We all often reminisce over Princess Diana’s most iconic looks. Whether it’s her oversized collars, her shoulder pads, *that* revenge dress or – our most frequently referenced aesthetic over recent months – her casual athleisure looks, there was very little ground left uncovered when it came to Diana’s wardrobe.
But have you ever looked beyond the dresses, beyond the slogan 80s sweatshirts, and thought about another major element of her style? No, we’re not talking about her much-adored hairstyles. We’re referring to the rather epic contents of her jewellery box (or ‘boxes’, we’d imagine).
Whatever the occasion, Princess Diana knew how to accessorise. Whether she was showing off a simple new yellow gold earring beneath some punchy sunglasses to watch a polo match at Cowdray Park Polo Club or decked out in reams of seemingly endless pearls for a far fancier occasion, no one could accuse the Princess of Wales of lacking in the jewellery department.
But what was *so* impressive about her collection? We’re still lusting after it decades later.
Here are 7 of Princess Diana’s best ever jewellery moments that proved she was *way* ahead of her time…
1. The Upcycled Personalised Necklace
We’ve almost all had a personalised necklace with our initial on at some point in our lives, but Diana’s contemporary taste doesn’t end there. Not only did she clearly love her ‘D’ pendant, but the savvy Princess also upcycled the original – seen here on a 19-year-old Diana in September, 1980 – swapping out the link chain for a more rigid choker style during a visit to Australia in November, 1985.
2. The Future Heirloom
Proving that Diana’s taste was ahead of its time, Meghan Markle wore her late mother-in-law’s stunning aquamarine cocktail ring – which she last wore in 1997 and was reportedly commissioned by Diana in 1996 after her divorce from Prince Charles – for the evening reception of her wedding day.
3. The Savvy Recycler
No stranger to recycling her favourite pieces, the conscious Princess loved this emerald choker so much that she actually began wearing it as a headband as well as a necklace to really get the most out of it. Originally owned by Queen Mary, it was loaned by the Queen to Diana shortly after her wedding and was reportedly returned to the Queen’s collection after Diana’s tragic death.
4. The Pearly Princess
Fans of Princess Diana’s style – even those without a jewellery critique’s eye – will be familiar with her love of pearls. Wearing them in endless different ways, one of her favourite styles was the pearl choker which she owned in various incarnations. From the single-layered necklace to the multi-stacked choker with a statement centre-piece and even a particularly chic necklace falling down an open-backed dress, there’s little in Diana’s pearl-necklace-repertoire that would look out of place today.
5. The Soft Spot for Sapphires
Of course we all know – and love – Diana’s 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire and diamond engagement ring that now sits proudly on Kate Middleton’s left hand, but did you also know that Princess Diana had several other pieces in the same stone? Adored by jewellery enthusiasts today, there was also a particularly epic earrings-and-matching-necklace sapphire set as well as a choker-style piece with a backing of blue velvet ribbon.
6. The Thoroughly Modern Earrings
When she wasn’t wearing enormous sapphires or super elegant pearls, Diana’s real personality shone through her jewellery choices during some of the more low-key occasions. From subtle yellow gold donut hoops that wouldn’t look out of place on the Missoma website to a pair of moon-shaped earrings we’d snap up from Accessorize in a heartbeat and a slightly more ornamental heart-shaped style we’re almost sure we’ve bought from ASOS before, we’re huge fans of Diana’s earring game.
7. The (THE!) Choker
Combining three of her favourite loves, this pearl and sapphire choker was arguably one of Diana’s most iconic jewellery moments. Sure, it may have initially been upstaged by that ‘revenge dress’ (the outfit she wore in 1994 on the night that Prince Charles appeared on television confessing to adultery with Camilla Parker Bowles) but it was by no means overlooked. It was also not the choker’s first outing, having made its debut during another particularly mega moment when Princess Diana danced with John Travolta at the White House in 1985. With 80s jewellery huge news right now – and a backstory like that – we’d all like to get our hands on this particular piece.