0601 – Royalty

By royal appointment? Prince Harry and the rise of jewellery for men

The Duke of Sussex wearing a chunky ring and bracelet

The roving Eye of Sauron that lasers in on the Duchess of Sussexand every nuance of her style rarely comes to rest on her beau, a certain chap who’s sixth in line to the throne. This is partly because Prince Harry – as with most men of the royal household – toes the path classic and familiar with regards to his style. Which is as it should be; no-one expects the Duke of Sussex to embrace Gucci’s directional new florals. But there’s one glitch in the matrix with Prince Harry – aside the classic Savile Row tailoring when on duty and standard shirts and chinos on his down-time, he likes a touch of jewellery. Attending the Commonwealth Youth Roundtable last night at Pall Mall’s Lancaster House, the Duke opted for a striking black and gold bracelet, as well as a black ring on his right hand. This ring has been something of a feature in the past – it’s been reported it’s a sleep tracker by wellness brand Oura – and acts as a counterbalance to his wedding band, a minimalist platinum design by court jewelers Cleave & Company. The bracelet has been a feature of his wardrobe since his days at Eton, cropping up at the polo as a late teen and in Africa in his 20s. It’s all the more telling that the Duke opts to wear these decorative pieces in a formal set up, with an elegant black suit and ice blue. Granted, his jewellery clearly has meaning for him – he has long worn beaded bracelets that signify his love of Africa – while his father has been known to wear the same signet ring for decades. Which – as a glut of Tom Woodmale contestants arrive for new series of Shipwrecked decked in cork necklaces – begs the question; should men’s jewellery be entering your wardrobe any time soon? For the naysayers – and I put myself front and foremost of that crowd  – it’s worth considering that men’s jewellery is historically the most aristocratic and establishment type of dress. Signet rings were an integral part of noble lineage long before men’s jewellery became synonymous with Boogie Nights and, later, the cool young waifs of east London. Perhaps to tackle it best is to take it back to those more stately examples. A host of brands now create signet rings in minimalist, pared-back designs instead of the florid and ornate versions of old. That less-is-more approach should parlay into bracelets too. Invest in masculine and discreet versions in sleek steel or rhodium that will complement slate-shaded suits, as opposed to beaded numbers that make you look as if you’ve just landed from your gap year (sorry, your Royal Highness). And that should be the extent of your jewellery drawer – necklaces dangling across tropical print shirts, earrings at Coachella and ankle bracelets should be kept firmly for the millennials and their #summerstyle.