Princess Anne wows in £400,000 sapphire and pearl choker in Windsor – long royal history

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Princess Anne, 71, attended a dinner to celebrate the work of St John Ambulance in Windsor Castle on Wednesday night. The Princess Royal joined Sophie, Countess of Wessex, who is the Grand President of St John Ambulance. Anne, meanwhile, is the Commandant-in-Chief (Youth).

The two women also joined the Duke of Gloucester, who is the Grand Prior of the Order of St John.

The Princess Royal stunned for the glamorous dinner in a black and white blouse, which had three-quarter length sleeves and a high round neck.

The print was quite striking compared to Anne’s more simple black maxi skirt.

It is a style not usually seen on Princess Anne, who prefers to either wear knee-length dresses or smart trouser suits.

The most beautiful part of Anne’s outfit, however, was her sapphire choker.

The three strands of pearls were clasped together with a fabulous sapphire.

The necklace has a long royal history, dating back to Empress Maria Feodorovna, according to the Royal Watcher.

Consisting of four rows of pearls interspersed by 20 diamond bars, with an angular sapphire and diamond clasp, which can be separated into two bracelets, the Sapphire Choker originates with Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia.

The Empress was pictured wearing the choker with her sisters in the 1890s, and it was one of the few jewels she managed to escape with from Russia, owning it until her death in 1928.

Then, the Sapphire Choker was bought by Queen Mary for £6,000, who wore a couple of times in the 1930s.

This would be worth £401,624 in today’s money.

After Queen Mary’s death in 1953, Empress Maria Feodorovna’s Sapphire Choker was inherited by Queen Elizabeth II and was worn only a few times in the 1950s as a choker and also as a bracelet.

The Queen rarely wears chokers, so Empress Maria Feodorovna’s Sapphire Choker was given to Princess Anne in the early 1970s.

It has been frequently worn for a plethora of important occasions, including her 50th Birthday and Prince William’s Wedding Gala in 2011.

The Countess of Wessex was also there at the dinner last night.

For the occasion, she wore her floor-length Galvan ‘Estrella’ gown and a matching sparkly clutch bag.

Royal fans loved Anne and Sophie’s appearance, taking to social media to praise their style.

Twitter user @BlueEyesMe66 said: “Beautiful.”

Another account, @THERoyalCrabbit added: “This is wonderful.

“They deserve the public attention in their work to Her Majesty.

“Like HM, we appreciate their past and present work and all their steadfast work into the future.”

Social media user @TrishKennedy214 wrote: “Very nice! They look lovely.”

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