Statement necklaces just got the royal seal of approval.
Yesterday, King Charles III and his wife, Queen Camilla, made their very first state visit to France since Charles ascended to the throne. To mark the momentous occasion, Camilla paid homage to the country's rich history in the world of fashion by wearing a dramatic Dior couture gown that came with a matching cape — but even a piece of one-of-a-kind French fashion couldn't outshine her necklace.
In what could have been seen as an homage to the fictional Heart of the Ocean from the 1997 film, Titanic, Camilla wore her beloved diamond-and-sapphire necklace, which a British jewelry expert from Steven Stone explains has become one of her favorite pieces. Of course, being that it may just be the reigning queen of statement necklaces, the history and heritage also come with a hefty price tag.
"It’s heart-warming to see that Queen Camilla wore Queen Elizabeth II’s King George VI Victoria Suite for the state dinner at the Palace of Versailles as a sweet nod to Queen Elizabeth II. Gifted to the late monarch by her father on her wedding day in 1947, the suite was undoubtedly among her most meaningful jewels," Maxwell Stone, Steven Stone's resident jewelry expert, said via email. "The King George VI Victoria Suite consists of a sapphire and diamond cluster line necklace, a pair of sapphire earrings, and a bracelet — though the bracelet wasn’t originally part of the set and was actually commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II sometime during the ‘60s. I'd estimate the suite to be worth a staggering £5 million (about $6.2 million)."
Camilla's gown featured a V neckline to show off the necklace, and the dress had bracelet-length sleeves so that her shimmering accessories could catch the light, as well. She finished the look with a dark clutch.
"The incredible sapphire and diamond cluster line necklace originally featured 18 sapphires, sat on a gradient, ranging from 8-to-30 carats, before it was redesigned in 1952. The huge sapphires are surrounded by a halo of diamonds, and linked together by additional single-stone diamonds, which are between 0.8 and 1.5 carats. The sapphire earrings look to be 15 carats," Stone continued. "This isn't the first time that Queen Camilla has worn the suite and she famously wore it to King Charles' first state banquet — an evening which also marked the first official state visit hosted by the U.K. since he became monarch."
The king and queen's first state visit to France includes stops in Paris, Versailles, and Bordeaux and wraps up this Friday. Originally, the visit had been on the calendar for March of this year, but it had to be postponed due to strikes and protests across France.
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