LONDON — Catherine, Princess of Wales and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, wore head-to-toe black, and pearl jewelry, at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey.
In wearing pearls, they adhered to a mourning custom first introduced in the age of Queen Victoria. She wore them with her all-black outfits following the death of her husband, Prince Albert. Pearls are thought to represent purity, but also tears, and the British royal family has continued the tradition.
Kate Middleton wore a black coatdress from Alexander McQueen, which she also owns in white, and which she previously wore to last year’s G7 summit in Cornwall, England. She teamed it with a black hat with a netted veil and wore the queen’s Japanese pearl choker which consists of four strands joined by a diamond clasp.
The pearls were a gift from the Japanese government, and the queen had them made into a necklace. The queen wore the choker for the first time in the early 1980s, and later loaned it to Princess Diana in 1982 for a state visit to the Netherlands.
Middleton wore the choker for the first time in 2017 to the 70th’s wedding anniversary dinner of the queen and Prince Philip.
Meghan Markle arrived wearing a black cape dress by Stella McCartney, who designed the halter top dress she wore to her wedding reception. She has previously worn a similar navy dress, also by McCartney.
Markle also wore a Stephen Jones hat with a wide brim. Her pearl earrings are understood to have been a gift from the queen for their first joint engagement together after Markle married Prince Harry in 2018.
Later on Monday, Middleton and Markle will travel to St George’s Chapel for a private family service at Windsor Castle, where the queen will be laid to rest.
The pair, whose relations have been frosty for the better part of two years, were first reunited in public at Windsor Castle on Sept. 10 to greet members of the public outside with their husbands, Princes William and Harry.