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April 17, 2016 1:18 pm  #1


TBF-QM-18 Queen Mary’s Ladies of Devonshire Earrings

18. Queen Mary’s Ladies of Devonshire Earrings

   These simple earrings consisting of a “pearl button…each with small diamond on top”,[1] and were made by Hunt & Roskell in 1893.[2] They were made to match ‘Queen Mary’s Ladies of England Necklace/Tiara’, using funds that were raised by a subsidiary committee of “the ladies of Devonshire”,[3]headed by Lady Clinton.[4]

   They were presented to Queen Mary as a wedding present on 24 June 1893, along with the Ladies of England’s gift;[5] and were subsequently exhibited at the Imperial Institute amongst the other wedding presents, as can be seen illustrated in The Graphic.[6] Queen Mary wrote to Lady Biddulph conveying her “grateful thanks … for the … pearl earrings from the ladies of Devonshire, they have so kindly given me as a wedding gift”.[7]

   Queen Mary wore these earrings often, as can be in many official portraits, both in evening wear,[8]and less formal attire [9] and they are illustrated in her photographic jewellery inventory.[10] In turn, she gave them to The Queen as a wedding present in 1947, and they are listed amongst the wedding gifts exhibited as St. James’s Palace as being “a pair of bouton pearl earrings, with small diamonds at top”.[11] They are now worn constantly by the Queen to nearly all her daytime engagements, and she gave earrings of a similar style as wedding presents to her daughter and daughter-in-laws.[12]

1. Field, The Queen’s Jewels, p. 124
2. The Graphic, 15 July 1893, p. 88
3. The Times, 28 June 1893, p. 10
4. Field, The Queen’s Jewels, p. 124; Royal Collection: Dress for the Occasion: The Ladies of Devonshire Earrings   http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/microsites/royalwedding1947/object.asp?row=7&exhibs=GIFTROYAL&grouping=
[Accessed 5 June 2012]
5. The Times, 28 June 1893, p. 10
6. The Graphic, 15 July 1893, p. 88
7. The Times, 28 June 1893, p. 10 
8. Roberts, The Queen’s Diamonds, p. 46 (RCIN 2808111)
9. Field, The Queen’s Jewels, p. 124
10. Roberts, The Queen’s Diamonds, p. 113; RA QM/PRIV/CC93, pl. 1, no. 6
11. Marriage of HRH The Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, p. viii
12. Field, The Queen’s Jewels, pp. 58, 124 – 125
 

 

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