The unusual story behind Kate Middleton’s most precious necklace

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Last September, Kate Middleton made headlines when she visited key families and organisations in Battersea Park, to discuss parent wellbeing, focusing on how to help each other out during the pandemic.

Royal fans were quick to point out her meaningful necklace, which consisted of three gold discs, each engraved with the first initial of her three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

At the time, it was thought it could've been a sentimental gift from her spouse, Prince William, but it's since been revealed that the piece of jewellery has a very unusual, and serendipitous, back story.

Town & Country revealed that the Duchess of Cambridge received the gift by chance when she was visiting Ireland in March 2020.

During her visit, she changed outfits in a physiotherapist's office. Said physio decided to leave a small gift for Kate before leaving the room, a pair of earrings and the aforementioned necklace, designed by Aisling O'Brien, the creator of the brand, All the Falling Stars.

The physio received a thank you note and that was that. Little did both know that Kate would wear the jewellery months later and everything would change.

O'Brien suddenly received over 500 orders from around the world, as far as Australia, when she'd only ever sold two pieces out of Ireland. She was in fact still doing her business part time, alongside a career as a speech pathologist.

She told T&C, 'It was chaos. Really that’s the only way to describe it—a lot of panic and "how am I going to do this?" And roping in family and friends for lots of different tasks.'

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<a href="https://www.allthefallingstars.com/product/personalised-gold-three-layered-disc-necklace/?currency=GBP" data-link-merchant="allthefallingstars.com"">Personalised Gold Three Layered Disc Necklace, £119.47
14k gold filled personalised necklace with layered discs – three 11mm diameter high shine discs overlayed with 9mm hammered discs – gift boxed. Your chosen initials will be hand stamped in our Galway studio.

Her jewellery is still so popular that she has now quit her other job to focus on it.

'I feel blessed. I suppose it was such a crazy thing to happen, and very much the stars aligning. When you’re working towards building a little business, you never expect that something like that is going to happen,' she says.

'The fact that in the she, even though she has every piece of jewellery in the world, has gone to her jewellery box—or wherever she gets her jewellery from—multiple times and picked out those two things to wear on different occasions together and separately, it blows my mind completely. I just I can't get my head around it,' she added.

The Kate effect is still very much in full swing.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.