Very different are the necklaces worn by Princess Diana. These were glorious chokers, often with elaborate clasps that were a design element of the necklace. Not all of them were that elaborate: Princess Diana, like the Queen, favoured wearing pearls on all occasions; to garden parties and to formal, evening occasions too.
During the 1940s and 50s, the “twin set and pearls” brigade of ladies had their heyday. The cashmere sweater and matching jumper, accompanied by a pearl necklace was iconic of the middle class, “up Town and County” set and was considered almost a trademark of the well-brought-up and well-connected lady-about -town. It spoke of “class” and “breeding” and “good taste”.
The twin set look goes in and out of fashion but the pearl necklace has never gone out of fashion: the classic three strands, the choker, the three strand, opera length necklace beloved by celebrities the world over and the highly-desirable pearl rope necklace have stayed at the top of fashion. Here is Katherine Heigl, wearing a real beauty:
She was most certainly not the first celebrity to realise the beauty-enhancing qualities of fine pearls. Her Majesty, Elizabeth the Queen Mother looks resplendent in her three long strands of white pearls:
Now the fashion for the multi-strand pearl necklace has gone viral. Pearls can be twisted in irregular strands, they can have clasps and they can be in ropes that are wound round the neck. They can be white, cream, black and almost any colour of dyed freshwater gem. I particularly like multiple strands of baroque and blister pearls which come in a wide range of colours to match or tone with any outfit.