middleton has been re-wearing her dresses and suits and borrowing fashion from rental companies instead of purchasing new dresses or gowns for a single event, promoting a more sustainable way of dressing. The vivid green off-the-shoulder, form-fitting gown is Solace London and was rented by the British company Hurr.

Her choice of this look seems to represent her promotion of eco-consciousness while also having sentimental meaning. For this and other events, she has chosen to wear jewels inherited from Princess Diana, the last person to hold the title of Princess of Wales and the royal fashion icon of her day. She also seems to be honoring the late queen, who often loaned or gifted jewelry to her family;  this was one of the necklaces she gifted to Diana.

Princess Diana was seen wearing the necklace on various occasions, although her affinity for blue sapphires often took center stage. But this necklace was hard to miss when she wore a green gown, similar to Middleton’s and designed by Catherine Walker, to a banquet at the Dorchester Hotel for the Yang Di-pertuan Agong of Malaysia.

The necklace was originally acquired by Queen Mary in 1911 as part of the emerald and diamond parure she debuted at the Delhi Durbar when her husband, King George V, became Emperor of India.

Then, in the 1920s, the necklace was re-designed to reflect the changing times and passed down to Queen Elizabeth II, who gifted it to Diana as a wedding gift for her marriage to Prince Charles.

Both women are style icons of their day, each influencing generations of women with the the initiatives that they nurture and advance and their graceful presence.

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Beth Bernstein is a published author of three books and jewelry and fashion expert with 18+ years experience. A broad knowledge of the history of jewelry and fashion coupled with a background in "the story", writing, trends, design concepts has earned Beth a proven track record.

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