There are strict protocols around royal mourning dress, with the colour black acting as a visual symbol of grief and symbolic jewellery and military tokens worn as a sign of respect. At the Westminster Hall service, marking Queen Elizabeth II’s final departure from Buckingham Palace before she lies in state ahead of the funeral, the Duchess of Sussex took a leaf out of her sister-in-law’s style playbook.
While the new Princess of Wales wore pearl drop earrings once belonging to Princess Diana and the Queen’s Diamond and Pearl Leaf Brooch, Meghan wore a pair of classic pearl and diamond studs that were gifted to the former actor by Her Majesty. (When the primary photo ops are shoulder-up car shots in a formal procession, the choice of jewels is everything.)
Meghan, whose whistlestop European tour plans were shelved after the death of the Queen on 8 September, has so far supported The Firm in discreet inky black separates peppered with timeless tokens by Cartier and Jennifer Meyer. Today’s earrings, which she framed with an understated veiled headpiece and boxy coat, allowed the Duchess to pay respect to the former monarch without looking at all showy – a crucial balance to strike when the entire world is watching.
The Sussexes joined other royals who gathered to receive the Queen’s coffin at Buckingham Palace last night, before it was draped with the Royal Standard and the Imperial State Crown placed on top for today’s procession. Meghan and Harry will then pay their respects to Her Majesty one final time at Westminster Abbey on 19 September, alongside heads of state, dignitaries and the general public, who have turned out in their thousands to honor the family.
Having stepped down as a senior royal and relocated to California, it could have been challenging for Meghan to switch suddenly into formal mode. But the Duchess – who wore those special earrings during her only solo engagement with the Queen in 2018 – was the picture of polish and poise.
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk