24 January 2014

This Week in Royal Jewels: January 17-22


January 17-22, 2014

This week, I'm doing the royal jewel news roundup in a new format. Here are my choices for the top ten pieces of jewel news of the past week!

10. To welcome the Colombian president and first lady to Zarzuela Palace, Queen Sofia doubled up on necklaces, wearing both a golden pendant necklace and a longer golden chain. 

Princess Ingrid Alexandra [2]
9. The future queen of Norway, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, celebrated her tenth birthday this week. The new official portraits released by the royal court show the young princess wearing some delicate, age-appropriate jewels (and posing with a truly impressive bouquet of golden balloons!).

8. At Sotheby's in London, an objet d'art from the collection of the late Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte of Luxembourg fetched more than 150,000 pounds at auction; a coral demi-parure that may also have belonged to her failed to sell.

7. The ladies over at Luxarazzi have also done some more detective work on the jewels of the Luxembourg collection; be sure to have a look at their research on an emerald bracelet that once belonged to Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mikhailovna!

6. Willem-Alexander and Máxima continued their introductory visits this week, traveling to Rome to meet with the Italian president. The queen wore jewels of gray pearls and diamonds for the event, including a striking brooch and a large bracelet. (And, of course, a hat that would make Peter Pan all kinds of envious.)

5. For a visit to King's College Hospital, the Duchess of Cornwall donned a pair of clover brooches. She's apparently a fan of paired brooches; she's also been seen in a similar pair of turquoise flower brooches, as well as a pair of gorgeous pansy brooches.

4. Queen Elizabeth II satisfied the media by collecting flowers after church on Sunday; she also satisfied jewel watchers by wearing her Pearl Quatrefoil Brooch, which apparently arrived in her jewelry box some time in the 1980s. The monarch also celebrated another milestone this week: the birth of her fourth great-grandchild, Mia Grace Tindall.

3. For the second time in as many weeks, Queen Máxima wore a large diamond and aquamarine brooch, this time during a visit from French president Francois Hollande to the palace in The Hague. She wore the same brooch last week for a new year's reception in Amsterdam.

2. Princess Beatrix chose diamond, amethyst, and pearl jewelry for a ballet gala in Amsterdam; the amethyst flower brooch is apparently a new piece for the former queen.

1. A rare blue diamond has been discovered in the same South African diamond mine that also yielded one of the most famous royal diamonds of all time: the Cullinan diamond. The blue diamond weighs nearly thirty carats -- the Telegraph notes that it's about the size of an acorn -- and could be worth tens of millions of pounds. (It's worth noting that the Telegraph article mistakenly states that the Cullinan was only cut into two stones, when nine major diamonds were yielded from the stone, along with numerous brilliants.)

NOTES, PHOTO SOURCES, AND LINKS
1. Banner image: detail of The Marriage of George, Duke of York to Princess Mary of Teck (1894) by Laurits Tuxen. Image in the public domain; source here.
2. Photo source: Sølve Sundsbø/the Norwegian Royal Court. Additional photographs are available here on the Norwegian royal family's website.