Did you know that the Queen’s love for pearls stems from an age-long tradition that goes back several hundreds of years?
And that no matter the occasion, Queen Elizabeth is always wearing pearls?
Ever wondered why this is the case or the significance of the pearls the Queen and the rest of the royal family always wear pearls?
Well, you’re about to find answers to these and other questions about the royal family’s love for pearls. So, keep reading for these insights.
Why does the royal family wear pearls?
Wearing pearls is considered an important tradition to the Queens and Royalty, and it’s a tradition that goes back at least one thousand years. As a result, you will almost always see the queen wearing pearls as her signature jewelry.
For over a thousand years, no Queen has ever stepped out without wearing pearls or has never been known not to have a collection of iconic pearls.
And according to the author of The Queen’s Jewels, Leslie Field, the reason why the pearls are a signature look or jewelry of choice for the Queen is that the pearls are not just rare and beautiful, but also because they are quite lustrous when worn, meaning that the real pearls worn by the Queen look better with time.
2.Family tradition and celebration of big moments
The Queen’s love and preference for pearl jewelry didn’t start when she got on the throne, it started much earlier, and she wore pearls as a little girl.
The reason for this is believed to have to do with the influence of her family and also the fact that wearing pearl jewelry was practically a family tradition that was started by Queen Victoria.
Queen Victoria is said to have given all her daughters and her granddaughters a pearl each year on their birthdays, such that by their 18th birthdays, they’d have enough pearls that would be strung into a necklace.
This tradition was picked up by Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, who gave her two pearls on each birthday and also a platinum chain that she strung the pearls on.
This family tradition went on for years, and in 1935 during the Silver Jubilee, King George V, the Queen’s grandfather, gave her a 3-strand pearl necklace while Princess Margaret received the 2-strand pearl necklace.
They wore these necklaces during their father’s/ parents’ coronation in 1937.
To date, the pearls are the royal family’s go-to in big celebrations, including birthdays. The pearls are also given to brides, the bride’s mother, and also in anniversary celebrations and for significant birthdays.
3.Pearls are considered the appropriate jewelry style for royalty, and her official uniform for official engagements.
While the Queen boasts an elaborate collection of pearl jewelry ranging from the single-stranded pieces to the elaborate and more detailed 6-strand pearl necklace which she was gifted during her visit to Qatar, there is no denying the fact that the Queen might own the largest collection of the pearl jewelry.
It is, therefore, interesting to note that despite the large collection of pearl jewelry, the most common piece worn by the Queen is the three-strand pearl necklace design that was made from a collection of pearls that were all family heirloom pieces.
She wears this 3-stranded piece quite frequently. The reason why this is the pearl necklace that she wears just about all the time is not just because of its sentimentality, but also because this is the one necklace that she feels the most appropriate in.
Accordingly, the Queen wishes to wear these pearls daily in the same way as her mother, and her grandmother did before her. And so, it’s become a tradition, and you wouldn’t find the Queen earing a diamond necklace when attending a charity lunch; she always has the 3-strand necklace on.
Wearing pearls is simply a tradition that cannot be erased just like that, and also, a lady is expected to wear pearls during the day.
4.It’s the Queen’s Go-To Statement Accessory
The Queen’s go-to pearl necklace for special occasions is a necklace made of graduated pearls and an elegant diamond clasp.
This is the necklace that the Queen had made shortly after her ascension to the throne, and it’s considered the necklace she wears whenever she needs to make a rare address to the nation as she did in April 2020, where she reassured the masses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
She also had on the necklace recently during the last-minute wedding for Princess Beatrice.
5.The Queen loves pearls.
After she was gifted the three-strand pearl necklace in 1937 by King George V, Her Majesty, the Queen loved the necklace so much, and she had another 3-strand pearl necklace made.
And despite having 2 identical pearl necklaces already in her collection, she was gifted a third 3-strand pearl necklace in 1953 in Qatar by the Emir. All three necklaces look alike and have the same diamond claps, which is very stunning.
In other words, the pearl necklaces represent the primary elements of the Queen’s wardrobe.
What happened to Queen Elizabeth I’s pearls?
It is said that the Queen divided the pearls among her 5 daughters fairly, giving each of her daughters 2 pearls on their birthdays until they came of age.
There were 4 pearls remaining, and these were incorporated in the Queen’s Imperial Crown. Today, the Imperial Crown is at The Tower of London, where it sits among the rest of the Crown Jewels.
It’s worth noting that among the monarchs, Queen Elizabeth I had the most elaborate collection of jewels and costumes. Known as the Tudor Queen who ruled Britain between 1558 and 1603 and considered the greatest of the British Monarchs leading the country during the Golden Age, her love for jewelry was unmistakable.
Wearing pearls etiquette in the royal family
- One of the rules around wearing pearls and accessorizing in general, for the royal family, is the timings. A lady is expected to – and it is appropriate for a lady to wear her pearls during the day. She cannot wear diamonds during the day, and if you would love to wear diamonds, you can only do so after 6 pm.
- Pearls are also expected to be worn by royalty during big events and celebrations.
Pearls are, for the royal family, the epitome of their traditions, but they also carry a great significance, historically.
And over the many years on the throne, the Queen has experienced a full life that is full of the richest royal heritages, and the pearls and pearl jewelry is one of the remarkable things about her reign.
Pearls have also stayed in the royal family for over 1000 years, and seeing how highly regarded the pearls are; it makes sense that the Queen is always wearing pearls.
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Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.