Kate Middleton and Prince William's first joint portrait has a very special detail you probably missed

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge unveiled the portrait together during a visit to Cambridgeshire and seemed seriously impressed...

Kate Middleton and Prince William's first joint portrait revealed, seen here visiting East Anglia's Children's Hospices
(Image credit: Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

Kate Middleton and Prince William’s first joint portrait includes a very special detail that many people might’ve missed. 


As senior members of The Firm and the future King and Queen Consort, Prince William and Duchess Kate might be regularly photographed, but they've only just featured in a painting together. The first joint portrait of the couple has now gone on display at Cambridge's Fitzwilliam Museum. Commissioned last year by the Cambridgeshire Royal Portrait Fund as a gift to the people of the county, the wonderful portrait is the work of award-winning artist Jamie Coreth. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge viewed it for the first time during a day of engagements in Cambridgeshire on June 23rd and appeared delighted with the final result. Painted standing together and looking serenely into the distance, William wears a smart suit and blue tie whilst Kate appears in a stunning emerald green dress from The Vampire’s Wife. 

And eagle-eyed fans might have also spotted a very significant brooch worn by Kate...

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This magnificent piece is focused around a central pearl surrounded by diamonds, with a smaller pearl hanging at the bottom as a pendant detail. The Queen has worn it on several occasions over the years, including for her 50th birthday photographs. However, it’s not just the connection to Her Majesty which makes this choice of brooch for Kate Middleton and Prince William’s first joint portrait so meaningful. 

The brooch has a long history and is known as the Duchess of Cambridge’s pearl pendant brooch or sometimes simply as the Duchess of Cambridge’s brooch or the Cambridge pearl pendant brooch. The brooch got its name from both the beautiful design and the original owner - another Duchess of Cambridge!

Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on the occasion of her 50th birthday

(Image credit: Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

The brooch is said to have been created by London-based jeweller Garrard. The fabulous piece was made to honor Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel, who married Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace in 1818. 

Princess Augusta was an aunt of Queen Victoria and according to The Independent (opens in new tab), was painted wearing the Duchess of Cambridge pearl pendant brooch in a portrait commissioned by her niece. It’s understood to have been passed down to her daughter Princess Mary Adelaide, who passed it to her daughter Queen Mary, who then passed it to her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth. 

Now all these decades later the choice to feature the brooch in the newly unveiled painting highlights Kate's important role as Duchess of Cambridge and makes this first joint portrait with William all the more memorable with its historic links.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge

(Image credit: Photo by Paul Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, as reported by the BBC (opens in new tab), artist Jamie wanted to create a wonderful sense of their public life as Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as well as of them as people. He reportedly hoped to make them appear "both relaxed and approachable, as well as elegant and dignified" in the final work.

"As it is the first portrait to depict them together, and specifically during their time as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, I wanted the image to evoke a feeling of balance between their public and private lives,” he declared.

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, Goodto.com, and My Imperfect Life.