Our Sparkling Spotlight on the luminous pearl continues today with a royal pearl necklace that is rarely seen these days—but that manages to gleam greatly whenever it appears.
In October 2018, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife, Elke Budenbende, made an official visit to Spain. They were hosted for a luncheon at the Royal Palace in Madrid by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain.
Queen Letizia took the occasion as an opportunity to debut an important piece of heirloom royal jewelry: the “37 Pearl” Necklace from the collection of Queen Ena of Spain, her husband’s great-grandmother.
As the name suggests, this large necklace features 37 pearls in a single strand. The necklace was a wedding present from King Alfonso XIII to Queen Ena in 1906. In her will, Ena designated the necklace as one of the joyas de pasar, a collection of jewels passed down to be used by queens regnant and consort. Queen Letizia wore the necklace for the first time at this luncheon, pairing it with a petite pair of pearl stud earrings.
She wore the necklace with its impressive diamond clasp off to one side. I like when we get to see a view of these ornate clasps—they’re too beautiful to hide beneath hair!
Here’s a look at Letizia’s entire outfit for the luncheon. It’s rare to see her wear necklaces—she prefers earrings and bracelets—but Ena’s pearls are definitely worth wearing!