02 August 2018

Queen Alexandrine's Diamond Sautoir Necklaces

Anne-Marie wears her necklace for the pre-wedding gala in Spain, 21 May 2004 (ODD ANDERSON/AFP/Getty Images)

This August, we're devoting our Magpie of the Month posts to a woman who celebrates her birthday in a few weeks: Anne-Marie, the Danish princess who was Queen of Greece in her youth. We're kicking things off with a piece that connects her with her Danish royal heritage: her diamond necklace, made from a sautoir that belonged to Queen Alexandrine.

Anne-Marie wears her necklace at a farewell dinner held at Fredensborg shortly before her wedding, 10 September 1964 (Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Anne-Marie and her sister, Princess Benedikte, own identical diamond necklaces. The pieces were made by dividing up a sautoir -- a fashionable long necklace worn in the 1920s and 1930s -- that belonged to their Danish grandmother, Queen Alexandrine. The original necklace was always able to be taken apart and worn in different lengths and configurations, so dividing the piece for the young princesses was not a difficult task. Both women began wearing their necklaces in their youth; above, Anne-Marie wears hers a few days after her eighteenth birthday, shortly before she married King Constantine II of the Hellenes.

A portrait of Anne-Marie wearing her necklace with the Greek royal emeralds, displayed on 3 May 1968 (Keystone/Getty Images)

Anne-Marie brought the diamond necklace with her to Athens and used it immediately, often combining it with various pendants, including a substantial cross. In the portrait above, she uses the large brooch from the Greek royal family's emerald parure as a pendant on the necklace.

Anne-Marie wears her necklace with the Greek royal emeralds at the Danish royal wedding, 14 May 2004 (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The necklace followed her into exile, and she's continued wearing it ever since. Here she wears it with a different configuration of the Greek emeralds for the wedding of her nephew, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, in 2004.

Anne-Marie wears her necklace with Margaret of Connaught's aquamarine pendant at the pre-wedding gala in Luxembourg, 19 October 2012 (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The necklace's simple design and its all-diamond setting allow it to be combined with numerous gemstones. In Luxembourg in 2012, Anne-Marie wore the necklace with a heart-shaped aquamarine pendant that had belonged to her British-born grandmother, Princess Margaret of Connaught. Her tiara on the occasion, the magnificent Khedive of Egypt Tiara, also belonged to Margaret.

Anne-Marie wears her necklace at the wedding of Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, 18 June 2011 (Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Anne-Marie also sometimes wears the necklace sans pendant, and I think it manages to hold its own. (Her topaz brooch here also has a removable pearl pendant; Queen Ingrid inherited it from a German great-aunt. More here!)

Benedikte wears her necklace at the Swedish royal wedding, 8 June 2013 (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

For the sake of comparison, here's a look at Princess Benedikte wearing her identical diamond necklace at the wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden in 2013. (More on the Star and Pearl Tiara she wore with it can be found here!) Benedikte also often wears her necklace with various pendants from her jewelry box.

Benedikte wears her necklace as a pair of bracelets at a pre-wedding dinner in Copenhagen, 11 May 2004 (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Even after being split into two, the necklaces are still able to be worn in different configurations. An example of their continued versatility can be seen here, as Benedikte wears hers divided as a pair of bracelets for a pre-wedding gala in Denmark in 2004.