11 Times Kate Middleton Stunned In Princess Diana's Jewelry

Diana Spencer is just as much a royal fashion icon today as she was during her lifetime. While it's been a tragic 25 years since she lost her life after sustaining injuries in a car crash, the world remembers her to this day due to her uncommon kindness, strength, and determination to call out the institutional flaws within the royal family, and — of course — her iconic fashion moments. Riding to fame in the 1980s, Diana rocked trendy silhouettes and timeless pieces that quickly solidified her status as a fashion trendsetter. Simply put, she dictated royal trends for more than a decade.

Diana had several fashion eras. The blue eyeliner, puffy sleeves, and romantic silhouettes were very much Diana Chapter One. As she gained a little more independence and say over her own life, fans saw her in more daring looks — the John Travolta dress certainly comes to mind. Her looks throughout the 1990s were headline-making — her menswear, the revenge dress — each paired excellently with amazing jewels. After she tragically died, much of Diana's jewelry went to her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, and their very high-profile wives have been seen wearing her most beloved pieces throughout the years. Now that Catherine is Princess of Wales, her jewelry choices are even more poignant. Here are 11 times she stunned in Diana's jewelry.

Kate's engagement ring brought Diana's sapphire ring back into the public eye

When then-Prince Charles got engaged to a young Diana Spencer, the public was treated to a new royal engagement ring — and not just any ring, but one that would go on to become one of the most recognizable rings in the world. As noted by People, Diana chose her stunning diamond and sapphire engagement ring from jeweler Garrand. Unlike the royals who came before her who chose custom rings, Diana chose hers from a catalog.

Diana's now famous ring features a gorgeous 12-karat sapphire in the center, surrounded by 14 diamonds. It cost about $38,000 in the 1980s but is estimated to be priceless today. When Diana died, the ring went to Prince Harry, but he gifted it to his older brother so he could pop the question to then-Kate Middleton with it. She has been seen wearing the iconic engagement ring ever since.

Of course, Diana and Charles' engagement wasn't quite the fairytale that William and Kate's was. When asked if they were in love, Charles uttered his infamous "Whatever in love means" line, and he wasn't even sure if Diana would say yes. He popped the question after seeing the then-19-year-old just a dozen times and did so before she went on a trip to Australia so she could think about it. Of course, we all know what happened between them.

Diana's signature pearl-diamond choker has been seen on Kate during high-profile events

What some may not know about the royal family jewels is that it's kind of like a big borrowing system — most of the famous jewelry people recognize today belonged to Queen Elizabeth II, and she would regularly loan out pieces to her daughter-in-law, Diana Spencer. One such piece that the then-Princess of Wales wore frequently was a four-strand pearl choker with a silver pendant in the middle. A beautiful piece that demands attention, Diana wore the choker many times throughout her life.

Catherine, Princess of Wales, has often incorporated meaningful jewelry into her wardrobe, and the pearl choker is no exception. As noted by Cosmopolitan, Catherine wore the choker while attending Queen Elizabeth's state funeral in September 2022. Standing out against her all-black ensemble, the choice honored the queen and paid tribute to Diana, keeping her memory alive at such a high-profile event.

Though Catherine's decision to wear the choker at the queen's funeral had several people talking, it wasn't the first time she wore it. Donning the same piece at Elizabeth and Prince Philip's wedding anniversary party in 2017 and Philip's funeral in 2021, Catherine has gotten quite a bit of use out of this timeless piece. She's worn it on several sadder occasions as the queen saw pearls as a symbol of mourning — or tears — making Catherine's choice much more understandable.

Kate redesigned Diana's sapphire and diamond earrings

If Diana Spencer's jewelry box could be defined by one gem combination, it's diamonds and sapphires. The timeless stones not only make up her iconic engagement ring that now sits on Catherine, Princess of Wales' hand, but she had a number of other diamond and sapphire pieces that Catherine has been spotted in over the years.

Now there is a bit of a debate about Diana's sapphire and diamond earrings — which we will debunk in a bit — but in this case, Catherine has been seen in Diana's diamond and sapphire stud earrings plenty of times throughout her royal career. As noted by Town & Country, the subtle yet stately earrings feature a diamond halo and a sapphire center — much like Diana's engagement ring — and were said to be redesigned by Catherine to turn the studded earring into a single-drop design, allowing the stone to fall just off the earlobe and really shine.

For years, many thought that Catherine had changed the design of another pair of Diana's sapphire and diamond earrings, but this was debunked in 2022, as noted by Express. For now, however, these single-drop earrings can stand beautifully on their own as a piece from Diana's jewelry collection that now belongs to Catherine. 

Kate wore Diana's diamond-pearl earrings at the 2019 BAFTAs

Diana Spencer had a few key pieces of jewelry that stood out during her time as a royal — the diamond and South Sea pearls drop earrings are certainly no exception. This particular pair features an intricate diamond design before cascading into a single dropped pearl. They are simply stunning, and Diana was seen in them notably at the Royal Albert Hall in 1991, in New York in 1995, and in Sydney in 1996, as detailed by Town & Country.

When the then-Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, and Kate, attended the British Academy Film Awards in 2019, they looked radiant as ever — but it was Kate's earring choice that had people talking. Pairing her gorgeous white, one-shoulder gown with the diamond and South Sea pearl earrings, the future Princess of Wales dazzled on the carpet. Creating quite a full circle moment, the awards just happened to be held at the Royal Albert Hall — the earrings got another night out on the town, as Vanity Fair detailed.

The earrings have gone through a number of iterations, and Town & Country notes that the setting has been changed throughout the years. But if one thing is clear, Diana's influence was clearly felt on this night in particular, and Kate has worn the earrings a number of times since.

Diana's Collingwood pearl earrings have been worn by Kate

It's undeniable that Catherine, Princess of Wales, has impeccable style, but the true power of her looks is in the details. Her jewelry choices often pay tribute to the late Diana Spencer, keeping her memory alive at times of great royal importance. Queen Elizabeth II's funeral procession was no different. Amidst the mourning period for the late monarch, Catherine was spotted in Diana's Collingwood pearl earrings, as noted by the Daily Mail.

This particular pair of pearl earrings were given to Diana shortly before her wedding to then-Prince Charles from the Collingwood jewelers themselves and consist of a diamond stud, a diamond-studded cap, and the drop-down pearl. They quickly became a favorite of Diana's, and she wore them even before marrying Charles in 1981. She was seen in them again while touring the United States in 1985, and she famously wore them alongside the Lover's Knot Tiara while dressed in all white.

The queen's procession was certainly not the first time that Catherine wore the pair of earrings — she was spotted in them back in 2017 — but wearing the earrings on the cusp of being named the Princess of Wales herself was certainly a poignant choice for Catherine. Talk about a full-circle moment.

Kate dazzled in the Lover's Knot Tiara during a 2022 state visit

Tiaras are a different story as to who they belong, as the Crown Jewels are their own entity. However, Diana Spencer wore one tiara so frequently that it became synonymous with her and the title of Princess of Wales — the Lover's Knot Tiara. A stunning display of diamonds and drop-down pearls, the Lover's Knot is possibly one of the most exquisite — and recognizable — tiaras, and Catherine, Princess of Wales, chose this particular tiara while making her first state appearance with her new title.

As noted by Elle, Catherine stunned while she attended the first state banquet of King Charles III's reign in November 2022, honoring South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. Wearing a gorgeous Jenny Packham gown adorned with silver gems and a cape silhouette, Catherine's tiara choice was as dazzling as it was symbolic: Catherine paid homage to the iconic woman who came before her — Diana — with her tiara choice. The Lover's Knot Tiara was on full display, its 38 pearl drops almost stealing the show.

This was not the first time Catherine wore the Lover's Knot Tiara, as she was spotted in it in 2015, 2016, and 2019. However, this display as the Princess of Wales solidified Catherine's position as a senior royal and future queen.

Diana's double-drop sapphire earrings were seen on Kate in 2022

Here's where we get to the diamond and sapphire earring debate. For the longest time, people thought that the aforementioned single-drop sapphire and diamond earrings were a different pair once belonging to Diana Spencer. But as she displayed during the Trooping the Colour in 2022, the single drop earrings are a separate pair to the double drop diamond and sapphire earrings once belonging to Diana Spencer.

Appearing at the Trooping in a stunning Alexander McQueen white dress and a blue and white Philip Treacy hat, Catherine stunned in the double drop earrings, with Lauren Kiehna of The Court Jeweller blog telling People that in that very moment, Catherine debunked the "same pair of earrings" myth.

"This is the first time we've seen Kate wear this pair of earrings in public," Kiehna explained, noting that while the general public thought the two different pairs of earrings were one and the same, she's always stuck by the fact that they were separate pieces from Diana's jewelry collection."The sapphires in Diana's earrings are cabochons, and the sapphires in Kate's smaller earrings are faceted. The claim has now been fully debunked as Kate has now worn the double cluster earrings," Kiehna explained. So there you have it — don't assume that all sapphire and diamond earrings are the same pair!

Kate wore a favorite pearl bracelet of Diana's while in Germany

If you've gotten an overarching impression of Diana Spencer's jewelry, you've likely identified that pearls were a big part of her look. One of her most recognizable pieces of jewelry was the triple-strand pearl bracelet that she wore on a number of occasions — its simplicity and elegance made it a standout piece of her collection, and she famously wore it with her "Elvis" outfit back in the 1980s.

Catherine, Princess of Wales, has adopted several of Diana's jewelry pieces, and the triple-strand pearl bracelet is among her favorites. As noted by People, she's worn the bracelet on several occasions, spotted in it back in 2017 while in Berlin and again in 2018 while in Sweden.

Joining high-profile figures from around the world for the G-7 Summit in 2021, Catherine wore the bracelet again, a touching nod to Diana. As noted by People, Catherine joined First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, then-Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince William to champion causes related to children and schooling. Given Diana's well-documented history working with children, Catherine's choice to wear her bracelet on such a monumental occasion was rather touching.

Diana's emerald choker was Kate's top choice during a 2022 Boston visit

Here's an instance of jewelry repetition that we simply couldn't miss. While Diana Spencer was on the royal scene, she often experimented with royal jewelry and how to style it. Once trying to get a choker off by pulling it over her head, Diana accidentally discovered that it could be worn as a headband — as such, a new era of royal jewelry was born, and Diana's icon status was surely solidified.

As for Catherine, Princess of Wales, she's stuck a little more to the royal rule book when wearing jewelry, but her choice while attending the Earthshot Prize Awards in Boston in 2022 had everyone talking. As noted by Glamour, Catherine wore the show-stopping emerald and diamond choker that Diana famously turned into a headband on occasion, and Catherine's green column gown allowed the choker to dazzle. Given to Queen Mary in 1911 and then gifted to Diana by then-Prince Charles in 1981, the choker had significant history by the time Catherine wore it — not to mention instant recognition.

Though she wore it as a headband in the past, Diana chose to wear the choker around her neck back in 1993 and paired it with an equally stunning green Catherine Walker gown. When Catherine stepped out at the Earthshot Prize Awards, parallels were quickly made between the princess and her late mother-in-law. Simply flawless.

Kate redesigned a necklace of Diana's into a stunning brooch

Catherine, Princess of Wales, has not shied away from redesigning Diana Spencer's jewelry on occasion, and she did just that when paying tribute to her late mother-in-law in 2022. As noted by the Daily Mail, Catherine stunned in a gorgeous, deep red Emilia Wickstead coat while welcoming South Africa's President to Britain, and pinned to her coat was a beautiful feather pendant. As it turns out, the pendant was once worn in necklace form by Diana, and it was gifted to her by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, shortly before her wedding to then-Prince Charles.

The necklace-turned-broach features 18 round diamonds with small emeralds scattered throughout, and the feather detail is symbolic of the Prince of Wales. As she and Prince William had just been handed down the titles at the time, Catherine's jewelry choice was incredibly appropriate and very touching.

Diana was first seen in the necklace while attending an event at the Royal Opera House in 1982. She was spotted in it again in Austria in 1986, quickly becoming one of her go-to jewelry choices. As it happens, the brooch was originally introduced to the royal family back in 1863, so Catherine's choice on this occasion was not only honoring Diana but touching on generations of royal history.

Diana's sapphire-diamond collection pieces were redesigned into a necklace for Kate

To round out our selection of Catherine, Princess of Wales, wearing the late Diana Spencer's jewelry, we're returning to the diamond and sapphire debacle. As it happens, Diana had a number of diamond and sapphire pieces in her collection, and Catherine has since repurposed one gemstone combination into a necklace.

As noted by the Daily Mail, Catherine and Prince William met Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife at a palace reception. Accessorizing her Emilia Wickstead blue dress was a diamond and sapphire necklace worn by the then-Duchess of Cambridge. It was a new piece for the duchess, yet one rooted in Diana's history, as the gemstone came from her collection and was incredibly reminiscent of her drop-down earrings — both pairs.

Speaking of earrings, Catherine wore the single drop diamond and sapphire earrings on this occasion, keeping her jewelry choices modest yet powerful. Of course, and not that we expect anything different, she simply dazzled. Her blue dress and incorporation of blue-toned jewelry could've also been a subtle nod to Ukraine's flag, as blue is a prominent color and representation of the country. Though members of the royal family don't often speak publicly about politics, Catherine has been known to weave in subtle tributes in her wardrobe and jewelry choices.