13 December 2018

Royal Peacock Jewels

Wikimedia Commons, Sean Gallup/Getty Images, ROBIN UTRECHT/AFP/Getty Images

The gorgeous feathers of the peacock have provided design inspirations for artists for generations, including the makers of royal jewelry. Today, here's a look at a trio of peacock-inspired jewels.

Wikimedia Commons

Queen Farida's Wedding Tiara

Seventeen-year-old Safinaz Zulficar became Queen Farida when she married eighteen-year-old King Farouk of Egypt in Cairo in January 1938. On her wedding day, she was dripping in diamonds, including a massive tiara that with peacock and lotus inspired designs.

Wikimedia Commons

The diamond tiara may have been a wedding gift to Farida from her mother-in-law, Queen Nazli. Farida's mother had once served as one of Nazli's ladies-in-waiting.

Wikimedia Commons

For her wedding, Farida paired the peacock tiara with a magnificent diamond festoon necklace from Boucheron. The necklace was a wedding gift from her new husband, as was her couture wedding gown, bought from Worth in Paris.

Memory of Modern Egypt Digital Archive/Wikimedia Commons

Above, Farida wears the tiara at the couple's wedding banquet. The couple had three daughters, but only a son could inherit the throne. Although she was extremely popular with the Egyptian public, Farouk divorced Farida on November 17, 1948. (On the same day, the Shah of Iran divorced Farouk's sister, Fawzia; the two men had reportedly coordinated their announcements to divide the focus of the press.)

Memory of Modern Egypt Digital Archive/Wikimedia Commons

After her divorce, Farida's peacock tiara apparently remained in the Egyptian royal collection. We don't seem to know precisely what happened to it. Some believe it may have been sold at auction, while others hope that it may still remain tucked away in museum storage today, more than half a century after the monarchy was overthrown.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The Emerald Peacock Necklace Tiara

Made by Van Cleef and Arpels, this convertible necklace/tiara features diamond feathers culminating in a diamond and emerald peacock tail. The piece was commissioned in 1956 by Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte of Luxembourg, who provided two pendants to be mined for gems to use in the new sparkler.

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

The convertible piece is still with the Luxembourgish grand ducal family today. It's been worn in recent years by Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Princess Marie Astrid, and Princess Tessy.

DAVE CHAN/AFP/Getty Images

The Ruby Peacock Parure

The Dutch royal vaults contain a remarkable parure of peacock-inspired jewels set with diamonds and rubies, made in 1897 during the reign of Queen Wilhelmina.

Albert Nieboer/DPA Picture Alliance Archive/Alamy

The tiara from the suite features a peacock tail in its center, flanked by a series of scrolls, clusters, and floral designs. The center element of the tiara can be removed and worn separately.


The suite also includes a matching mirrored necklace (worn by Queen Juliana at her inauguration) and a large brooch, both of which feature peacock tail motifs in their designs.

The suite has been worn by numerous members of the royal family, and it's now frequently sported by Queen Maxima. (Read more about it over here!)