Happy Birthday to the Duchess of Cornwall, who turns 72 today! While the Duchess can beautifully carry off some large Tiaras and huge gemstone necklaces, her signature jewels for decades have been Pearl Chokers! To mark her birthday we are taking a look at all of her Chokers, from the family and Royal heirlooms to the more recent gifts from the Prince of Wales-
Her most worn piece, the 4-strand Pearl Choker features a Antique Diamond Clasp that may possibly be the central element of Queen Alexandra’s Ladies of Leeds Bracelet, given as a wedding gift in 1863. The Choker first appeared in 2012, and has been worn for daytime events and evening galas, as well as special family occasions, most recently at the Christening of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
In 2000, the Prince of Wales bought a Antique Topaz and Diamond Brooch and Earrings at Auction at Sotheby’s for £22,925, the former being incorporated into a Pearl Necklace, which was shortened into the current 5-strand Pearl Choker around 2008. The Choker is an eye-catching favourite of the Duchess for Royal Ascot and the Trooping of the Colour, and has also been worn at recent White Tie galas.
Featuring a large square Aquamarine set in gold and diamonds as the clasp of the 3-strand Pearl Choker, this piece is a family heirloom from the Duchess’ mother, the Hon. Rosalind Shand, and has been in her collection since the 1970s. While not as much of a favourite like the previous two chokers, this one is still worn a couple of times every year, most often at Royal Ascot.
Featuring a small round diamond clasp in a low-lying 4-strand Pearl Choker, this piece first appeared around 2010, and soon became one of the Duchess’ most worn pieces, a favourite for mainly daytime events, though it has been surpassed by the 4-strand Pearl Choker with Queen Alexandra’s Antique Diamond Clasp in recent years.
Worn for the first time around 2015, this 3-strand Pearl Choker features an Art Deco Diamond and Sapphire Clasp, and has been worn more increasingly by the Duchess in the past few months.
Featuring a carved amethyst and diamond flower clasp, the 4-strand Pearl Choker is one of the newer additions to the Duchess’ jewellery box, and has been paired with her large amethyst earrings.
With a amethyst in a low-lying 3-strand Pearl Choker, this piece has been in the Duchess’ collection since 2000, and is thought to be a gift from the Prince of Wales. It was most notably worn on the night the couple announced their engagement, though it has been sparely worn in recent years.
One of the more unusual pieces in her collection, the 3-strand Ruby and Pearl Choker with Garnet Clasp was first seen in the 1990s, and was most notably worn by the Duchess on her Honeymoon, though it has also been sparely worn in recent years.