The story behind Princess Diana's iconic initial necklace

Princess Diana might have had a lavish collection of jewellery worth millions - some of which Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle inherited - but one of her favourite necklaces is a much simpler one.

When you look back at earlier pictures of the royal, she often wore a gold chain with a 'D' charm hanging off of it. In fact, it appears in one of the first pictures of Diana, taken after news of her courtship with Charles broke.

At the time, she was very shy and unaware of how to deal with the media frenzy, and experts claim the necklace was a away for her to assert herself.

Fred Leighton creative director and jewellery expert Rebecca Selva, told Town & Country, 'An initial pendant is a most personalized jewel, one that asks to be noticed and says ‘I am here.' It’s a personal stamp that cannot be ignored.'

She was last spotted wearing it to a polo game in 1985 (main picture), suggesting she was ready to leave that old part of herself behind.

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This gold initial curve charm can be added to a charm necklace to complete a name or initials for the perfect gift to a friend or loved one. Available in solid sterling silver, solid 9ct gold and solid 9ct white gold.

The origin of the gold initial is unknown, though it is likely to have been a gift from her family, and so is probably still in their possession. We do know a silver 'D' pendant belonging to her as a teenager sold at auction in 2017.

Princess Diana was known for personalising her jewellery. When supporting Prince Charles during his polo matches, she wore his watch next to hers, and later on, when she had her children, she would wear a charm bracelet which featured the letters H and W for her sons, Harry and William.

That said, she wasn't the first royal to embrace this trend, nor was she the last. Famous portraits of Anne Boleyn depict her wearing an ornate pearl choker adorned with the letter 'B'. Much later, Meghan Markle was spotted wearing her delicate gold necklace featuring an A on it (for Archie of course), sending sales of alphabet necklaces soaring everywhere.

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, 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.