A hundred years ago, the upper classes had jewellery for every occasion as protocol often dictated what you could and could not wear. For this reason many Royals had at least one set of jewellery for the purpose of wearing at court when an official state of mourning was in effect. When a senior Royal passed away, the monarch would declare a state of mourning that in some rare cases exceeded a whole year.
The current Imperial Collection boasts a full set of mourning jewellery that has come down the inherited line from the original Royal Britanian Collection. It was originally made for the Consort of King George IV of Britania making it one of the oldest sets in the Imperial Collection. Even though protocol is not as strict as a century ago, the classic black and white tones of the parure lends quite a modern feel and versatility to the jewellery making them very wearable. Empress Crystobel however has never worn them as she has another black pearl set that she prefers and the Crown Princess Imperial has worn them once only for a State Portrait. Still they strike a very pleasing effect.
The Imperial Black Pearl Parure includes all the elements in the photo, including the opera length strand with cross but also includes two other short necklaces not worn in this photo.
We think that this set is spectacular and should be worn more often. It is however thought that the Imperial rank of its owner makes the humble size of the tiara slightly incongruent for wear among other high ranking Royals unless mourning is in effect when a smaller tiara becomes appropriate as the design would justify. Let us see if the Crown Princess Imperial packs it out for us soon...