This week, we’re devoting our Sparkling Spotlight posts to jewels worn by a young Princess Anne, who celebrates her birthday on Sunday. Today, we’re kicking things off with a look back at a royal gala from November 1970.
On November 18, 1970, the British royal family arrived at The Talk of the Town, a nightclub in Leicester Square, for a star-studded charity gala supporting the World Wildlife Fund. The Queen attended with the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, and Princess Anne. Other European royals were present as well, including Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte of Luxembourg. King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, who were living in Rome in a sort of royal exile limbo, also attended.
(We’re talking about Anne’s jewelry in this article, but just as a quick aside: the Queen wore the Coronation Necklace and Earrings with her spangled evening gown for this outing. Also, check out that sparkly clutch bag!)
A host of celebrities and entertainers also attended and performed at the gala. Here, Anne meets with Bob Hope, who cracked jokes during dinner. Reacting to the impressive roster of royals in attendance, Hope quipped during his set, “It looks like a chess game—live.” Also performing during the gala were Engelbert Humperdinck (who joked that he had to sing at the event because he “couldn’t afford to buy a ticket”), Tom Jones, Petula Clark, and Rudolf Nureyev.
Princess Anne was seated next to Roger Moore, who had just finished a run as The Saint on television, during the dinner. The Queen chatted with Prince Bernhard and astronaut Neil Armstrong at her table, while Prince Philip was seated with Queen Juliana and Cary Grant. Dancing followed dinner, and though the Queen and Prince Charles ducked out early, Prince Philip and Princess Anne stayed on to dance into the early hours of the next morning. Anne was escorted around the dance floor by her father, Roger Moore, and King Constantine.
With her evening gown, which featured fantastically bejeweled sleeves, Anne wore a pair of modern earrings. Made by one of Prince Philip’s favorite jewelers, Andrew Grima, the gold, diamond, and pearl earrings have a distinctly abstract and unusual shape. The full earrings, worn by Anne for the gala, feature a stud section and a removable pendant.
Anne wore the complete earring for this gala, but today, she generally just wears the stud portion of the earrings. They clearly have sentimental value: she’s worn the smaller setting on several important occasions, including her wedding to Sir Tim Laurence in 1992; the wedding of her daughter, Zara, in 2011; and her father’s funeral in 2021. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if these were a gift from Prince Philip, dating to the late 1960s.