Royals

Kate Middleton VS Meghan Markle Jewellery

Kate Middleton VS Meghan Markle Jewellery

For the featured photo credits, above – see bottom of article*

We compare Kate Middleton VS Meghan Markle jewellery. Which Duchess has the best wedding jewels, sentimental items inherited from Diana, personal pieces, engagement ring and more? Plus discover stunning “get the look” jewellery pieces to shop.

Since Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle joined the Royal Family, both have been photographed wearing some of the world’s most beautiful and expensive jewels.

Both Duchess’s iconic engagement rings, wedding tiaras and jewellery have sentimental ties to Princess Diana, the Queen or the Queen Mother.

Many historic earrings, necklaces and brooches the Duchesses have worn to state dinners or other white tie events have come out of the Royal Vault.

What’s more, both Duchesses are also known for mixing affordable high street jewellery pieces with their more expensive jewels, and these smaller keepsakes often have personal meaning.

Kate Middleton VS Meghan Markle Jewellery – Which Is Best?

We’ll now start uncovering the jewellery worn by both Duchesses, starting with the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton.

However, as Kate has been part of the Royal Family longer than Meghan and thus had a head-start with her Royal jewellery collection, for fairness, we’re going to contrast eight key jewellery types worn by each Duchess, to come to a final verdict.

Let’s start with Kate Middleton…

#1 – Kate’s First Jewellery Gift From Prince William

The couple started dating in 2001, while at the University of St Andrews.

During that time, William gave Kate a gold ring with pearls and garnets, which she wore on her middle finger.

The ring has a hidden, romantic meaning: garnets are Kate’s birthstone for January, whilst pearls are William’s birthstone for June.

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Or find your birthstone here

#2 – Kate’s Engagement Ring

William’s and Kate’s engagement was announced in 2010.

The engagement ring is truly iconic; it is a sentimental reminder of its original owner, Prince William’s late mother, Princess Diana

It showcases a 12-carat blue sapphire and is surrounded by 14 glittering solitaire diamonds. In 1981, it cost £47,000 but is now estimated to be worth more than £300,000.

Read more detail about Kate’s engagement ring here.

You might also like: The 10 Engagement Rings of The Royal Family.

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#3 – Kate’s Wedding Tiara

The beautiful tiara Kate wore for her wedding on 29th April 2011 is known as the Cartier Halo tiara. It was lent to her by the Queen.

The tiara has always belonged to the Royal Family. Made by Cartier in 1936, it was originally an anniversary gift from King George VI to his wife, Elizabeth, whom we all know better as the Queen Mother. In 1944, the Queen Mother gifted the tiara to her daughter, the current Queen, Elizabeth II, on her 18th birthday.

But the Queen never wore the tiara in public. Instead, she often lent it to her daughter, Princess Anne.

The Cartier Halo tiara then disappeared from the public eye for many years, until it was taken out for William’s and Kate’s Royal wedding.

#4 – Kate’s Bridal Jewellery

Aside from her engagement ring and tiara, Kate’s only other bridal jewellery were her earrings, which are very special.

They were custom-made to mirror the diamond curves of the Cartier Halo tiara, above. They also incorporate the acorn motif from the Middleton family’s coat of arms.

The earrings were a gift from Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton.

The Duchess has re-worn the diamond earrings on several occasions since her wedding.

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#5 – Kate’s Wedding Band & Eternity Ring

Kate and Meghan both wear the traditional British Royal Family wedding ring, which is a plain gold band.

It also happens that both Duchesses wear an eternity ring, gifted to them by their respective husbands!

Kate’s eternity ring, which was a gift from William to celebrate Prince George’s birth, is a full band of square-shaped princess cut diamonds in a channel setting.

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#6 – Kate’s Jewellery Inherited From Diana

Kate has inherited at least six pieces of jewellery that we know of from Diana’s extensive collection, which the Princess left to her sons Prince William and Prince Harry in her will.

The two most famous pieces Kate is often seen wearing, and which are reportedly her favourites, are the “reinvented” sapphire set and the Collingswood pearl earrings.

The sapphire earrings and necklace, seen above come from Diana’s collection and it is believed that Kate had them re-set into new earrings and a drop necklace. The set, of course, also matches her blue sapphire engagement ring.

On the other hand, the elegant pearl-and-diamond drop earrings, seen below, are the ones Diana famously wore with a white bolero jacket during her visit to New York. The earrings even appeared in the Netflix series The Crown.

The pearl earrings were a wedding gift Diana received from the London jeweller, Collingwood, hence their name.

Kate has since been photographed wearing the earrings on several official occasions. Like Diana, she has also often paired them with the Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara which also features drop pearls, as seen above.

Read more about Princess Diana’s 12 most famous jewellery pieces and rings.

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#7 – Kate’s Cocktail Ring

The Duchess of Cambridge owns a stunning yellow citrine cocktail ring.

She has been photographed wearing it a number of times, including at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding, during the 2019 Wimbledon championships and, more recently in 2021, to the movie premiere of the James Bond film, No Time to Die.

This ring is neither a Royal heirloom nor a gift from William. It is part of Kate’s personal jewellery collection, from before her marriage.

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#8 – Kate’s High Street Jewellery Piece

The Duchess of Cambridge is known for combining both designer and high street items with her look.

In 2020, the Duchess of Cambridge made headlines when she attended a mother’s outing in Battersea Park, wearing three initials G, L and C on a necklace which cost £85.

Of course, the initial necklace was a tribute to her children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

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#9 – Kate’s Grand “State Dinner” Piece

Here, we wanted to pick a truly grand jewellery item that the Duchess of Cambridge has worn during an official event.

There are many to choose from, including her Mouawad ruby set or the magnificent Queen Alexandra’s Wedding Necklace the Queen has lent her at least once.

However, on this occasion, we’ve chosen to look at her stunning emerald demi-parure, with a mysterious heritage.

This set is actually a “demi-parure”, including a necklace, earrings and a bracelet. Parure comes from French meaning a jewellery set that’s meant to be worn together, and this set in question is a demi-parure because it’s not considered a complete set as it doesn’t include a brooch.

A very smart and interesting feature of this set is that the earrings are transformable from studs to drops, as seen above and below.

The necklace is set with white diamonds, yellow diamonds and large prominent emeralds, arranged in a semi-circle at the centre and on the long pendulum drop below. The piece is set in either platinum or white gold.

The bracelet reflects the same design, with a single, large emerald within a lavish diamond setting.

Mysteriously, no one outside the Palace knows the origin of this fabulous set. When asked, Royal officials have simply stated that they were a “private gift” to the Duchess.

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Next, let’s look at Meghan Markle’s jewellery…

#1 – Meghan’s First Jewellery Gift From Prince Harry

Harry and Meghan first met in 2016, when a mutual friend, who thought they’d be a good match, introduced them to each other.

When the couple started to get serious about their relationship, Harry gave Meghan a sweet necklace with the initials M and H.

Meghan was spotted wearing the meaningful, romantic gift in London, as seen below.

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Or find your birthstone here

#2 – Meghan’s Engagement Ring

Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle was announced in January 2017.

According to Prince Harry, he took an active part in designing Meghan’s ring. It is a beautiful diamond trilogy design with a large cushion cut diamond in the centre and two smaller diamond solitaires on either side.

The large centre diamond is from Botswana, a special place for the couple because they spent a lot of time there doing conservation work together.

The two smaller solitaires are from Princess Diana’s personal collection. According to Harry, it was a way for him to include his late mother in the couple’s “crazy journey” – a truly sweet sentiment.

The ring was originally set in yellow gold, a classic metal which Harry said is Meghan’s favourite. However, in 2019 Meghan was seen with her engagement ring’s band altered to a thinner, daintier version of itself and pavé set with micro diamonds.

We estimate the ring’s current worth to be around £200K.

Read more about Meghan’s engagement ring here.

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Meghan Markle 3 Diamond Engagement Ring - buy it here

#3 – Meghan’s Wedding Tiara

Meghan and Harry were married on 19th May, 2018.

For her bridal look, Meghan chose a diamond and platinum tiara known as the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau, which was lent to her by The Queen. It originally belonged to Prince Harry’s great-great-grandmother, Queen Mary.

The tiara’s band is set with geometric diamond patterns. It has an interesting detail: the centre of the tiara is a detachable brooch designed with ten diamonds in a flower shape.

#4 – Meghan’s Bridal Jewellery

In addition to her tiara, Meghan wore diamond earrings and a diamond bracelet for her wedding ceremony, as detailed below.

The earrings she chose were simple yet elegant diamond halo buttons, as seen below…

And to complement the 3/4-length sleeves of her wedding dress, Meghan opted for a stunning Art Deco style bracelet, below.

It matched her tiara and earrings perfectly.

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#5 – Meghan’s Wedding Band & Eternity Ring

As explained above, both Meghan and Kate wear the traditional British Royal Family wedding ring, which is a plain band made from Welsh yellow gold.

Additionally, both Duchesses wear a similar eternity ring, gifted to them by their respective husbands.

Meghan’s eternity ring was a gift from Prince Harry to mark the couple’s first wedding anniversary and the birth of Archie, their first child.

Although it’s hard to tell from the photos, we’re pretty confident it’s a channel set band with round brilliant cut diamonds.

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#6 – Meghan’s Jewellery Inherited From Diana

Meghan has inherited at least five pieces of jewellery that we know of from Harry’s mother, Princess Diana.

Two of the most famous ones are Diana’s butterfly earrings and diamond tennis bracelet. (Meghan also famously inherited Diana’s aquamarine cocktail ring, but we’ll dedicate a more detailed look at it in section 7 below.)

The gold butterfly earrings, seen above, were famously worn by Princess Diana during her 1986 visit to Canada. Meghan is seen wearing the earrings above, along with Diana’s blue sapphire bangle bracelet.

On the other hand, the beautiful diamond tennis bracelet, seen below, was worn by Meghan during her and Harry’s Oprah interview.

What’s more, it is said to be the very same bracelet that Harry had removed two diamonds from in order to commission Meghan’s engagement ring.

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#7 – Meghan’s Cocktail Ring

The Duchess of Sussex owns a gorgeous aquamarine cocktail ring which was given to her by Prince Harry from Princess Diana’s collection.

Meghan first wore the ring for her wedding reception. This was the “something blue” in her wedding day look, a touching, symbolic gesture to remember Harry’s late mother during the couple’s big day.

Meghan wore the ring again when she and Harry visited Tonga as part of their Royal tour in 2018.

The ring features a rectangular, “emerald-cut” aquamarine that weighs 13 carats and is set in yellow gold. The aquamarine was given to Diana by her friend, Lucia Flecha de Lima. Diana then had the ring created by Asprey jewellers.

Diana famously wore the ring to a gala dinner in Australia in 1996.

As Diana and Prince Charles were divorced by then, she used the aquamarine ring to replace her famous blue sapphire engagement ring on her ring finger.

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#8 – Meghan’s High Street Jewellery Piece

Meghan is famous for her delicate, dainty jewellery pieces, many of which are sentimental and symbolise her love for Harry and their children Archie and Lilibet, such as initial necklaces and horoscope pendants.

However, as we already featured the initial necklace at number one, we’ve chosen one of her other favourites, her shimmering diamond hamsa necklace.

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#9 – Meghan’s Grand “State Dinner” Piece

Finally, as with Kate, we wanted to pick a big gemstone or diamond set worthy of an official Royal event to end this Kate Middleton VS Meghan Markle jewellery comparison.

The only white tie occasion that Meghan attended as a senior Royal was the 2018 state dinner in Fiji.

During the dinner, she wore a stunning pair of diamond drop earrings paired with a blue dress.

A royal correspondent stated that the pieces were “borrowed”, but it is not known from whom.

The press speculated that the most likely source for such a grand piece of jewellery could only be the Queen’s jewellery vault.

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Kate Middleton VS Meghan Markle Jewellery – The Verdict

After comparing these nine Kate Middleton VS Meghan Markle jewellery key pieces in each Duchess’s collection, we can see that…

  • Kate and Meghan are both skilful at combining grand jewels with more affordable high street pieces.
  • Both are known for re-wearing jewellery pieces, including their wedding earrings.
  • As to personal style, Meghan’s jewellery is daintier, more contemporary and perhaps more fashionable than Kate’s, who wears more classic pieces.
  • Having said that, Kate is often seen wearing tiaras, parures and large jewellery pieces borrowed from the Queen, due to the number of official events she attends as the Crown Prince’s spouse, while these types of pieces are not something we’ve had the opportunity to see on Meghan.
  • Both have inherited jewellery items from Diana, and either they, or their husbands, have successfully chosen pieces that suit their style to a tee and serve as sentimental reminders of the two Princes’ mother.
  • Finally, both Duchess’s isonic engagement rings are stunning and unique. One is a historic gemstone inherited from Diana with poignant memories, the other is a symbolic diamond trilogy ring with three stones that tell a meaningful story.

We find it hard to say who has a “better” jewellery collection. Both Duchesses have their individual style and wear their chosen jewellery beautifully. Who do you think has the better collection? Kate or Meghan?


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*FEATURED IMAGE CREDITS: This article’s featured an image at the top is made from two photographs, each licensed under Creative Commons and obtained from WikiMedia Commons as follows: Image on left titled “Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visit Catalyst Inc” by Northern Ireland Office, licensed CC By 2.0.; Image on right titled “A photo of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at the age of 37” by The Big Lunch, licensed CC BY-SA 2.0.