August 31st will mark the 20th Anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, one of the most iconic women of the last century. In honour of her death anniversary, we are featuring 20 of her most iconic jewels, which includes Queen Mary’s Art Deco Emerald Choker!
Created from a gift of emeralds from the Ladies of India in 1911, this choker was created in the Art Deco style by Garrard in 1921, and coordinates with the larger heirloom Cambridge Emerald Parure, with which it was often paired.
Queen Mary wore the original emerald necklace at the Delhi Durbar in 1911, and later, she wore the Art Deco Emerald Choker for portraits and events, along with the wider Cambridge Emerald Parure. It was inherited by the Queen in 1953, but since she doesn’t wear chokers, it remained unworn for decades.
In 1981, the Queen gave Queen Mary’s Art Deco Emerald Choker as a wedding gift, as a lifetime loan, to Lady Diana Spencer when she married the Prince of Wales. The Princess of Wales wore the piece for the first time for a charity concert at the Barbican in 1982…
… and at a London film premiere a few weeks later.
The most famous appearance of Queen Mary’s Art Deco Emerald Choker was in 1985, when the Princess of Wales wore the piece as a bandeau for a dance in Melbourne during a Tour of Australia.
… and at the the Diamond Ball at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in 1990.
Another famous appearance of the choker was at a return Banquet hosted by the King of Malaysia at the Dorchester Hotel in 1993.
The last time Diana, Princess of Wales wore Queen Mary’s Art Deco Emerald Choker was for her 36th Birthday at the Tate Gallery in London in July 1997. Two months later, she had died, and the choker came back into the Queen’s collection.
UPDATE: The current Princess of Wales first wore Queen Mary’s Art Deco Emerald Choker for the Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony at the MGM Music Hall at Fenway in Boston in 2022!