Princess Diana: Royal’s famous choker started life as a valuable brooch

Princess Diana was clearly a fan of chokers, pictured wearing multiple different models throughout her life. But one necklace that stood out was a pearl choker with a huge sapphire stone at its centre.

Diana wore this choker on many occasions, including to the Vanity Fair party at the Serpentine Gallery on November 20, 1994.

This was the day Prince Charles admitted his infidelity on television.

Diana paired the choler with a short black dress with a plunging neckline – a garment that would go on to be forever remembered as “the revenge dress”.

But the necklace made its debut almost a decade before, in 1985, when Diana wore it for a visit to the White House, in Washington D.C.

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Diana was evidently a fan of sapphires as she often wore the choker with a pair of sapphire earrings, which the Duchess of Cambridge now owns.

She wore her sapphire engagement ring regularly too, which was also inherited by Kate.

It would therefore make sense for Kate to one day wear the sapphire and pearl choker, but it has not yet been worn by any member of the Royal Family since 1996.

Interestingly, the famous choker was not always a necklace – but a brooch.

The large sapphire stone surrounded by a cluster of tiny diamonds was a brooch belonging to Queen Mary.

After being passed down the generations Diana was the first and only member of the Royal Family to remodel it into a necklace.

A jewellery expert at jewellers Stephen Stone has estimated that the brooch is worth a whopping sum and could even be the most expensive jewel “in the entire Royal collection”.

Max Stone said: “Princess Diana was a clear fan of sapphires and just like her engagement ring, she only wore the most beautiful deep, blue stones.

“Looking at the image of the huge stone, it could be anywhere from 50 to 70 carats in weight, maybe even heavier.

“With that in mind it could be worth anywhere from £50million to £100million.

“This is probably one of the most expensive jewels from the entire Royal collection.”

Before altering the stone into a necklace, Diana wore the brooch pinned to an orange sash to a banquet at Hampton Court Palace in 1982.

The choker was however not irreversible, and after wearing it in 1985, Diana wore the brooch on its own again in 1986, attached to the neckline of a blue velvet dress for a charity gala centre at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

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