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April 13, 2016 12:04 pm  #1

TBF-QM-28 The Ladies of India Emerald Choker

28. The Ladies of India Emerald Choker

   This necklace originally contained sixteen emeralds with “connecting rosettes of small brilliants”,[1] and it was presented to Queen Mary by the ladies of India as a gift to mark the occasion of the Delhi Durbar in 1911. Pictorial evidence shows that Queen Mary wore this necklace in the official Delhi Durbar portraits wearing it directly above ‘The Delhi Durbar Necklace’.[2]

   In the 1920s,[3] the decision was taken to remodel this choker using eight emeralds and the same brilliant diamonds, but mounting them in platinum, in the Art-Deco style;[4] so that it now consists of “diamond encircled cabochon stones…divided by geometric diamond plaques, each with a small emerald centre”.[5] Queen Mary can be seen wearing this choker with the full Delhi Durbar Parure in 1927,[6] and also with ‘Queen Mary’s Emerald Bandeau’ in 1947,[7] and on other informal evening occasions during her widowhood.[8]

   It was inherited by The Queen in 1953, and was subsequently worn by Diana, Princess of Wales as both a necklace, and on occasion as a bandeau tiara.[9]

1. Field, The Queen’s Jewels, p. 90
2. Roberts, The Queen’s Diamonds, p. 170 (RCIN 2917139)
3 Royal Collection: Dress for the Occasion: Emerald and diamond choker [Accessed 7 June 2012]
4. Ibid.
5. Field, The Queen’s Jewels, p. 93
6. Royal Collection: Queen Mary 1927: RCIN 2808166 [Accessed 4 June 2012]
7. Roberts, The Queen’s Diamonds, p. 181 (RCIN 2000430)
8. Menkes, The Royal Jewels, p. 168
9. Field, The Queen’s Jewels, p. 93


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