09 May 2014

This Week in Royal Jewels: May 2-8

May 2-8, 2014

It's Friday yet again, magpies -- time for another round of the week's best bejeweled news!

10. A new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by photographer David Bailey was released on Thursday. The photo, which was taken as a part of the GREAT Britain campaign, features the Queen wearing the George VI sapphires, a nineteenth-century suite of diamond and sapphire jewelry given to her as a wedding present by her father.

9. Queen Sofia of Spain was on hand for the presentation of her nation's paralympic sailing team on Thursday in Valencia, and her sailboat brooches were quite appropriate for the occasion.

8. At a concert in Amsterdam on Thursday, Queen Maxima surprised royal watchers by recycling a dress first worn decades earlier by her mother-in-law. She accessorized the already-bejeweled dress with bracelets and a pair of dangling earrings.

7. We all know that connections to royal wearers significantly increase the values of pieces of jewelry, but even so, this is kind of staggering: apparently the sapphire and diamond engagement ring worn by both Diana, Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Cambridge is now worth an estimated £300,000 -- approximately ten times its original price.

6. To celebrate Princess Benedikte's seventieth birthday, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark bestowed the Order of the Dannebrog on her sister. The order honors those who have made major contributions to the nation, and as Benedikte continues to carry out engagements (and even serve as regent) in Denmark, I'd say she certainly meets the qualifications. The order has eight grand commanders: Queen Margrethe, Prince Henrik, Crown Prince Frederik, Prince Joachim, (the former) King Constantine II of Greece, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, King Harald V of Norway, and now Princess Benedikte.

5. Although she normally prefers very low-key jewelry, the Princess of Asturias added an unexpected ornament to her hair for an audience at Zarzuela Palace on Thursday: a thin gilded headband.

4. The Countess of Wessex found a cuddly friend on a visit to Newbury this week. If you peek past Rosie the guinea pig, you'll catch a glimpse of her Heavenly Necklaces snowflake pendant.

3. Queen Elizabeth II debuted an apparently new brooch this week in Essex. The piece appears to feature daffodils, which may suggest a connection to Wales; indeed, the only time it's been spotted before was in a portrait of the Queen commissioned by the Welsh Rugby Union to mark the 60th anniversary of her coronation.

2. On Tuesday, Queen Maxima wore a questionable hat a beautiful pair of pearl pendant earrings during a regional tour of The Achterhoek.

1. Leave it to the Luxembourgish royals to give us our tiara of the week! Grand Duchess Maria Teresa brought out the family's aquamarine set during a state visit to Poland.