15 August 2018

Princess Anne's Modern Pearl Earrings

Anne wears the earrings for a national service of thanksgiving for the 90th birthday of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul's Cathedral, 10 June 2016 (JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The Princess Royal celebrates her birthday today, and in her honor, we're spending our morning with pieces from her jewelry box that have stood the test of time: her modern pearl, gold, and diamond earrings.

Anne wears the earrings at a fashion show in Brisbane, April 1970 (William Lovelace/Daily Express/Getty Images)

Anne's been wearing the earrings for virtually her entire adult life. That's not particularly surprising -- Anne is a woman who invests in things she likes and keeps them -- but it's notable that the earrings have managed to remain visually current and interesting for their entire tenure in her jewelry box.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Here's a closer look at the earrings, which are essentially a deconstructed cluster stud earring. Instead of circling the central pearl in a neat halo, the gold and diamonds of the setting are stretched and scattered. The shape of each earring is particularly interesting -- sometimes I think I can see a leaf shape in the design.

Julian Herbert/Getty Images

Here's another view. The earrings were made by Andrew Grima, who was one of the family's favorite jewelers in the 1960s and 1970s. They're similar in shape, materials, and construction to another piece in Anne's collection: her stalactite brooch (which appears later in this post).

Anne wears the earrings at the Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, April 1970 (William Lovelace/Daily Express/Getty Images)

The earrings accompanied Anne on an early royal tour. She was only 19 when she wore them in Australia with her mother. Here, she pairs them with a floral brooch for a day at the races in Sydney.

Anne wears the earrings as she launches the Royal Navy Type 21 frigate Amazon at Southampton shipyard alongside Lord Mountbatten, 26 April 1971 (Leonard Burt/Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

In 1971, Anne paired the earrings with another gold, pearl, and diamond jewel, her floral brooch, as she christened a ship alongside her great-uncle, Lord Mountbatten.

Anne wears the earrings for her wedding to Sir Timothy Laurence at Crathie Kirk, 12 December 1992 (EPA/AFP/Getty Images)

The earrings have remained in Anne's frequent jewelry rotation throughout her life, and they've made appearances at some very important personal events. In 1992, she wore them for her wedding to Timothy Laurence in Scotland. They recently celebrated their silver wedding anniversary.

Anne wears the earrings for the wedding of her daughter, Zara Phillips, in Edinburgh, 30 July 2011 (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

In 2011, she chose them for the wedding of her daughter, the accomplished equestrienne Zara Phillips, to rugby player Mike Tindall in Edinburgh.

Anne wears the earrings for the wedding of her nephew, the Duke of Sussex, in Windsor, 19 May 2018 (Gareth Fuller - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The earrings also made a notable appearance recently at the royal wedding of the Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Anne wears the earrings for a reception at the Guildhall following the National Service of Thanksgiving for Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday, 10 June 2016 (Hannah McKay - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

And they haven't just shown up for weddings: in 2016, Anne wore the earrings for the official national celebrations of her mother's 90th birthday.

Anne wears the earrings alongside China's Vice Premier Qian Qichen during a state visit in London, 19 October 1999 (SINEAD LYNCH/AFP/Getty Images)

But even though they've been worn often for personal events, Anne has also chosen them for official engagements. In 1999, they made an appearance at the start of the Chinese state visit to London.

Anne wears the earrings for the first day of Royal Ascot, 17 June 2003 (Julian Herbert/Getty Images)

And they also often pop up at one of Anne's favorite events of the year: Royal Ascot! Here, in 2003, Anne wears them again with her gold, pearl, and diamond floral brooch.

Anne wears the earrings for Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot, 18 June 2009 (Julian Herbert/Getty Images)

The same combination was chosen for Ladies' Day six years later -- you can just see the floral brooch peeking up over the top of the carriage during the procession.

Anne wears the earrings at Royal Ascot, 22 June 2017 (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

In 2017, Anne wore the earrings with a vibrant green ensemble, a lovely pairing for the gold.

Anne wears the earrings to meet military veterans at a Buckingham Palace garden party, 15 July 2011 (Dave Parker - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

And here, as promised, Anne wears the earrings with the magnificent stalactite brooch for a garden party at Buckingham Palace. See the similarities in the construction of the brooch and the earrings?