As Princess Charlotte, age seven, walked into Westminster Abbey for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, a small pendant sparked in the light: a small horseshoe, delicately pinned to her black dress.
The piece, undoubtedly, was a visual ode to her late grandmother. A known lover of horses and racing—“I think this is her passion in life, and she loves it and you can tell how much she loves it,” Camilla, the Queen Consort, once told ITV—the Queen was often spotted riding on the grounds of Windsor Castle well into her nineties. The thoughtful understated brooch not only honored the monarch, but the person the United Kingdom has lost.
Her mother, the Princess of Wales, also joined her daughter in honoring the monarch through jewelry. She wore a four-strand pearl necklace with a diamond clasp originally owned by Queen Elizabeth herself. The Princess chose to wear the sentimental piece to the Queen and Prince Philip’s 70th wedding anniversary in 2017, and again to Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021.
The Duchess of Sussex also wore a pair of delicate pearl earrings, gifted to her by the Queen, for the solemn occasion.
Pearls have a longtime association with royal women and mourning. Queen Victoria wore them to mark the loss of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861, and centuries of aristocrats have followed suit. “It’s very much a tradition,” author and jewelry historian Vivienne Becker previously told British Vogue. “It’s all about the suppression of color, and also pearls are not glittery or brash. By choosing them, you are being low-key and respectful.”
Indeed, it seems all of Queen Elizabeth’s family, from young and old, are respectfully paying their respects through jewelry.