12 Times Kate Middleton Wore Affordable Jewelry

Catherine, Princess of Wales, can rock a tiara and a priceless parure with the best of them. While some of the pieces of jewelry that Catherine has added to her collection over the years are borderline priceless, she also wears pieces of jewelry that don't cost a royal fortune. Ever one to let her sartorial choices talk for her, Catherine loves to mix things up a bit and pair affordable jewelry with high-end designer duds. As royal fashion expert Miranda Holder told Newsweek, "Unlike some previous royals before her, Kate is a very hands-on mum, so she is naturally further removed from the more traditional splendor and corresponding lifestyle of the expensive crown jewels."

Whatever the reason for her choices, it's laudable that the princess wears such a variety, and it makes her a far more approachable princess than many of the royals before her. It also makes it much easier for those of us without a duchy to claim to emulate her style. Check out these times when Princess Catherine rocked jewelry that's totally affordable.

Princess Catherine's stunning but reasonable statement earrings

In June of 2023, Catherine, Princess of Wales, arrived at Royal Ascot looking as lovely as ever in a pair of earrings by French clothing company Sézane. The gold drop earrings featured a filigree design and black beads, all of which were on clear display thanks to her updo. She kept the rest of her look monochromatic with a red hat, dress, clutch, and pair of shoes. (There was, of course, a pop of blue thanks to Catherine's iconic sapphire engagement ring.) The royal attended the event sans necklace, so aside from her ring, her jewelry was quite affordable.

Catherine has been spotted in Sézane jewelry on a number of occasions, including in late 2022 when she wore another pair of earrings by the designer that she reportedly received as a Christmas gift from her husband, Prince William. As noted by Cosmopolitan, the future king apparently gave his wife gold-plated earrings that cost around $130. Now, that may seem like a low price tag for a royal family gift exchange, but it actually falls in line with royal tradition. According to "Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan" by Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie" (via Newsweek), "[Adult family members] all frowned upon lavish presents for one another. Instead, Christmas was an occasion for inexpensive and sometimes humorous gifts." All things considered, $130 is much less than the Prince of Wales could spend on his wife — but hey, tradition is tradition.

A charming and sensible pair of gold earrings

By this point, clothing brands are certainly aware of a little something called the "Kate effect," or the impact that Princess Catherine's sartorial choices can have on a company's bottom line. Every time the Princess of Wales is photographed at a royal event in an eye-catching dress or smart coat, the brands behind the ensembles have the potential to make a killing. The same goes for Princess Catherine's jewelry. A brand called Spells Of Love experienced the "Kate effect" in a major way after she got ahold of a pair of their earrings in 2022. Shortly after Queen Elizabeth II's death, Catherine was seen wearing a red coat and gold hoops made by Spells Of Love.

Unsurprisingly, Spells of Love designer Hayley Jones was thrilled. As she told Express.co.uk, "Seeing the Princess of Wales wear our pieces has been an honour. As a small two-person-run business, it has really helped put us on the map. ... We have had orders globally, from countries I would have never expected to know who we are. It has been so surreal, and I am forever grateful." The earrings retailed at the time for £79, which comes to about $100. The coat Catherine wore that day, by British designer LK Bennett, was far pricier, retailing for over $700.

Princess Catherine's pearl piece didn't break the royal bank

It's clear that Catherine, Princess of Wales, is a fan of pearls. Whether earrings, necklaces, brooches, or otherwise, the royal has rocked the natural stone countless times, and one of her pearl accessories — a necklace — is actually quite accessible. Said accessory is made by jewelry designer Monica Vinader. In early 2022, when Catherine was seen in the pearl necklace, Harper's Bazaar noted it retailed for around $150. Princess Catherine wore the necklace with a pair of pearl earrings and a red blazer from Zara, another favorite brand of the royal.

Vinader is another designer who's benefited from the "Kate effect." "It's no coincidence that our consistent bestsellers over the years are pieces that have been spotted on the Duchess of Cambridge," Vinader told Hello! magazine. And the designer has had the double pleasure of having Meghan Markle wear her jewels, too. "It's a huge honour to see high-profile women wearing my pieces and how they style and make them their own. It is always a proud moment for me seeing their genuine love of the brand and the designs we were creating — since they could really wear any brand in the world," Vinader added.

Even princesses wear ASOS jewelry

Princess Catherine is a fan of gold hoops, and she continually proves herself (or her stylist) to be a smart shopper by wearing pairs that are affordable, like the $12 ASOS hoops she trotted out multiple times in 2021. Prince William's other half wore twist hoops with a red turtleneck sweater and again with a red dress. Per Cosmopolitan, these little earrings sold out wicked fast. Once they were back in stock, royal fashion fans presumably pounced.

It does not feel like a reach to say that the princess seems to be a diehard fan of ASOS. Back in 2015, when she was pregnant with Princess Charlotte, Catherine was spotted in a black polka dot dress from the brand. The dress, which then was priced at $63, sold out within minutes of fans learning where they could purchase one themselves. In 2020, she donned a white ASOS blouse that quickly sold out, and she was photographed in the top multiple times after. Years later, in 2023, Catherine sported the brand again. She wore a bright blue blouse made by ASOS while attending the ballet with her daughter.

Princess Catherine's gem of a find

It's always been a little surprising to see Catherine, Princess of Wales, wearing such affordable pieces of jewelry — she is a literal princess after all. But as her time in the royal family continues, it's perhaps more surprising now that she continues to wear affordable pieces than it was when she first became royalty — after all, this is the person who reportedly received the vast majority of the late Queen Elizabeth's jewelry. But Catherine remains steadfast in her commitment to wearing a high-low wardrobe, particularly in her jewelry selections. In 2022, she displayed a classic example of this practice when she paired a Chanel blazer with an Astley Clarke necklace. According to the Daily Mail, this necklace, a little blue gem on a gold chain, sold for about $200 at the time she was sporting it.

We presume most designers are elated to know Princess Catherine is wearing their jewels, but only a few publicly acknowledge their gratitude. Astley Clarke, on the other hand, dedicated an entire page of the company website to the necklace the princess has worn on multiple occasions. It also offers a variety of other pieces that match the necklace so those of us without a tiara or a title can still look like royalty.

Pippa Middleton's thoughtful and affordable gift

Princess Catherine's impact on fashion has now transcended decades — and not just because she's been a royal since 2011. A necklace that Catherine was first spotted wearing in 2013 after the birth of her first son is still in production today. That's quite the impact. As the designer, Beatrice de Montille, told People, Catherine's sister, Pippa Middleton, had purchased items from Merci Maman in the past, and while Catherine was pregnant with her son, de Montille asked Pippa to give the customized, hand-made necklace to her sister as a gift. "We didn't know if (the duchess) was wearing it or not. Then we came across a blog recently showing a picture of her back in October, shopping in Zara, and she was wearing our necklace!" de Montille said.

Since then, the necklace has become a sensation, and it's even been renamed The Duchess Necklace. As of this writing, the piece goes for $189. "We created this for her and now we are selling the exact same necklace to everyone. I couldn't think of a better ambassador. She is very chic," de Montille added.

Princess Catherine's rhodochrosite earrings weren't too costly

2022 was the year of affordable jewelry for Catherine, Princess of Wales. While the royal is quite often seen in accessible pieces, she was photographed several times that year wearing jewelry that isn't literally priceless. As the Daily Mail noted, Princess Catherine was seen wearing a pair of $107 rhodochrosite earrings from Missoma, a brand that her sister-in-law Meghan Markle has shown an affinity for also, in October of that year. While many brands have lauded the "Kate effect" for a boost in sales, Marisa Hordern, the woman who founded Missoma, views the royal's interest in her pieces a little differently. "It is generally good for the brand [when someone famous wears the jewellery] but we don't really see spikes as such. It tends to just show how versatile the pieces are in terms of who wears it and how it can be worn," Hordern told Harper's Bazaar.

Catherine clearly isn't the only royal in the family who opts for affordable jewelry. Meghan has proven to be a savvy shopper, too, favoring brands at a lower price point, like Missoma, Pippa Small, and Shaun Leanne.

Catherine's Accessorize earrings are far from extravagant

Let's face it — affordable means something different to everyone. However, there are certainly pieces of jewelry that can be considered inexpensive across the board, like a pair of earrings from Accessorize that Princess Catherine wore while in London one day in 2023. As Grazia noted at the time, Princess Catherine donned a green midi dress and a chic pair of heels, but the most notable part of her outfit was her $14 gold drop earrings. The royal has been known to wear jewelry from the brand, and some of the pieces, especially when on sale, go for less than $10 each.

Another notable time the Princess of Wales was spotted in jewelry from Accessorize was in April of that same year when she and Prince William were in Wales abseiling. Per Express, Catherine performed the activity — something that can be quite dangerous if not done properly — in her engagement ring and a pair of earrings. The princess didn't share whether she lost any jewelry while rappelling, but if she had sacrificed an earring or two, it wouldn't have been a major loss as the set only cost $10.

Catherine's striking handmade earrings cost under $100

Catherine, Princess of Wales, often wears well-known brands that already have a large audience, like Alexander McQueen and Jenny Packham. But she's also a fan of lesser-known designers, like Malaika Carr of CHALK. Catherine has been seen in a pair of earrings designed by Carr multiple times, which has been a major deal for the company. "Coming from the perspective of a small brand, moments like these mark huge milestones. It is refreshing to know that HRH supports independent creators," Carr told Hello! magazine. Princess Catherine was first photographed in Carr's earrings in 2022 while visiting an organization in London with her husband, Prince William. She wore the earrings with a white Alexander McQueen suit.

The second time she sported the funky earrings was in 2023 while speaking at a BAFTA event. Catherine opted for a red suit this time, again by McQueen, but the earrings, which sell for around $95, stood out just the same. According to Hello!, the pieces of jewelry were inspired by the Royal Opera House and worn in honor of Queen Elizabeth II.

Her BAFTA earrings were a hit for Zara

Unless you are a professional jewelry appraiser, estimating the price of jewelry is no easy feat. Several factors affect the cost, and with modern materials and look-alike gems in heavy circulation, it's even harder to know the value of a piece simply by looking at it. Catherine, Princess of Wales, has proven that to be true time and again. Although we can guess that she's in potentially millions of dollars worth of jewelry when she's wearing a tiara or an enormous necklace seemingly made of diamonds, rubies, and other precious stones, when she's in costume pieces, it's not quite so easy to guess the cost. Take, for example, when Princess Catherine arrived at the 2023 BAFTAs in a pair of stunning Zara earrings. As Hello! noted, they cost just over $20.

The earrings were a major statement piece. Made of what appeared to be hammered metal, they featured clusters of flowers, as well as a few cascading pieces. While the earrings were quite the focal point, the rest of the ensemble drew attention, too. Catherine wore a chic white one-shoulder Alexander McQueen dress which she paired with black opera gloves. The royal kept her brown locks straight and pulled back, and she carried a black clutch. The total cost of the outfit was rather high, but the earrings didn't make for much of the sum.

Her sparkly statement necklace looked expensive

Zara has been a favorite brand of Princess Catherine's for years. Back in 2013, the royal attended the London premiere of "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" in a cream long-sleeved Roland Mouret dress and a thick sparkler from the aforementioned affordable brand. Per the Daily Mail, the necklace retailed for around $25. While the exact price of this particular dress is unknown, the dresses available on the Roland Mouret website cost between $850 and $2,200.

As noted, the royal is often seen in a high-low wardrobe. And as with everything the royals do, Catherine's choice to wear pieces that fit within a wide price range is completely by design. "Kate does indeed wear a mixture of expensive high-end and more accessible brands, both in terms of clothes and, of course, her accessories, and this is for a number of reasons," royal fashion expert Miranda Holder told Newsweek. "Firstly, it makes the princess's style more accessible and relatable, which in turn increases her popularity, reminding us all that underneath all the pomp and circumstance, she is just like the rest of us," she added.

Catherine's bold yet pretty accessible necklace

While at BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge in October 2022, Princess Catherine wore a cream blazer and black pants, and she paired it with a gold Laura Lombardi necklace called the Luisa, which retails at $260. This time, though, the price wasn't the biggest shock – it was the deviation from her standard jewelry choices. We've come to know Princess Catherine for her minimalistic approach to jewelry, both in the amount of jewelry she wears, as well as the pieces. They're often elegant and delicate, offering their impact by way of a precious stone or unique design. The Lombardi chain, however, was chunky and conspicuous, a can't-miss piece that took those familiar with her wardrobe by surprise.

But perhaps we should be more expectant of the unexpected from Catherine, both in price and look. As fashion expert Miranda Holder said to Newsweek, "Kate is just as keen on fashion as the next 40-something-year-old, and limiting her style repertoire to purely heirloom and pricey pieces would feel far too austere. She would lose much of the fashion fun that we know she enjoys." It seems we can expect the royal to continue wearing affordable pieces of jewelry for the foreseeable future. Anyone wanting to accessorize more like a princess can rejoice.