Queen Elizabeth II Almost Forgot One Key Piece of Her Wedding Look Before Walking Down the Aisle

The pair would have celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary on November 20.

As the world prepares to remember Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip on what would have been their 75th wedding anniversary on Nov. 20, new details involving their original royal nuptials are just now coming to light — more specifically, what key piece of the queen’s outfit was almost missing from the ceremony.

While the late monarch was known for her vast collection of exquisite jewels — including the historic Queen Anne and Queen Caroline pearls necklaces that she was gifted by her parents on her wedding day — it seems the sentimental pieces almost didn’t make it down the aisle, according to U.K. retailer Steven Stone.

Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II with her husband Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, on their wedding day, 20th November 1947
Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis

Although Princess Elizabeth (her title at the time) had planned to wear the pearl necklaces on her big day, staff didn’t realize that the necklaces were still on display at St. James’s Palace with the other wedding gifts until the bride was preparing to depart. Luckily, the queen’s private secretary, Jock Colville, volunteered to collect the pearls just in time for them to accompany her as she said, “I do.”

This wasn’t the only occasion when Queen Elizabeth wore the pearls throughout her life, and according to diamond expert Maxwell Stone, the necklaces (which are valued collectively at $30,000) are “elegant pieces with a lot of history attached to them.”

“According to Queen Victoria's 1896 jewellery inventory, one necklace belonged to Queen Anne, the last Stuart monarch, and one belonged to Queen Caroline, the wife of King George II,” he explained. “Despite being separate pieces with individual clasps, the necklaces are generally worn together as a pair, resembling a double-strand pearl necklace — the Queen Anne is strung with 46 pearls, whilst the Queen Caroline has 50 pearls."

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