By Alexandra Whittaker
Oct 29, 2018 @ 11:45 am
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Meghan Markle is nearing the end of her whirlwind royal tour with Prince Harry, but her fashion choices are working overtime to send a message while she's still in the spotlight. In a predictable move, Markle's jewelry has contained covert references all its own, hidden beyond first glance.

And like many of Markle's previous fashion choices, a little digging has helped shed more light on the intent and optics of her wardrobe.

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As she stepped into a formal dinner in a custom Gabriela Hearst LBD, Markle also wore a diamond spiral pendant on a silver chain called the "Tattoo Pendant" ($11,425; modaoperandi.com).

It is designed by New Zealand-born Jessica McCormack, which fits the host country-heavy style narrative Markle has stuck to throughout her first royal tour. The pricey piece sells for almost twelve grand, and is "set with 0.90 carat of brilliant-cut diamonds handcrafted in blackened 18K white gold on an 18k yellow gold chain."

Having a New Zealand connection through the designer's country of birth isn't even the most New Zealand-specific story of the pendant, though.

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The necklace designer's own heritage plays further into how it was created, because according to the brand, the spiral shape represents "the beautiful spiral pattern found in Tā Moko," an art form that involves marking skin permanently.

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Tā Moko tattoos traditionally represent different Maori tribes, and different patterns of them have distinct meanings. It's yet another way that Markle has spun her style into a message about her host country.

Leave it to the Duchess of Sussex to teach the world about culture and tradition abroad just by plucking something from her jewelry box. 

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