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April 18, 2016 10:24 am  #1


TBF-QEII-35 The Queen’s Sapphire Parure

35. The Queen’s Sapphire Parure

   The separate pieces of this sapphire and diamond parure were acquired by The Queen over a number of years. The first piece she acquired was the “long necklace of oblong sapphires surrounded by round diamonds and separated by diamond collets”, which together with the “pair of free-swinging, square-shaped sapphire earrings, bordered with diamonds and hanging from three collet stones”, were both a wedding gift to The Queen, in 1947 from her father, King George VI.[1]

   This gift was exhibited alongside the other wedding gifts in at St. James’s Palace, and are described in the official catalogue of gifts as “a sapphire and diamond clusters necklace and a pair of sapphire and diamond drop earrings”.[2]

   These necklace and earrings were purchased by The King from Carrington & Co. It originally consisted of eighteen of the sapphire and diamond clusters,[3] as The Queen was pictured wearing it in the early years of her marriage.[4]

   However in 1952, The Queen had the necklace shortened by four stones;[5] it is in this form that the piece was photographed and featured in Young’s and Menkes’ publications.[6]

   Subsequently, in 1959 the largest of the stones that were removed was converted into a detachable pendant for the necklace, which was later adapted with a pin fitting, allowing it to be worn as a brooch.[7]

   Field argues that, in 1963, the Queen acquired a sapphire and diamond cluster bracelet to match the necklace, to be worn en suite with the parure[8] which The Queen was pictured wearing occasionally.[9]

   To complete the parure, in 1963, at auction, The Queen acquired the sapphire and diamond necklace of Princess Louise of Belgium; this consists of a large square-shaped central sapphire cluster, suspending three sapphire and diamond pendants, with sapphire and diamond swags connecting two additional sapphire and diamond clusters with pendants, on either side.[10]

   The Queen subsequently set this necklace on a tiara frame, and it is now worn en suite with the rest of the parure.[11]

1. Field, The Queen’s Jewels, p. 149
2. Marriage of HRH The Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, p. vii
3. Royal Collection: A Royal Wedding 1947: Sapphire and diamond suite of necklace and earrings http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/microsites/royalwedding1947/object.asp?grouping=&exhibs=GIFTROYAL&object=200180%2D1&row=1&detail=about [Accessed 14 June 2012]
4. Field, The Queen’s Jewels, p. 148
5. Royal Collection: A Royal Wedding 1947: Sapphire and diamond suite of necklace and earrings
6. Young, The Queen’s Jewellery, pl. 14; Menkes, The Royal Jewels, p. 134
7. Royal Collection: A Royal Wedding 1947: Sapphire and diamond suite of necklace and earrings
8. Field, The Queen’s Jewels, p. 149
9. Young, The Queen’s Jewellery, pl. 25
10. Royal Magazin: Queen Elizabeth’s Sapphire Tiara http://www.royal-magazin.de/german/sachsen-coburg/sachsen-coburg-sapphires-elisabeth.htm [Accessed 14 June 2012]
11. Young, The Queen’s Jewellery, pls. 25a and 122; Field, The Queen’s Jewels, p. 149
 

 

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