Camilla Parker Bowles and Princess Diana have long been compared to one another due to both women’s histories with Prince Charles. In recent years, royal fans have noticed Camilla and Diana have something else in common: a piece of jewellery that both have worn in the past. An expert has said that the jewel has an “undeniable link” to the Prince of Wales.
The brooch was handed down generations of the royal family until it reached Queen Elizabeth II.
Princess Diana found the valuable piece in her hands in 1981, gifted to her by Her Majesty before the princess’ marriage to Prince Charles.
From then on, Diana always wore the brooch as a necklace, attaching it permanently to a silver chain encrusted with tiny diamonds.
The royal sometimes wore the jewel with the emerald tear drop pendant, and sometimes without.
In 1986, Diana donned the necklace, complete with the emerald stone, to the opera at the Vienna Burgh Theatre during a tour of Austria.
A year later, she opted to wear it without the emerald addition to a state banquet held by the King of Morocco at Claridge’s Hotel in London.
Other occasions where the royal is pictured wearing the jewel include a dinner at the Royal Academy in London in 1984 and a banquet during an Italian state visit in 1990.
Following Diana’s divorce from Prince Charles, the necklace was returned to the Queen and later given to Camilla.
Although the jewel was altered again by the Duchess of Cornwall and has only been worn by her as a brooch, some have claimed this to be inappropriate.
Charlotte White, Head of Design at Europe’s largest online diamond jeweller, 77 Diamonds, said: “The notion of Camilla wearing a sparkling emerald and diamond brooch that once rested gracefully as a pendant on Diana’s skin and close to her heart, does feel somewhat jarring when you think that many years ago Camilla was Diana’s husband’s lover.
“In fact though, this antique emerald and diamond brooch is technically the property of Her Majesty The Queen and after Diana’s passing would have been returned to the Queen.
“And yet, this 158-year-old jewel does contain within it an undeniable link to Prince Charles, the man to whom both these women are inextricably linked.”
Jewellery expert Kate Earlam-Charley, Design Director at Taylor & Hart, added: “Due to the association with the Princess of Wales, it is believed that Prince Charles was eager for Camilla to have it. Camilla is also often captured wearing the design, always as a brooch.
“Perhaps forsaking the option of a necklace due to the strong association with the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
“Both choices for each individual speak a lot towards their individual style and to how well the Victorians designed jewellery.
“You can dress it down, worn as a brooch to compliment Camilla’s more understated style, or add more diamonds and all the gemstones to shine bright like Diana.”
Camilla has worn the brooch on various occasions, including at a London film premiere in 2006, at the Cheltenham Festival in 2012, and at Buckingham Palace in 2019.