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Kate Middleton's unusual walnut earrings have a poignant story everyone missed

The royal's unusual jewellery choice was a tribute to the late Queen while also supporting the emerging Black female designer behind the brand

kate sentimental gesture earrings
Jayne Walsh
Lifestyle Content Writer
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Princess Kate picked the perfect moment to champion a local London woman at a prestigious BAFTA event on Monday evening. The Princess of Wales made a heartfelt speech while wearing CHALK and walnut earrings - but do you know the story behind them?

The 41-year-old royal was striking in her vivid red Alexander McQueen suit and matching red Gianvito Rossi stilettos. As Kate walked the red carpet accompanied by her husband Prince William, 40, who wore a complementary red tie, she kept her long brunette hair tucked behind her ears to display her highly unusual, pastel-hued earrings that were actually crafted from acrylic and walnut trees, a nod to one of Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite London locations.

WATCH: Princess Kate's jewellery: A look at some of her favourite pieces

When Kate took to the BAFTA stage to introduce a short film as part of her Shaping Us early years campaign, Run by The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, little did onlookers know that her £75 earrings were handcrafted by a local Greenwich University graduate named Malaika Carr, and modelled after the Royal Opera House.

kate smiles in a red suit and shiny earrings© Photo: Getty Images

Red was the perfect way to display the unusual accessories

As the royal's eye-catching accessory choice made headlines, the talented designer exclusively told HELLO!: "Coming from the perspective of a small brand, moments like these mark huge milestones. It is refreshing to know that HRH supports independent creators."

a pair of ornate green and wooden earrings© Photo: Instagram

Princess Kate's special 'Florence' earrings up-close

Queen Elizabeth had a long history with the Royal Opera House and was their patron for over 66 years. The late monarch was also known for her love of the outdoors and Buckingham Palace has an abundance of walnut trees growing on the grounds, so the unusual incorporation of walnut tree wood had a significant meaning.

an exterior photo of the royal opera house© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen's personal connection with the Royal Opera House lasted 66 years

Malaika’s website explains: "The regal forms from the ornate details and geometry found within the Main stage auditorium ceiling of the Royal Opera House has been reimagined throughout this collaboration to create a timeless collection."

DISCOVER: Why Princess Kate wears red for significant moments

Kate’s handmade, geometric gold, light green and walnut wood 'Florence' earrings looked exquisite with her brown hair and green eyes. The mother of three’s carefully planned choice to wear eye-catching head-to-toe red set the ideal stage for showcasing the incredible designer's work.

Who is Malaika Carr?

Malaika Carr is a jewellery designer and architect who graduated from Greenwich University London. Malaika fuses her skills to create handmade jewellery, taking inspiration from the London cityscapes surrounding her and reimagining them with intricate detail. Her CHALK collection's also inspired by everyday objects and bold colourful cultural patterns.

The 'Florence' earrings in ‘Regency Green’, priced at just £75, are from CHALK’s Regency Collection and are also available from the Royal Opera House gift shop and are inspired by the jewellery designer's background interest in architecture.

Princess Kate is obviously keen to showcase the designer whose mission statement includes the dream “to make you stand out and feel fabulous.”

kate sits beside william wearing a white suit and the same shiny earrings© Photo: Getty Images

Kate happily showcased the beautiful earrings in June 2022

Only last June, Kate debuted the affordable earrings when she visited ELEVATE in Brixton – this time she wore a stark white Alexander McQueen suit to offset the unique accessories.

Accompanied by Prince William, the couple met with younger generations of the British-Caribbean community, and other diasporas, who represent the next generation of British creative talent.

SEE: Princess Kate's most memorable outfits of 2022

While the Princess of Wales has a treasure trove of royal heirlooms to choose from, such as the priceless Bahrain pearl and diamond drop earrings which once belonged to the late monarch, it is not unusual for her to champion small jewellery brands.

In December 2022, Kate stepped out wearing gold hooped earrings by a designer named Lenique Louis, who started her company with a £2,000 loan from The Prince's Trust charity which was founded by King Charles III in 1976.

RELATED: Charlotte Tilbury x The Prince's Trust's life-changing project

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