Next week marks the 60th Anniversary of the Birth of the late Diana, Princess of Wales! We covered her Top 20 Jewels to mark the 20th Anniversary of her Death in 2017, and for the next few days leading up to this anniversary, we are featuring a few more pieces from the late Princess’ collection, beginning with her Amethyst Suite:
The provenance of this suite is unknown but it was likely a gift to the Princess from the Prince of Wales, and one of the earliest appearences of the earrings, featuring cabochon amethysts in a modern diamond frame set in gold, and the cabochon amethyst clasps of the a pearl necklace and bracelet came at a Gala in Cardiff in 1985. Later that year, the Princess paired the earrings with the Spencer Tiara at a Banquet at Government House in Canberra in 1985, after which the earrings and the burgundy Catherine Walker gown were repeated for a Concert in aid of the Musician’s Benevolent Fund at the Barbican and a performance of ‘Winding Road’ by the London City Ballet at Sadler’s Wells Theatre within a few months.
In 1986, the Princess wore the earrings at a British Fashion Banquet during British Fashion Week. Notable appearences the following year include a Banquet at the Palace of Ajuda in Lisbon during a visit to Portugal, a performance of Barry Humphries show ‘Back with a Vengeance’ at the Strand Theatre in London, and a performance of Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ at the National Theatre in Munich, when the Princess debuted a new choker with amethyst beads and the cabochon amethyst elements. Around this time, a bracelet in the same style began to be publicly worn.
In later years, the Princess wore her Amethyst Suite for the premiere of ‘The Last Emperor’ in 1988, a Banquet during a visit to Nigeria in 1990, a series of Official Portraits in 1991 and a Douglas Hardinge Anderson Painting. She retained her jewels after her divorce and wore the earrings and bracelet for a Gala Dinner and Charity Fundraiser at the Field Museum of National History in Chicago in 1996. After her tragic death in 1997, the Princess’ jewels were inherited by her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, and while some pieces have been worn by their wives, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex, the Amethyst Suite has not made a reappearance. Given the setting of the choker and bracelet, the suite would look quite dated and doesn’t fit the aesthetic of either Duchess, though the earrings are neutral enough to be worn again.