The Sentimental Styles Chosen for Prince Philip’s Funeral

As promised, I am back with a post on some of the styles worn at Prince Philip’s funeral this Saturday.

First, some background via Bethan Holt’s Saturday column in The Telegraph.  

“Mourning dress has been part of European royal culture for centuries, but it reached its peak in the 19th century with the influence of Queen Victoria, who set a standard for the rest of society to follow,” says Matthew Storey, curator at Historic Royal Palaces, which holds the Royal Ceremonial Dress collection. “When her beloved husband died in 1861 she abandoned the colourful clothes of her married life and, with the rest of the royal court, adopted black clothing as an outward sign of grief. Her subjects duly followed suit, causing a rush on suppliers of mourning fabric up and down the country.”

Some thoughts on ‘mourning jewelry’ from The Court Jeweler: 

The general idea: “white” jewels, mostly diamonds and pearls, worn on dark (or occasionally white) clothing. The Queen tends to choose diamond and pearl brooches with classic shapes and design themes, often with ribbon or floral motifs. These jewels are not meant to grab the spotlight or draw the eye. Instead, they are worn as part of mourning attire: good clothing worn well as a way to honor the dead, in tones that help to remind the rest of the living that the mourners are engaged in a period of quiet reflection and grief.

HM was in an ensemble most likely created by Angela Kelly, HM’s personal assistant and dressmaker, as well as a longtime confidante. 

The Queen wore the Richmond Brooch, seen below in the inset at the top of the lefthand photo.  As The Telegraph noted, it was “…made by Hunt and Roskell and given to Mary, the Queen’s grandmother, as a wedding present in 1893 by the town of Richmond and inherited by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth when her grandmother died in 1953.” 

Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault reports HM also wore Pearl & Diamond Button Earrings and a Three Strand Pearl Necklace. 

I do not know who made the Duchess of Cornwall’s ensemble but do have information about her brooch and mask, the latter a topic several people asked about.

UPDATE: With thanks to Trudy for her input, The Daily Mail reports the Duchess wore a coat and matching dress by Anna Valentine.  Atop the coat, her Bugle Horn Rifles Brooch, referencing her role as Colonel-in-Chief of the unit.  The Duke of Edinburgh handed off that role to her after he held the position for 67 years. Below you see the Duchess wearing the brooch in November 2020.

It looks like her face mask is by Chester Beatty, a Dublin-based company. 

The pattern is the Black & Gold Thai Design (€9.95, about $12 at today’s exchange rates); the mask is 100% polyester. UPDATE APR20: With thanks to Maryalice for her comment, the link is to the gift shop at the Chester Beatty Library and Museum, created to house the collections of mining magnate Chester Beatty. 

The Duchess of Cambridge also wore jewelry pieces with sentimental attachments, both borrowed from HM. 

Her necklace is the Four Row Pearl Choker, featuring four strands of pearls and a center diamond clasp. The Court Jeweler writes, “The pearls were reportedly a gift from the Japanese government, possibly acquired during the 1970s, when she made a state visit to that nation.” 

You may remember the Duchess wearing this piece for a private dinner at Windsor Castle in 2017, celebrating the Queen and Prince Philip’s 70th wedding anniversary. 

Here you see The Queen wearing the necklace in 1983. 
Embed from Getty Images
The necklace was loaned to Diana, Princess of Wales, for a 1982 banquet at Hampton Court Palace (photo here). Below, a closer look at Saturday’s necklace and earrings.

Many recognized the Bahrain Pearl and Diamond Drop Earrings.  Here is background on them as reported by Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault:

One of the wedding gifts received by Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten in 1947 was a pearl shell containing seven large pearls from the ruler of Bahrain at the time. According to the Royal Collection, two of these pearls were used not long after to create this pair of earrings.

The earrings each contain one large round diamond and four smaller ones, three baguette diamonds, and a Bahrain pearl dangling below.

Lady Louise and her mother, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, also wore jewelry with sentimental significance.

Lady Louise’s brooch featured a horse’s head and curled whip, referencing carriage riding, something she shared with her late grandfather, while Sophie’s brooch of interlocking hearts was “a gift from her husband to mark their first wedding anniversary in 2000,” per The Court Jeweller. 

Now for our look at the Duchess of Cambridge’s apparel and accessories for Saturday’s service. 

She was in almost all repeat pieces topped by an elegant new (to us) Catherine Walker coat.

The coat is the Beau Tie style, introduced for the Christmas season in a festive red color. 

Catherine Walker describes the garment as a “…coatdress with pleats falling gently from the shoulder to tie into a bow at the neckline.”  It features princess seams, structured shoulders, 3 self-covered buttons at the front and at each cuff, and a distinctive bow.

Beneath the coat, a dress by Roland Mouret first seen at the annual Festival of Remembrance in November 2018.  

The Asymmetric Neck style dress is made of wool with a stretch-silk lining. It showcases a fitted bodice, elbow-length sleeves with a belled cuff, and an exposed back zipper.

The necklines of the dress and coat were an excellent backdrop for the necklace and earrings the Duchess wore.   

The Duchess wore her hair in an elaborate updo. 

She brought back a Philip Treacy hat first worn for Remembrance Sunday in November 2019.

It was an elegant, understated style statement.

It looked like the Duchess wore her Gianvito Rossi 105 suede pumps.

The Duchess carried a Jimmy Choo clutch she has had for some time, the Celeste style in black velvet. The bag measures 8″ x 4″ and comes with an optional chain for carrying the piece as a shoulder bag. 

I do not know who made the Duchess’s gloves or mask but will update the post if I learn anything about those items.  UPDATE APR 19: It looks like Kate may have carried her Cornelia James ‘Alice’ gloves. 

UPDATE APR 20: With thanks to Zamira for her email, the Duchess wore a mask by Amaia Kids, the ‘Duke/Duchess’ style (£15).

Here is one more photo from Saturday’s events. 

A gentle reminder for new visitors to the site: no comments please, on weight or speculation on any health conditions. 

LINKAGE

  • Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault post on jewelry worn on Saturday is here; The Court Jeweller’s post is here.  
  • Bethan Holt’s Daily Telegraph column on the history of royal mourning dress codes is here; her piece on styles worn for Saturday’s funeral is here.
  • Our in-depth post on necklaces loaned to the Duchess by HM is here; our in-depth coverage of earrings loaned by the Queen to the Duchess is here. 
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