'Fabulous fakes:' How Kate's 48 'diamond and pearl earrings' dazzled fans Designed by Belinda Hadden, ex-wife of top PR man Abel Hadden
06:45 GMT, 8 June 2012
Royal appeal: Kate's sparklers weren't diamonds at all – and cost a mere 48
Amid all the finery that the great and the good wore to St Paul’s Cathedral over the Bank Holiday, the Duchess of Cambridge’s diamond and pearl earrings were among the most admired.
So it will come as a surprise to those who spent a fortune on jewellery at Graff and Asprey that Kate’s sparklers weren’t diamonds at all — and cost a mere 48.
In fact, they were a very good copy under the description ‘fabulous fakes’ designed by Belinda Hadden, ex-wife of top PR man Abel Hadden.
She was astonished to learn that Kate had worn her creations on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Mother-of-three Belinda, who set up little-known Heavenly Necklaces in the Nineties as a hobby when her daughters were small, tells me: ‘I was at a wedding, so I had no idea Kate had worn my earrings until another client sent me an email asking: “Are they the same as mine” ’
It wasn’t long, however, before the ‘Kate effect’ began to work, with internet chatrooms abuzz.
Says Belinda, daughter of the late Tory MP for Gosport and Fareham, Hants, Sir Reginald Bennett: ‘Within the next 24 hours, I had sold out. I sold 60 on my website, which is the amount I would usually sell in a whole year.’
Belinda, who sources her fakes from
India, China and Hatton Garden in London, tells me: ‘They are made of
finest grade cubic zirconia, but what makes them look authentic is the
settings they are in.’
The pearls, says Belinda, are made from ground-up freshwater pearls reconstituted with resin.
Sell out: The earrings are now sold out on Mrs Hadden's website
She adds: ‘Usually, I would never dream of talking about my clients but, in this case, Kate’s earrings were outed on various blogs.
‘I had no idea there was this huge internet chat about where, when and what she wears.’
Belinda designs 75 per cent of her earrings, necklaces and bracelets herself and explains: ‘I have always loved jewellery and I did a short design course — two terms — at a further education centre run by my local council.’
Of course, she never dreamed that one day her wares would be on show to the entire nation.