Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom isn’t the only monarch celebrating a big jubilee in 2022! In January, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark will celebrate her Golden Jubilee, marking fifty years on the Danish throne. And we recently learned that there will be a major royal jewelry exhibition staged to celebrate the milestone!
Amalienborg Museum will host “A Queen’s Jewelry Box: 50 Years on the Throne Told in Jewelry” starting on January 14, 2022. (The date is the 50th anniversary of Margrethe’s accession to the throne.) The exhibition will run at the museum, which is located within Christian VIII’s Palace in the Amalienborg complex, for nearly the entire year, closing on October 23.
The exhibition promises to tell the story of Queen Margrethe II’s fifty year reign through jewels, showcasing more than 200 pieces along the way. The preview states that both well-known and lesser-known pieces will go on display, and I think we can expect to see a great number of beloved pieces of Danish royal jewelry included in the show.
Queen Margrethe has always shown herself to have a keen appreciation for the splendor and history of her jewels. (She’s the one who said the famous “we don’t count the carats, we count the centuries” line in a well-known royal jewelry documentary, after all!) And the press preview for the upcoming exhibition emphasizes that attitude, stating, “For Her Majesty, jewelry is not just jewelry,” noting that she chooses her jewels “very consciously and actively—and with care and consideration.” The Queen’s voice will echo throughout the entire exhibition, both figuratively and literally. She has personally recorded an audio guide for visitors!
The museum has offered us a gorgeous preview of a few selected pieces that will go on display in the upcoming exhibition. The first is this classic ruby horseshoe brooch. The jewel was given to Queen Margrethe by her father, King Frederik IX of Denmark, in 1953. The piece was a gift to mark a big occasion: the Act of Succession of 27 March 1953, which made it possible for women to inherit the Danish throne if she had no brothers. (In 2009, the succession was changed again, making the first-born child of the monarch the heir regardless of sex.)
The new Queen Margrethe II of Denmark wore the brooch for a balcony appearance with Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag on January 15, 1972, during which he officially proclaimed her Queen of Denmark. (She also wore her diamond and pearl wedding earrings for the important moment.)
One of Queen Margrethe’s favorite tiaras, the Pearl Poiré Tiara, will be included in the exhibition as well. The tiara, which dates to 1825, was a wedding gift to Princess Louise of Prussia on her marriage to Prince Frederick of the Netherlands. The tiara traveled from The Hague to Copenhagen by way of Sweden, and today it’s one of Queen Margrethe’s most-worn royal jewels.
The exhibition also features the brooch with five pendant pearls (top left) that was made to coordinate with the tiara. And, naturally, it also showcases three other pearl and diamond pieces that are worn together with the tiara and brooch as a married parure. This pearl and diamond necklace was a wedding gift to Queen Lovisa of Denmark from Isma’il Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt. Two pendants from the original necklace were removed and refashioned as a pair of earrings (top right). The diamond and pearl double cluster brooch (bottom right), which rounds out the married set, was originally the clasp of a pearl necklace. The necklace was Queen Lovisa’s wedding gift from two of her new in-laws, Emperor Alexander III and Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia.
Queen Margrethe has been wearing the married pearl parure since the very beginning of her reign. She chose the set for her first official portraits as queen, taken in March 1972.
And here, she wears the pearl set for a gala dinner for the Diplomatic Corps at Amalienborg in March 1973.
She continues to wear pieces from the married parure often today. Here, she wears the Pearl Poiré Tiara for a state dinner in honor of the French president at Christiansborg Palace in August 2018.
Sentimental personal jewels are also an important part of the upcoming exhibition. Here, the press preview showcases Queen Margrethe’s silver wedding anniversary gift: a suite of ruby, pearl, and gold jewels. The set was a gift from Margrethe’s husband, Prince Henrik, to mark their 25th wedding anniversary. He commissioned one of their favorite jewelers, Torben Hardenberg, to create the pieces for his wife.
Here, Queen Margrethe wears the silver wedding earrings, along with the center section of the necklace (as a brooch), for a dinner in the North Atlantic House in Copenhagen during the Icelandic state visit in January 2017.
While most of the jewels in the exhibition are made with precious gems and metals, there are also less expensive and more personal pieces included. These clip-on earrings, made of blue plastic, caught Queen Margrethe’s eye in a Matas store (a Danish pharmacy) during a summer holiday stay in Gråsten. Queen Margrethe is particularly fond of the color blue.
Various bejeweled gifts from various organizations, institutions and municipalities are also included. Above, the press preview includes a selection of five brooches from this category.
Queen Margrethe wears the square brooch from the press photograph in this image, taken at the Music House in Aarhus in January 2017.
And, finally, one of Queen Margrethe’s most-worn and most-loved pieces is naturally included in the exhibition as well. The Diamond Daisy Brooch, made from diamonds that belonged to her grandmother, Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden, was given to Margrethe by her mother, Queen Ingrid, as a 60th birthday present in 2000. Queen Ingrid had received the brooch from her father, King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden, as wedding present in 1935, and she had previously loaned it to Queen Margrethe to wear on her own wedding day in 1967. Both Crown Princess Margareta and Queen Margrethe share the nickname “Daisy,” making the brooch an even more cherished heirloom.
Here, Queen Margrethe wears the Daisy Brooch in April 2011 for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey in London. A year earlier, in 2010, she had spoken about the importance of the jewel in a documentary: “Ten years ago, when I was sixty, on my birthday, my mother had just turned ninety. She gave me the daisy brooch, which I must say, I was extremely touched, to be given it like that. Well, it’s a brooch which means a great lot to me, first because it was my mother’s, and then again because I wore it for my wedding, and then I was given it the way I was given it like that, when I was sixty. That was very special.”
The sentimental diamond daisy, as well as all of the other jewels shown here, will be a part of the important royal jewelry exhibition when it opens in Copenhagen in January 2022. Anyone else checking the price of plane tickets to Denmark???