The intriguing back story behind Duchess Sophie's unique black pearl earrings

Duchess Sophie's black pearl earrings are an iconic piece of royal fashion that the Duchess has owned since her wedding day in 1999

Duchess Sophie's black pearl earrings
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, has often been snapped in a unique pair of pearl earrings that feature both black and cream pearls. But do you know the sweet story behind this unique pair of earrings?

In 1999, Sophie Rhys-Jones (as she was then known) married the Queen's youngest son, Prince Edward. The wedding took place at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle and the bride looked stunning in a silk organza Samantha Shaw wedding dress, a tiara and a long flowing veil. 

However, the piece that really caught the attention of fans was Sophie's unique crucifix necklace which was made from black and white pearls. This showstopping piece matched the Duchess' white and black pearl drop earrings that were visible through her pinned-back blonde hair. 

Duchess Sophie

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wearing pearls at a wedding is common for a lot of brides, but the shape of the necklace and the inclusion of black pearls was truly a unique look. However, there is a rather adorable story behind this pearl set. 

It has been reported that the Prince worked with jewelers to create this necklace and earrings for his future wife. Prince Edward even worked with Asprey and Garrard, the same brand that made Sophie's engagement ring, adding yet another level of significance to these unique pieces.

Duchess Sophie

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jewellery expert Zack Stone told Express, "The unsung hero of style, Sophie Wessex stunned on her wedding day and we couldn’t take our eyes off her necklace and earrings. The expert explained why these pearls were so significant for the Duchess to wear at her nuptials."

"Designed by Prince Edward himself, both pieces combine white and black pearls, with the necklace featuring a bold cross pendant. Pearls have always had a connection with royalty and Kate Middleton, Princess Anne and Queen Camilla are regularly seen sporting the radiant gemstone," he concluded.

According to Pearl Falco, "Black pearls are a symbol of power, prosperity, and eternal love." This could have been part of the reason that the Prince decided to incorporate this style of pearl into these pieces - as a hidden sweet meaning for his wife.

Sophie's wedding earrings worn on separate occasions

(Image credit: Future// Image 1: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty//Image 2: Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

The Duchess of Edinburgh loves these earrings so much that she has continued to wear them for a number of royal engagements following her wedding in 1999. Most recently, Sophie wore them to the Annual Commonwealth Day Service on March 13, 2023. This highlights how much the Duchess loves these earrings as they are still a go-to item more than two decades after she was first gifted them.

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.