Bella Hadid’s New Favourite Necklace Has A Dark History

While strolling through the streets of London post her Ibiza vacation, Bella Hadid was spotted wearing low-rise trousers with a ribbed tank and sneakers — an outfit befitting a supermodel in 2021. But where the 24-year-old threw us for a loop was with her choice of accessories. 
No stranger to a bold piece of jewellery, Hadid went a little beyond her usual layering and instead opted for a single statement pearl necklace, reminiscent of something your Grandma would no doubt love, with a large ‘B’ pendant and pearl droplets. 
Nameplates, monograms and personalisation have been a major part of fashion, mostly in the 2000s and again now. From Carrie Bradshaw's iconic necklace to the viral Celine alphabet iteration, we're suckers for a personal touch. But this particular necklace is no ordinary accessory.
If you recognise the design, it may be because it was a signature of America Ferrera’s character Betty Suarez on the show Ugly Betty. But the history buffs out there may know that the iconic necklace’s history goes way beyond a prop. Its history actually dates back to the 1500s, with its OG wearer being the legendary Tudor Queen, Anne Boleyn.
Best known as King Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn served as the Queen of England from 1533 until she was accused of treason and adultery— by her husband, no less — and subsequently beheaded in 1536.
Though historians have not been able to thoroughly trace her beginnings, it has been estimated that she was between the age of 28 and 35 at the time of her demise. Her sudden execution spurred upheaval across the country, which in turn became a catalyst for the English Reformation.
As shown above, Boleyn's necklace became synonymous with her picture and her divisive legacy. With her life cut short so horrifically, her story has evolved over time so she's become somewhat of a feminist icon, with her necklace a symbol of clapping back at oppressive masculinity. Of course, Hadid could've just been drawn to the aesthetic of the necklace — kitschy pearls are a major vibe right now — but it's definitely getting us excited for Jodie Turner-Smith's upcoming stint as the queen.
The series has been described as a psychological thriller exploring the final months of Boleyn's life and, according to Channel 5 network, will "follow [Boleyn] as she struggles to survive, to secure a future for her daughter, and to challenge the powerful patriarchy closing in around her." In recent teasers for the unnamed show, we see Turner-Smith sporting the iconic necklace. Though it raises questions of what constitutes a homage, we do love it when history and fashion collide.

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