28 July 2019

Queen Alexandrine's Ruby Bow Brooch

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The former royal family of Greece no longer has a throne, but they do still have an impressive jewelry collection -- thanks, in part, to Queen Anne-Marie's Danish royal descent. Today, we've got a look at one of the Danish royal heirlooms now in Princess Alexia's jewelry box: Queen Alexandrine's Ruby Bow Brooch.

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In his book on Denmark's royal jewels, Bjarne Steen Jensen describes the piece as "a large, asymmetrical bow set with rubies and diamonds." He notes that the brooch's design is typical of styles popular at the turn of the twentieth century, around the same time that the future King Christian X of Denmark married Duchess Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

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Indeed, the published list of wedding gifts received by the future Queen Alexandrine notes that she received a diamond and ruby brooch from her new husband in 1898. Jensen speculates that this bow brooch may have been that gift, especially because the colors of the piece -- red and white -- are Denmark's national colors. In the family portrait above, Queen Alexandrine wears the brooch pinned to the bodice of her gown.

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Jensen notes that Alexandrine wore the brooch often throughout her life, and that she often sported it on special occasions. One such moment came in 1937, when King Christian celebrated his silver jubilee. She wore the brooch pinned to the bodice of her dress for a celebratory reception at parliament; it's hidden in the photograph above by the large cuff of her jacket.

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When Alexandrine died in 1952, she left the brooch to her daughter-in-law, Queen Ingrid. Jensen speculates that she may have left the brooch specifically to Ingrid because it could be worn with the Danish Ruby Parure. Indeed, Ingrid did sometimes wear the bow brooch with the rest of the royal rubies, but she also wore it for less formal occasions, including a visit to a Viennese museum in 1962 (pictured above).

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The brooch is now worn by Ingrid's granddaughter, Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark. Alexia actually wore the brooch during Ingrid's lifetime, for a luncheon held during Queen Margrethe II's 60th birthday celebrations in April 2000. Ingrid died a few months later, and Alexia has continued to wear the brooch in the years since her passing, mainly at royal events in Denmark. In 2004, she wore the brooch for the royal wedding of her cousin, Crown Prince Frederik, and Mary Donaldson.

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She wore the brooch for another Danish family wedding -- the nuptials of Prince Joachim and Marie Cavallier -- in May 2008.

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And in April 2010, she pinned the brooch to the waist of her gown as she attended a dinner at Fredensborg Palace to mark Queen Margrethe's 70th birthday.