Why do British royals wear mourning jewellery? The historical significance of pearls
Diana, Princess of Wales wore a necklace with a single white pearl at the funeral of Princess Grace of Monaco in 1982. Getty
As the mourning for Queen Elizabeth II continues, members of the British royal family, politicians and diplomats have been seen wearing strings of pearls with their sombre, all-black looks.
The decision is not a coincidence. It is commonly known that wearing black is seen as a mark of respect, as too is the wearing of pearls, in a tradition that dates back to Queen Victoria.
When Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert died in 1861, she was so overwhelmed by grief, she wore all black for the rest of her life, a period that spanned almost 40 years. Her head-to-toe black ensembles were broken only by the occasional piece of jewellery. Most of it was black, or colourless, but Queen Victoria also wore white pearls, as they were considered to denote purity and tears.
To mourn the loss of both her daughter Princess Alice in 1878, as well as Prince Albert, Queen Victoria wore brooches made with their initials, and a jet-black pendant set with a single, white pearl, establishing a tradition that has lasted until the present day.
Following the recent death of Queen Elizabeth, the tradition is being continued. When the new Queen Consort Camilla attended the Accession Council ceremony, where her husband was formally declared King Charles III, she wore a necklace with four rows of white pearls, with a round diamond clasp.
Article source: https://www.thenationalnews.com/lifestyle/fashion/2022/09/12/mourning-jewellery-the-historical-significance-of-british-royals-wearing-pearls/