The Story Behind the Choker

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  • Much has been said about Princess Diana’s iconic style, but though her dresses were deserving of every headline, so was her jewellery, and I’m not just referring to that engagement ring which she redesigned after Prince Charles gave it to her.

    The royal had an extensive collection (which Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle inherited), which included an initial necklace long before they were trendy, as well as two special watches and of course, many, many diamonds.

    Di was said to also love sapphires, and in fact quite a few of her favourite pieces included the gemstone. One of her favourite necklaces, which she wore all the time, was a three strand pearl choker, with at its centre a giant sapphire surrounded by diamonds.

    She was photographed wearing it at many events in the late 80s and 90s, including a ball in Vienna, a concert at the Royal Albert Hall, the Met Gala and, most famously, at the Serpentine Gallery event where she debuted the revenge dress.

    The story behind it is rather unusual, since the piece didn’t start off as a necklace at all, but as a brooch. It was a wedding gift from her grandmother-in-law, the Queen Mother.

    Diana wore it pinned to her Belville Sassoon gown at a Downing Street banquet in 1982, and although she wore it as a brooch a few times, she quickly had it mounted onto a seven strand pearl choker.

    Since the royal didn’t wear brooches much, she therefore created a piece she knew she would get much more wear out of. Whilst we don’t know the exact date she had the piece made, we do know she was first photographed wearing it at President Ronald Reagan’s ball in Washington in 1985.

    A famous pictures shows her being twirled around the dancefloor by John Travolta, in a velvet off-the-shoulder gown, set off beautifully by her precious necklace.

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