Our birthday tribute series to Queen Mary wraps up today with a look at another stunning piece from her royal jewelry collection: the Cornwall Rose of York Bracelet.
The bracelet, worn here by Queen Mary in a portrait taken when she was Duchess of York, was one of her wedding presents. A letter in the Royal Cornwall Gazette, published on the wedding day in July 1893, reveals the piece’s provenance. Emily Eliot, the Countess of St. Germans, writes from London with an update on the work of the Cornish Royal Wedding Committee. (The ancestral seat of the Eliot family was Port Eliot in the parish of St. Germans in Cornwall.)
After raising money through subscriptions, Eliot reported, the committee had purchased a splendid present for the future queen consort. She explains, “After having ascertained the wishes of HSH the Princess May, the committee selected as the Cornish wedding gift a diamond and ruby bracelet, the centre of which is in the shape of the Rose of York, and can be worn separately as a brooch.”
The bracelet was made by Carrington, a London jewelry firm, and presented to the princess at her home, White Lodge in Richmond. Eliot notes that Mary “was graciously pleased to accept the offering made to her on behalf of the county” and “expressed herself much pleased with the bracelet.” The inscription inside the bracelet—”From Cornwall, One and All, July 6, 1893″—serves as a permanent reminder of the piece’s provenance. In the portrait above, taken not long after the wedding, Mary wears the bracelet with other pieces of diamond and ruby jewelry.
The bracelet was one of the pieces that Mary chose to pass along to her granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth, as a wedding present in November 1947. Elizabeth has worn the piece steadily throughout her long life, pairing it with various pieces of diamond and ruby jewelry from her collection. Above, in a portrait taken around 1950, she wears the bracelet with several other wedding gifts, including the Nizam of Hyderabad Tiara, the Greville Ruby Necklace, and the Bahrain Pearl Drop Earrings.
Here, in May 1983, the Queen wears the bracelet with the Greville Ruby Necklace and Queen Mary’s Ruby Cluster Earrings. The occasion was a trip to the opera house in Stockholm during her state visit to Sweden. She is accompanied by Prime Minister Olof Palme.
During a state visit from South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun to London in December 2004, the Queen wore the Cornwall Rose of York Bracelet for a state banquet at Buckingham Palace. The rubies coordinated nicely with the red sash of her South Korean decoration, the Grand Order of Mugunghwa. She also wore the Burmese Ruby Tiara and the Baring Ruby Necklace, as well as the Dorset Bow Brooch, for the dinner.