26 July 2015

Sundays with the Queen: The Modern Fringe Necklace

When the Queen and Angela Kelly sit down to plan her jewels for a state banquet, they're spoiled for choice when it comes to diamond necklaces. But although the Queen has numerous necklaces suitable for a grand state dinner, in recent years she's often reached for one in particular: her modern diamond fringe necklace.

To my knowledge, nothing has ever been released about the provenance of this necklace, but the Queen began wearing it about a decade ago. She debuted it in public about a year after her Golden Jubilee, which has always made me wonder if it was a present connected to that important anniversary. Above, she wears the necklace at a state dinner at Buckingham Palace for President and Mrs. Bush of the USA in 2003. She recycled both the necklace and the dress two years later for a visit from the Italian president, as you can see in the photo below.

The design of the necklace is relatively simple: diamond fringes are suspended at regular intervals from a necklace made of clusters of diamonds. Unlike traditional fringe necklaces, this one does not have shorter, smaller fringes placed between the longer fringe pieces; instead, there are spaces between the individual fringes.

The Queen has paired the necklace with several tiaras from her collection, including the Vladimir Tiara, the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, and Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara.

The necklace was also one of the jewels that the Queen chose for one of the most important state banquets of her reign: the 2011 dinner in Ireland.

The piece has clearly become a favorite of the Queen, but I'll admit that it's not one of my favorites among her collection. What do you think of this modern piece?