Catherine’s jewellery: The Prince of Wales feather brooch

An old piece for the new Princess

On Tuesday, The Prince and Princess of Wales greeted The President of South Africa, who was visiting the UK on a State Visit. 

The Princess debuted a new piece of jewellery in her collection, but it is a piece that has been around for over 100 years. The piece in question is The Prince of Wales Feather Brooch.

We’ve got its full history for you below. 

The Princess of Wales wearing the Prince of Wales feather brooch to greet President Ramaphosa on behalf of The King

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The brooch was gifted to Queen Alexandra upon her marriage to the future Edward VII in 1898; he was Prince of Wales at the time. The gift came from the Ladies of North Wales society.

The brooch features the Prince of Wales feathers  in an oval of diamonds, and a scroll inscribed with the Prince of Wales’ motto ‘Ich Dien’ – ‘I serve’ in German. The piece holds 18 brilliant-cut diamonds accented with tiny emeralds.

After Queen Alexandra’s death in 1925, it was passed down to her daughter-in-law, Queen Mary, and then to Mary’s daughter-in-law, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

In 1981, the Queen Mother gifted the brooch to Lady Diana Spencer to mark her engagement to Prince Charles. Diana used the piece as a necklace, suspended from a diamond chain, which was part of the Saudi Sapphire Suite. She wore the pendant on a number of occasions, including during a visit to the Royal Opera House in 1982.

The pendant was returned to the Queen in the 1990s, following either Charles and Diana’s divorce, or Diana’s death in 1997.

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Charles then passed the piece of jewellery to Camilla, who began wearing the pendant in the early 2000s. She changed the form of the item back to a brooch. She famously wore the brooch on her wedding day in 2005, even though she never formally used the title, though legally she always was Princess of Wales.

The brooch has now been passed on to the new-Princess of Wales and we’re sure the brooch will make numerous appearances in the future. 

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