Kate Middleton’s favourite necklace in the Royal Collection also happens to be the world’s most expensive. The Nizam of Hyderabad necklace, which the Duchess of Cambridge has chosen to wear on numerous occasions, has recently been valued at a whopping £66.3m, making it the most expensive jewel across any royal family around the world.
The stunning masterpiece was made by famed jeweller Cartier in 1935 and features an intricate design of geometric diamonds surrounding an abstract floral diamond centre. Director of the Royal Collection and former Surveyor of The Queen’s Works of Art, Hugh Roberts, has previously described the necklace in more technical detail as a ‘pavé-set centre with detachable double-drop pendant incorporating 13 emerald-cut diamonds and a pear-shaped drop; the chain of 38 brilliant-cut open-back collets with an elongated oval brilliant-set snap’.
The necklace has an interesting and exotic history; it was given to Queen Elizabeth II (then Princess Elizabeth) in 1947 as a wedding present from Asaf Jah VII, also known as the Nizam of Hyderabad. He was considered one of the richest men in the world at the time, but he obviously wanted to curry favour with the soon-to-be-queen. Hyderabad, which is located in the south-central part of the sub-continent of India, was at the time under British colonial rule.
Asaf Jah VII told Cartier to let Princess Elizabeth choose anything she wanted. She chose this floral necklace and also a matching floral tiara, which came with removable brooches. As well as sparkling with diamonds, both the tiara and necklace were set in valuable and hard-wearing platinum metal.
The Duchess of Cambridge was most recently seen wearing the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace in public in 2014, with a dark green Jenny Packham dress at an event at the National Portrait Museum.