Fourteen years ago today, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were hosted for a formal state dinner at the White House in Washington, D.C. Today, we’ve got a look at the jewels she wore for the dinner, which was held on May 7, 2007.
As has been the custom over the past few decades, the Queen wore a white gown for the dinner. The dress featured a sparkling beaded bodice and a flowing skirt. The white fabric was a bright background for the star and blue sash of the Order of the Garter, the most senior British order of chivalry.
The Queen accessorized with heirloom royal diamonds. The jewels included several pieces inherited from her grandmother, Queen Mary. Among these was the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, which was one of Mary’s wedding gifts. The tiara, which dates to 1893, features diamonds set in fleur-de-lis and festoon patterns.
She also wore the diamond festoon necklace given to her by her father, King George VI, in 1950. He commissioned Garrard to make the necklace for his daughter using 105 loose collet-set diamonds from the royal vaults. The gemstones had a Queen Mary connection, too: she had designated the collection of loose diamonds as heirlooms of the crown, and she reportedly often used them to change the lengths of her existing necklaces.
The stunning diamond earrings worn by the Queen for the dinner also come from Queen Mary’s jewelry box. Many believe that the earrings, which feature a large pear-shaped diamond surrounded by a diamond frame, were made from a dismantled brooch that belonged to Queen Mary. (The earrings are also believed to be able to be worn in a second setting with a central emerald.)
The brooch that the Queen used to secure the Garter sash is also a Queen Mary heirloom. She purchased the Lover’s Knot Brooch, which was made during the nineteenth century, from Garrard in 1932. The Queen inherited the brooch in 1953.
In this image, you’ll also see a glimpse of an evening watch on the Queen’s left wrist. The Patek Philippe watch features a band made of five strands of pearls. Additional pearl fringe pieces are connected to the diamond border of the watch face.
And finally, the Queen wore one more of Queen Mary’s jewels for the occasion. On her right wrist, you’ll spot one of Queen Mary’s Chain-Link Bracelets. The bracelets were made by Garrard for Queen Mary in the 1930s, and one of them features a diamond brooch set with a 9 3/4 carat diamond, a gift from the Diamond Industry of South Africa, in its design. The bracelets can be linked together and worn as a choker necklace, but the Queen usually wears them in bracelet form, and one at a time.