Story behind Meghan Markle’s cult £6k Cartier bracelet – historic link to Wallis Simpson

Story behind Meghan Markle’s cult £6k Cartier bracelet – historic link to Wallis Simpson


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The Cartier Love Bracelet, designed in New York in 1969, is an item of jewellery popular among wealthy fans of big brands. Nothing says “wealth” like the instantly recognisable bracelets, which start at £3,850 and cost as much as £53,500 for a diamond pave version.

Fans include reality TV star Kylie Jenner, socialite Pippa Middleton and actress Lindsey Lohan, among many others, including Meghan Markle.

Keeping Up with the Kardashians star Kylie famously wore £30,000 worth of bracelets on her arm for just one red carpet appearance.

Now associated with celebrity and glamour, surprisingly the bracelet is modelled after chastity belts.

The original version of the bracelet was, instead of being slipped on and off, is fixed closely around the wrist with a screw, details of which were based on Cartier’s Santos watch.

Meant to be bought by couples for one another, reportedly Cartier enforced a rule meaning they could only be bought as gifts.

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For this reason, the bracelet came to symbolise an everlasting “locked-in” love.

So popular was the bracelet among wealthy New York City dwellers, according to reports, that the city’s hospital kept a Cartier Love Bracelet screwdriver on hand in case they needed to remove the jewellery from patients needing treatment.

Unsurprisingly, the bracelet has also become one of the most troublesome items at airport security.

In a savvy marketing move, the bracelets were gifted to celebrity couples on the original release.

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This includes Wallis Simpson and the Duke of Windsor, a surprising royal connection linking Meghan, the bracelet and the family she would marry into.

Since their release, the pieces have fallen victim to counterfeiting.

Now each bracelet has a hallmark reading and a unique serial number stored by Cartier.

Meghan has had her version of the bracelet for years, although it is not known whether it was a gift to herself or from another.

Meghan owns another item from the Love collection, the Juste un Clou.

It takes the screw element of the bracelet, craft rings and bracelets from one long nail.

Meghan has an 18kt gold ring from the collection, which costs £2160.

Meghan Markle wore the £6,000 bracelet for a video with CNN praising frontline workers. 

Meghan said in the video: “We saw communities standing up and taking action.

“When kids’ lunch programs came to a halt, we saw our neighbors make sure that those children received the nutrition they need.

“And when those who are immunocompromised or most vulnerable couldn’t leave their homes, we, as a community, showed up to deliver the food they needed to their doorsteps.”

The Duchess of Sussex added gold earrings and a light pink blouse.

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