26 March 2017

Jewels in Motion: Greek State Visit (1963)

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In 1963, King Paul and Queen Friederike of the Hellenes made a state visit to Britain. Today, we're looking one of the most glittering events of the visit: a gala performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Aldwych Theatre on July 11, 1963. And, even better -- the jewels are sparkling in motion!

The first royal lady to arrive at the theater was Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent. She was heavily involved in the visit, because she was born Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, and King Paul was her first cousin. (Prince Philip was also a first cousin to both Marina and Paul.) For the theater gala, Marina wore the diamond fringe tiara she received as a wedding gift from the City of London.

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Here's a better view of Marina's jewelry from this event. She's also wearing her diamond girandole earrings and the enormous diamond bow brooch that belonged to her mother, Princess Nicholas of Greece and Denmark. (The earrings have since been sold, including a 2000 appearance at Christie's. The brooch has also been sold multiple times; here are the lot notes from a December 2012 sale of the jewel at Sotheby's.)

Marina arrived with her daughter, Princess Alexandra, who had just married the Hon. Angus Ogilvy that April. She wore the Ogilvy Tiara, a gift from her new husband.

Queen Elizabeth II wore the Vladimir Tiara (which once belonged to the Grand Duchess Vladimir, mother of Princess Nicholas of Greece and Denmark) with its pearl drops, as well as Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Necklace. On the left side of the frame, you get a partial view of her aunt, Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood.

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Here's a better look at Mary's jewels. She wore her diamond fringe tiara, a wedding gift from Lord and Lady Inchcape. The tiara was sold by her son after her death, and it eventually was bought by the late Duke of Westminster.

Queen Friederike wore the family's magnificent ruby suite, which had been recently reacquired from Princess Marina's sister, Princess Olga of Yugoslavia. Friederike wore the Ruby Olive Wreath Tiara with the coordinating necklace and earrings. This gif is extra fun because it's a meeting between two similar royal heirloom ruby sets! Hooray!