Kate And Meghan Use These Monogrammed Necklaces To Send Hidden Messages

·4 min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

A necklace changed Aisling O’Brien’s life. When the Duchess of Cambridge visited Galway, Ireland in March 2020, she changed outfits in a physiotherapist’s office. Prior to vacating the room, that physiotherapist decided to leave a small gift for Kate—a pair of earrings and necklace from small Irish brand, All the Falling Stars. O’Brien, the designer and creator of the jewelry, custom-made the necklace, featuring initials of all three of the Cambridge children. The physiotherapist received a thank you note from Kensington Palace, and O’Brien thought that would be the end of the road.

However, months later, the Duchess of Cambridge wore the monogrammed necklace to a September 2020 event in Battersea Park, London, and the orders started flooding in. O’Brien made the jewelry part-time, alongside her day job as a speech pathologist. She soon had more than 500 orders from around the world, before she had to shut down her website, selling out her inventory.

“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,” O’Brien tells T&C.

Prior to the Duchess wearing her jewelry, O’Brien had only sold two pieces outside of Ireland. After, she was getting orders from as far as Australia and Malaysia. Both the earrings and necklace that the Duchess wore are still her strongest sellers, especially since Kate has worn the jewelry a few times over. The necklace’s personalization makes it even more popular, as customers can engrave letters on each of the small discs. The jewelry brand is now so successful that O’Brien quit her main job to pursue All the Falling Stars full-time.

Photo credit: ARTHUR EDWARDS - Getty Images
Photo credit: ARTHUR EDWARDS - Getty Images

“I feel blessed,” O’Brien says. “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.”

O’Brien continued: “The fact that in the she, even though she has every piece of jewelry in the world, has gone to her jewelry box—or wherever she gets her jewelry 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.”

The Duchess of Cambridge is not the only royal to enjoy a monogrammed necklace. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has also been known to sport jewelry featuring letters. Right when she and Prince Harry started dating, Meghan used a necklace to hint at their relationship to the wider world. Walking down the street in Toronto, Meghan wore a piece from brand Maya Brenner, featuring the letters “M” and “H,” confirming their romance.

Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images
Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images

Brenner herself does not know how the Duchess received the necklace. Though she has been in business for over twenty years, the impact of Meghan’s choice of necklace was unlike anything she had ever seen.

“We're in Los Angeles and so we have a lot of celebrities that wear our jewelry, but royalty is on a whole other level, and you could tell that from the moment that happened,” Brenner says. “It was very, very exciting, but also intimidating at the same time, because we're a small jewelry company and we weren't prepared for that level of attention.”

The necklace sold out and continues to be one of Brenner’s top sellers. Though Brenner does not have a personal relationship with the Duchess, Meghan has worn the asymmetrical letter necklace multiple times, including to the Invictus Games in 2018. However, the rewear did not send a secret message like the original monogrammed piece, which Brenner called “a nod to what was to come.”

Tracey Kahn, the creative director and owner of Mini Mini Jewels, knows how Brenner feels. The Duchess of Sussex wore Kahn’s monogrammed initial dog tag necklace to the 2019 U.S. Open. The two charms were engraved with an “M” and an “H.” Kahn also did not know ahead of time that the Duchess was slated to wear her necklace.

Photo credit: Gotham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Gotham - Getty Images

“The orders came in from all over the world in triple digits,” Kahn says. “We had an incredible year and to this date sales within personalized charms continue to grow.”

Kahn, too, does not know how the Duchess initially received her necklace, calling it “a wonderful surprise,” but the brand has since developed a relationship with her.

“We feel very lucky to have been able to work closely with the Duchess,” Kahn says. “We have the utmost respect for her and adore her style and beautiful taste in delicate jewelry.”

Indeed, both royal women clearly deem monogrammed necklaces to be wardrobe staples. Below, shop the Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex’s necklaces, plus a few of T&C's own favorite options.

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