Kate Middleton wears Prince of Wales brooch for South Africa visit

Kate Middleton is making royal history.

The 40-year-old princess wowed royal watchers today by wearing a significant piece of jewelry related to her new role for the first time — and also taking part in her first state visit as the latest Princess of Wales.

Joining husband Prince William, 40, Middleton wore the historic Prince of Wales feather brooch to meet the president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, during day one of a two-day state visit to the United Kingdom.

The piece was worn by both Camilla Parker Bowles and Princess Diana over the years as wives of the Prince of Wales —but according to jewelry expert Maxwell Stone of Steven Stone Jewelers, it actually dates back to 1863 when Princess Alexandra of Denmark received the brooch as a gift when she married the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII).

King Charles, the Queen Consort and the Prince and Princess of Wales welcomed President  Ramaphosa to London.
King Charles, the Queen Consort and the Prince and Princess of Wales welcomed President Ramaphosa to London.

“As was tradition at the time, various organisations from around the UK presented Alexandra with wedding gifts,” Stone told Page Six Style. “One society was the Ladies of North Wales, who presented her with the striking pendant that emphasized her new position’s history.”

The stunning brooch, which Stone estimated to be worth $400,000 today, weighs in around a whopping 25 carats and features the Prince of Wales crest at the center of the pendant, along with sapphires and “small white diamonds, rubies and emeralds that are likely to represent the Welsh flag.”

The crest is surrounded by a further “18 Edwardian-cut diamonds and 36 small round cut emeralds,” per the jewelry expert, along with a “15 carat detachable green cabochon emerald” that hangs from the bottom of the sparkler.

Middleton also chose another piece of jewelry that Princess Diana was known for during today’s visit, wearing her late mother-in-law’s Collingwood Pearl earrings.

The princess brought out her fashion A-game to go with her brooch, wearing an Emilia Wickstead coat dress and a matching pillbox hat by Sean Barrett Millinery.

The vintage-style, berry-colored coat is a custom piece from the New Zealand-based designer, which has been one of MIddleton’s go-to labels for years. The princess added the same bow-trimmed hat she wore in blue for Commonwealth Day in March, with the milliner creating a berry version for today’s visit.

Princess Diana
Princess Diana wore the brooch as a necklace during her time as Princess of Wales.
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The mom of three added Gianvito Rossi burgundy suede pumps and a coordinating Mulberry clutch to accessorize her look — which marks the sixth head-to-toe monochrome outfit for the princess this month.

The sparkling moments won’t end with the Prince of Wales brooch today; this evening, members of the royal family will break out their tiaras and gowns for a state banquet in honor of President Ramaphosa.

Camilla Parker-Bowles
The Queen Consort was pictured wearing the Prince of Wales brooch in 2012.
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