How Duchess Kate followed in the footsteps of past royals at the BAFTAs

By Jessica Bateman

The Duchess of Cambridge was a vision in green at the BAFTAs on Sunday evening (Feb. 18) as she walked the red carpet alongside Prince William in a floor length dark green Jenny Packham gown, which she topped off with diamond and emerald jewelry. And while her dazzling gems were a stylish statement, Kate was also continuing a long royal tradition by opting for the striking green precious stone. Princess Diana,The Queenand Princess Margaret were all big fans of emerald jewels too, and it seems the Duchess may have been inspired by them.

Kate's stunning jewellery complimented her green gown

This art deco emerald choker - which Diana wore multiple times, including to this banquet at Claridges - is known as the Cambridge Emerald Choker and originally belonged to Queen Mary. It was passed to the Queen in 1953, who in turn loaned it to Diana. It soon became one of the Princess's signature pieces.

This choker originally belonged to Queen Mary

The Queen is no stranger to emeralds herself, and is often spotted in necklaces, earrings and brooches featuring the pretty gem. She wore this drop-pendant necklace and earrings while attending a gala at the Wales Millennium Centre in 2004.

The Queen's jewellery collection features a number of emerald pieces

Another famous fan of emerald jewellery was Elizabeth Taylor. The Hollywood legend owned one of the most valuable private jewellery collections in history, with some of the most recognizable pieces belonging to the Bulgari Emerald Suite. These matching earrings, necklace and bracelet were gifted to her by husband Richard Burton, and she was regularly spotted wearing them. After her death in 2011, her entire collection was auctioned for $115.9 million, setting a new world record.

Elizabeth Taylor's Bulgari emerald necklace was one of the stars of her jewellery collection

Unlike the majority of attendees at the 2018 BAFTAs, Kate chose not to wear black to the event. Other female stars on the red carpet event showed their support for the Time’s Up movement by opting to wear black gowns - and the Duchess has been subject to some criticism for not following suit. However, it seems the pregnant royal was simply following protocol, which dictates that members of the royal family remain neutral on political campaigns and do not make overtly political statements.

MORE: BAFTAs 2018: Best of the red carpet

Kate was joined by her husband Prince William at the glittering awards on Sunday night. William, who is president of BAFTA, was given the honour of presenting the Fellowship Award to Sir Ridley Scott. The royals had the best seats at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and were welcomed by BAFTA chief executive Amanda Berry. This is the second time Kate has attended the film awards; the first was last year, when she wore a black floral, off-the-shoulder gown.

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