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Why royal ladies will wear pearls at the Queen's funeral

The tradition of mourning jewellery dates back to Queen Victoria's era

Grace Lindsay
Fashion & Ecommerce Writer
Updated: September 19, 2022
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Queen Elizabeth II's funeral is taking place on Monday 19 September, and many eyes will be on the outfit choices of the royal ladies and the poignant meaning behind their fashion choices.

RELATED: The Queen's state funeral: Royal family unite in grief - live updates and photos

The Princess of Wales, Duchess of Sussex, Princess Anne and Zara Tindall are just a handful of the ladies in attendance at the momentous event and will most likely all be seen sporting pearls for the occasion.

WATCH: What To Expect From The Queen's Funeral

Pearls are often referred to as 'mourning jewellery', a tradition that dates back to Queen Victoria's era.

MORE: The touching meaning behind the Queen's funeral flowers

After the death of her husband Prince Albert, the Queen famously wore black for 40 years and accessorised with either black or colourless jewellery, including pearls. The pearls were thought to represent tears, and she wore strands of them for the rest of her life.

meghan markle pearls state funeral© Photo: Getty Images

Meghan wore pearls to the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

This tradition has been continued for many years, with pearls continually being worn by royal ladies when attending funerals. The late Queen Elizabeth herself wore pearls to Princess Diana, Princess Margaret and King George VI's funerals over the years.

pearls kate

Kate Middleton wore the Queen's iconic pearl necklace to Prince Philip's funeral in 2021

PHOTOS: Zara Tindall looks striking in coat dress at Queen's funeral

PHOTOS: Princess Kate wears Queen's choker and statement hat for monarch's funeral

pearls vic

Queen Victoria wore strands of pearls for the rest of her life after her husband died

Princess Diana was also seen wearing pearls when attending Gianni Versace's funeral, sporting a single strand of the symbolic beads.

pearls di

Princess Diana kept up the tradition of wearing pearls when attending a funeral

Many eyes were on Princess Kate's pearl necklace back in April 2021 while attending the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral, and it is thought that she wore the necklace to pay tribute to the Queen and the late Princess Diana.

SEE: Grief-stricken Prince Harry and Meghan put united front with the royal family at the Queen's funeral

She also wore an iconic Japanese Pearl Choker necklace to the funeral, alongside her Bahrain Diamond and Pearl Drop earrings, which are all from the former Queen's collection.

The four-strand necklace featured a central diamond clasp and was commissioned by the late monarch herself, made from pearls given to her by the Japanese government. While the necklace belonged to Her Majesty, Kate's late mother-in-law Diana famously wore the necklace to a state banquet for the Netherlands in 1982.

kate wears pearls lying in state© Photo: Getty Images

Kate wore pearls to attend lying in state of Queen Elizabeth II

PHOTOS: Princess Anne looks stoic in uniform for Queen's funeral

Kate previously borrowed the piece to celebrate the late Queen's 70th wedding anniversary to Prince Philip, making the choice of jewellery all the more fitting.

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