One of the Princess of Wales’s most fascinating necklaces was her sapphire and pearl choker necklace, which she famously wore dancing with John Travolta at the White House in 1985. Diana also dazzled royal fans with the necklace when she appeared wearing the necklace on the night Prince Charles had admitted to having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles on television, in what was dubbed her ‘revenge outfit’ by style commentators.
However, the Duchess of Cornwall has been spotted with a strikingly similar necklace in the same style of rows of pearl beads, clasped at the front with a massive blue jewel.
Camilla’s necklace is called the ‘Nightly Necklace’ according to the Court Jeweller and is an aquamarine and pearl choker necklace.
Although the jewels may not be the same on the two royal ladies’ necklaces, the style of the two necklaces is strikingly similar.
One key difference is Camilla’s necklace only appears to have three rows of pearl beads, however, Princess Diana’s has seven rows of pearl beads forming the choker necklace.
The Duchess of Cornwall was seen wearing her pearl choker necklace with an elaborate aquamarine, gold, and diamond clasp for the second day of the Royal Ascot in June 2019.
She reportedly inherited the piece from her late mother, the Hon. Rosalind Shand.
Although the clasp is elaborate, Camilla has worn it for both day and evening occasions, especially in the early years of her royal marriage.
Camilla also owns other necklaces in a similar style to Princess Diana’s famous necklace, including the Five-Stranded necklace with pink topaz and a diamond clasp.
This large necklace features five strands of pearls gathered by a large pink topaz and diamond clasp and is an antique from the Edwardian period.
Princess Diana’s Sapphire and Pearl Choker Necklace is iconic and was one of Diana’s most sparkling wedding presents.
It was a gift from the Queen Mother, and according to fashion historian Suzy Menkes: “The Queen Mother’s wedding present to Diana was a duck egg of a sapphire, surrounded by a double row of diamonds and mounted as a brooch.”
However, Princess Diana was not a frequent brooch-wearer, and at some point, the sapphire and diamond cluster was adapted so that it could be worn as the clasp of a seven-stranded pearl choker necklace.
Diana wore the new necklace setting of the piece for a famous visit to the White House in Washington, D.C., in November 1985.
The dinner, hosted by President and Nancy Reagan, was a star-studded 1980s event.
Royal fans will remember this necklace, dress, and event mostly because of Diana’s famous dance with John Travolta.
The most famous occasion when this necklace was seen was in 1994.
After it was revealed Prince Charles had an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, the Princess wore a velvet dress by Christina Stambolian with this same necklace to the Serpentine Gallery in London. The outfit turned heads and is widely remembered today as Diana’s ‘revenge outfit’.
Her stunning little black dress was perfectly cut for the Princess’s figure, and the necklace added a beautiful pop of colour to the outfit.
Diana’s final appearance in the necklace came in December 1996, when she wore it at the Met Gala in New York, which she attended with a friend, Harper’s Bazaar editor Liz Tilberis.
The sapphire cluster was one of Diana’s personally-owned pieces of jewellery, so it was almost certainly inherited by her sons after her death in 1997. It has not been seen in public in 24 years, despite Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall wearing similar versions.