Europe's preeminent royal families have gathered in Greece for the funeral of the late King Constantine II.
For the occasion Queen Letizia of Spain honoured the royal mourning dress code for the event which was held at the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral in Athens. In keeping with tradition she wore a black dress which featured demure tailoring details including a lapel collar and a belted velvet cinched waist and cuffs. The Spanish royal also opted for sensible black tights in a sheer denier, with patent heeled pumps.
MORE: Princess Anne, Lady Gabriella Windsor, Queen Letizia, and more royals attend King Constantine's funeral - live updates
RELATED: Queen Letizia delivers a masterclass in elegance and sustainability for women’s empowerment event
Queen Letizia joined her husband King Felipe VI in Athens
Letizia also donned a historical heirloom, Queen Ena’s Gray Pearl Drop Brooch. The piece hails from Queen Ena’s ‘joyas de pasar’ archive. This statement pearl piece from the Spanish monarchy’s “the jewels that are passed on” collection is reserved solely for the use of reigning Queens and consorts of Spain. The “broche con perla grande gris pálido rodeada de brillantes y del cual cuelga una perla en forma de pera,” is a brooch with a large, pale gray pearl surrounded by diamonds, from which hangs a pear-shaped pearl.
Pearls are historically referred to as 'mourning jewellery', in a tradition that dates back to Queen Victoria's era. Following the death of her husband Prince Albert, Queen Victoria famously only wore black for 40 years and she accessorised with pearls. The pearls were thought to represent her tears, and so she wore strands of them for the rest of her life. The decision to wear a pearl brooch by Letizia echoes the significance of the solemn occasion.
MORE: Queen Letizia embraces the Barbiecore trend in head to toe pink
RELATED: Queen Letizia wows in unorthodox midi dress and thigh-high boots
The Spanish royal wore a family heirloom passed down by Queen Ena
Queen Ena’s ‘joyas de pasar’ collection was started by Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain, (more commonly she was known as simply Queen Ena.) She followed the example of her grandmother, who was in fact the aforementioned Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria had “designated her most important jewels as “heirlooms of the crown,” to be passed directly from monarch to monarch,” according to The Court Jeweller.
The collection of heirloom jewels includes gifts that Queen Ena received from her husband, King Alfonso XIII and one tiara, three necklaces, a pair of earrings, a pair of matching bracelets, and two brooches.
Like this story? Sign up to our Hello! Fashion newsletter to get your weekly 'Fashion Fix' delivered straight to your inbox.