Queen funeral: The significance behind Kate's pearl necklace

Kate wore a long black coat dress for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II today.

Catherine, Princess of Wales, attended the Queen’s funeral today with her husband, William, Prince of Wales wearing a black midi dress.

Also in attendance were Kate and William’s two eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

As is obligatory during mourning periods, Kate, 40, wore an all-black outfit for the sombre occasion, held at Westminster Abbey with over 2,000 guests.

Her Alexander McQueen coat dress is in the same style as a white one worn during the G7 Summit with Camilla, Queen Consort, and Queen Elizabeth. The British designer has long been a go-to for the Princess of Wales, with her 2011 wedding dress designed by the brand.

She also wore a wide-brimmed hat with a netted veil at the front.

“It is traditional for veils to be worn at the funeral of a monarch,” says Bethan Holt, royal fashion expert and author of The Queen: 70 years of Majestic Style. So it makes sense that the Princess of Wales and Duchess of Sussex would make a “nod to the custom, even if they don’t fully cover their faces”.

Kate’s pearl necklace stood out against her V-neck coat dress, in her signature fit-and-flare style.

The Queen’s four-string pearl and diamond choker – that was also previously worn by her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana – has been on long-term loan to Catherine, Princess of Wales for some time.

Kate previously borrowed the choker to wear to the Queen and Prince Philip’s 70th anniversary celebration in 2017, and later to the Prince’s funeral in 2021. Given the sentimental backstory behind the necklace, it’s no wonder she wore it again to honour the late monarch.

Featuring four strands of pearls and a diamond clasp, the choker was originally gifted to the Queen from Japan in the 1970s and she often wore it herself, including on a state visit to Bangladesh in 1983.

Lady Diana Spencer also borrowed the valuable piece of jewellery for several public appearances during her time as Princess of Wales, including a state visit to the Netherlands in 1982.

Kate also wore the Queen’s Bahrain pearl earrings for her funeral. Created from pearls gifted to the Queen on her wedding to Philip in 1947, the elaborate drop earrings feature a large, round brilliant-cut diamond with a smaller diamond below it; three baguette diamonds and three further small diamonds leading to the large drop pearl underneath.

The Princess of Wales has worn the sentimental earrings on several occasions in the past, including the funeral for Prince Philip in 2021, and the Remembrance Day service in 2016.

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    Coffin borne through Horse Guards Parade

    The Queen’s coffin has been borne through Horse Guards Parade, where her majesty presided over scores of Trooping the Colour ceremonies during her reign.

    It has now has entered The Mall, as the funeral procession continues towards Buckingham Palace.

    The sombre scene was bathed in sunshine, with the accompanying music of the military bands punctuated by the chimes of Big Ben.

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    Queen’s coffin begins procession towards Wellington Arch

    The Queen’s coffin has begun its procession towards Wellington Arch after it was placed back onto the State Gun Carriage.

    The route is being lined by the armed forces from Westminster Abbey to the top of Constitution Hill at the Commonwealth Memorial Gates.

    Photo by PA Media

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    ‘In loving and devoted memory’

    The emotion of the occasion showed on the faces of the King and Queen Consort as they followed the Queen’s coffin from Westminster Abbey.

    The Duke of York was seen to bow his head.

    A card in the flowers on top of the coffin read simply: “In loving and devoted memory. Charles R.”

    Photo by PA Media

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    Mourners on The Mall break into spontaneous applause

    Crowds lining The Mall broke into spontaneous applause after the national anthem was played at the Queen’s funeral.

    Before that, they had stood quietly with their heads bowed during the two-minute silence.

    Members of the royal household, clad in black, have begun lining up along the front of Buckingham Palace before the coffin is brought along in procession.

    They join members of the Guards, drawn from various regiments, who are also arranged around the Victoria Memorial and along The Mall.

    Photo by Getty Images

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    Windsor crowds fall silent

    Crowds along the Long Walk in Windsor fell silent to observe the two minutes’ silence in respect of the Queen.

    The atmosphere grew eerily quiet, still and sombre as the sound of The Last Post sounded from large screens broadcasting the state funeral at Westminster Abbey.

    Members of the largely black-clad crowd could be seen bowing their heads.

    Photo by Getty Images

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    Carpet of flowers around St George’s Chapel for Queen’s committal service

    A carpet of flowers will greet mourners arriving at St George’s Chapel for the Queen’s Committal service.

    The royal family will bid farewell to their beloved matriarch in the gothic chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle in a service attended by around 800 people.

    Members of the congregation are expected to include the late monarch’s nearest and dearest, her household staff past and present, and foreign royal families.

    A wreath from Number 10, signed by prime minister Liz Truss, sits close to the door of the chapel, and says: “For a lifetime of devotion and duty we offer our deep and sincere gratitude.”

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    ‘God Save the King’: National anthem sung by congregation

    State trumpeters from the Household Cavalry have sounded the Last Post following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s commendation over the Queen’s coffin and a blessing pronounced by the Dean.

    Two minute’s silence followed across the country before Reveille was sounded by the trumpeters.

    The National Anthem is now being sung by the congregation.

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    Archbishop: ‘She was joyful, present to so many’

    The Archbishop of Canterbury has described the Queen as having touched “a multitude of lives” and being a “joyful” figure for many.

    In his sermon, Justin Welby said the outpouring of emotion “arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us”.

    Mr Welby told the mourners at Westminster Abbey: “People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer.

    “But in all cases those who serve will be loved and remembered when those who cling to power and privileges are forgotten.

    “The grief of this day – felt not only by the late Queen’s family but all round the nation, Commonwealth and world – arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us.

    “She was joyful, present to so many, touching a multitude of lives.”

    Photo by PA Media

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    Prince George and Prince Charlotte join solemn procession

    Prince George and Princess Charlotte walked in between their parents behind the Queen’s coffin as part of a solemn procession through Westminster Abbey.

    Ahead of the service, the Princess of Wales could be seen holding Charlotte’s hand, and giving her a reassuring touch on the shoulder.

    As the young royals walked behind their great grandmother’s coffin, Charlotte held her hands clasped in front of her while George had his arms by his side.

    Photo by Getty Images

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    Funeral wreath includes flowers from Buckingham Palace and Highgrove

    The wreath which adorns the Queen’s coffin includes flowers requested by King Charles.

    Cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove House, the flowers and foliage have been chosen for their symbolism.

    They include rosemary, for remembrance, and myrtle cut from a plant which was grown from a sprig of myrtle in the Queen’s wedding bouquet.

    Also at the King’s request, the wreath has been made in a sustainable way, in a nest of English moss and oak branches.

    Photo by PA Media

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