Most of the royal jewels in the Spanish vaults are set with diamonds and pearls. But there are a few significant sets of colorful jewelry in the collection, too—including this brilliant ruby set, which belongs to Queen Sofia.
Queen Sofia wore her rubies with a red gown in Madrid for a state banquet at the Royal Palace on April 27, 2009. The choice of red was an appropriate one for the guests of honor: the President and First Lady of France.
Sofia’s gown perfectly matched the sash of her French order: the Legion of Honour. Sofia is one of three members of the Spanish royal family to have received this highest French order. Her husband, King Juan Carlos, and her son, King Felipe VI, are the other two. Sofia also pinned the order’s gold star to her gown.
Sofia also wore gold accessories with her gown. And with the ensemble, she added a suite of jewelry that she’s had since 1962: the Niarchos Rubies. As the name suggests, this parure of diamond and ruby jewelry was Sofia’s wedding gift from Greek shipping tycoon Stavros Niarchos. Sofia was born Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark, so the gift was a present from Niarchos to one of his nation’s princesses.
The suite, which has been attributed to Van Cleef & Arpels, includes several pieces of ruby and diamond jewelry that can be worn in various configurations. The pieces include cluster and leaf designs. Sofia has worn the piece in various tiara and necklace forms. On this occasion, she wore a single piece as a bandeau-style tiara, as well as a one-stranded necklace.
The suite also includes a pair of diamond and ruby drop earrings.
And Sofia also wore a coordinating ring on her right hand. She finished off the look with gold bracelets on each wrist.