Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Duchess Sophie sparks confusion in daring lace dress and divisive diamond and pearl choker

Was the Duchess of Edinburgh wearing the late Queen Elizabeth II's beloved pearl necklace?

Duchess Sophie smiling in a blue hat at Royal Ascot in 2023
Georgia Brown
Senior Lifestyle & Fashion Writer
Share this:

The Duchess of Edinburgh was dressed to the nines for a glamorous gala dinner at Winsdor Castle, honouring the winners of the The Duke of Edinburgh Cup World Finals on 28 September. 

The DofE cup raises funds through amateur golf events to benefit young people globally, with this year's round seeing £450,000 raised for The Duke of Edinburgh’s chosen charities as a result of the qualifying events held all around the world.

New photographs shared on Wednesday night by KFE showed the Duchess celebrating with UK winners and players from Thailand, Turkey, Mexico, India, Gibraltar, Bahamas, Anguilla and Barbados. 

View post on Twitter

The Duchess scored top points in the style department, donning a daring lace dress from Oscar De La Renta. Complete with gothic laced sleeves, a scoop neckline and elegant midi length, the royal's dreamy gown also boasted a fit-and-flare silhouette.

The wife of Prince Edward swept her honey-blonde hair into a neat French pleat, revealing a glittering pair of diamond drop earrings and a three-string pearl choker fastened with a diamond clasp.

The Duchess of Edinburgh wore a rare set of pearls to the event at Windsor Castle© Getty
The Duchess of Edinburgh wore a rare set of pearls to the event at Windsor Castle

Duchess Sophie's striking pearl necklace proved to be divisive amongst royal style fans, who took to Instagram to question the origin of the royal's rarely-seen jewels. 

Taking to style blog @royalfashionpolice, one fan commented: "Is this Her Late Majesty's necklace?" as another wrote: "Does anyone know anything about her necklace? Is it from the royal collection or is it a newer addition?" 

WATCH: See inside the royal family's glittering collection of royal jewels

Another royal fan claimed the gift may have been a wedding anniversary gift from the Duke of Edinburgh, who presented his wife with a set of white and black pearl drop earrings, a matching bracelet, and a necklace featuring a cross design for their wedding day. 

sophie wessex wedding tiara© Getty
Prince Edward gifted his wife a rare set of pearls on their wedding day

The unique collection of pearls were gifted to the royal bride by her husband, Prince Edward, who commissioned Asprey and Garrard to make the regal accessories especially for their royal wedding.

Prince Edward and Sophie on their wedding day© Pool/Tim Graham Picture Library
The royals got married in June 1999

The pearls Sophie was wearing for the event at Windsor Castle, however, pose far more of a mysterious origin. The Duchess has rarely worn the striking choker, though it is understood to have been in her personal collection since at least 2001. 

Duchess Sophie wore the elegant pearl choker to attend the wedding of Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby August 25, 2001 at Oslo Cathedral in Oslo, Norway. © Getty
Duchess Sophie wore the elegant pearl choker to attend the wedding of Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby August 25, 2001 at Oslo Cathedral in Oslo, Norway.

Back in the noughties, the mother-of-two wore the diamond and pearl accessory to the wedding of Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby, and it's the only time she's been photographed wearing it in public.

More Royal Style

See more