Published On: Wed, Apr 20th, 2022

Princess Diana shocked Royal Family by wearing Delhi Durbar Emerald Choker on head

Throughout her life, was spotted wearing some fabulous pieces of jewellery. Diamond expert Maxwell Stone, creative director of Steven Stone, spoke exclusively to about Princess Diana’s Delhi Durbar Emerald Choker and the peculiar way she wore it.

In her iconic interview with Martin Bashir, Princess Diana revealed why she believed she would never be Queen.

She stated: “I do things differently because I don’t go by a rule book.”

And this is certainly true of one particular piece of jewellery, the “fabulous” £15million Delhi Durbar Emerald Choker.

Maxwell Stone told “Princess Diana’s Art Deco diamond and emerald choker was a wedding gift from Queen Elizabeth II, however, Princess Diana had other ideas for the necklace, and no doubt shocked the Royal Family when she wore it on her head.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle wears Princess Diana’s jewellery ‘to have her there’

“Whilst designed to be worn as a necklace, the trend-setting Princess premiered her new look at a charity event in Melbourne in 1985 and again in 1988 at another Australian event.”

But why did Princess Diana make such a bold move with a gift from the Queen?

Maxwell continued: “Despite the headband looking fabulous, it’s believed that the fashion statement was actually an accident, as, in a rush, Diana tried to put the choker over her head, rather than wait for someone to help her clasp it.

“When it got stuck and wouldn’t go over her nose, Canadian diplomat Victor Chapman convinced her to wear it as a headpiece instead.”


In her book, The Royals, royal biographer Kitty Kelley wrote that Diana had said “my honker’s too big”.

Victor then responded: “Leave it there. It’s young and fun, like you.”

Maxwell gave his opinion on whether Diana’s jewellery move was a revolutionary style choice or a simple accident, “wearing the choker as a headpiece was a wonderful choice”.

Why was it so eye-catching?

“The diamonds in this piece alone are magnificent, looking to be around 10ct each,” the expert explained.

“They are old cut stones, which makes them even more valuable.”

While it’s so difficult to put a value on a piece like this that has such a “rich history”, having been worn by Queen Mary at her coronation in 1911, “it could be worth from £10million to £15million”.

This was not the first time Princess Diana made a controversial jewellery decision.

Practically unheard of for the Royal Family, the Peoples’ Princess selected her 12ct Ceylon sapphire engagement ring from the Garrard catalogue.

Reportedly, this resulted in the Royal Family’s displeasure as they did not wish for Diana’s ring to be purchasable by just anyone.

At the time it was retailed at £47,000, but today is worth much more, with Maxwell estimating its value to be more than £300,000.”

She also wore a sapphire and diamond choker as a headband in Japan in 1986 when hosted by Emperor Hirohito.

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