November is a month of celebrations in Monaco. The principality marks its National Day on the 19th. And one of the most beloved members of the Grimaldi family, Princess Grace, celebrated her birthday on the 12th. Today, we’ve got a closer look at one of Grace’s favorite jewels: her diamond floral earrings.
In April 1957, Prince Rainier presented Princess Grace with a pair of gorgeous diamond earrings as a first wedding anniversary present. Made by Van Cleef & Arpels, the earrings were made with an abstract, floral-inspired design. Various different diamond cuts were used to create the cascading floralesque effect, including round, navette, and pear-shaped stones.
The all-diamond earrings were classic, elegant, and easy to pair with other jewels, so it’s no surprise that Grace wore them often throughout the rest of her life. Above, she wears them with her larger diamond festoon tiara, a sleek diamond choker necklace, and a diamond floral brooch for the Bal de Petits Lits Blancs at Powerscourt in Ireland in July 1965. The brooch and the earrings share some definite design similarities.
In May 1966, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace attended the Anglo-American Hospital in Nice’s 50th anniversary dinner. The other royal guests present for the occasion were Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon. Grace wore the diamond earrings, while Princess Margaret wore the Lady Mount Stephen Necklace with her diamond and sapphire earrings.
Later the same year, Grace wore the earrings with her smaller diamond tiara for the Bal de Petit Lits Blancs in Monaco in July 1966. The jewels sparkled as she danced with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. You’ll also spot two of the brooches from the Bains de Mer Tiara, worn as clips at her shoulders.
Here’s another view of the earrings from the same occasion. Above, Grace dances with the Aga Khan at the ball. You also get a glimpse of a diamond bracelet, worn on her left arm, in this image. This is her diamond lattice bracelet, another piece from Van Cleef & Arpels. Along with the Cartier Festoon Necklace, the bracelet was Grace’s wedding gift from the Monegasque people.
In November 1969, Grace made a particularly glamorous appearance at a special party to celebrate her 40th birthday. (Her “last” birthday, she told the press gloomily, unhappy with the prospect of getting older.) The party was a Scorpio-themed bash, in honor of the princess’s astrological sign, with black, white, and red decorations. Grace followed the theme, wearing an elegant black dress, the diamond floral earrings, and the Bains de Mer brooches clipped at her neckline. (But, although Grace was beautiful at the party, somebody else stole the show: Elizabeth Taylor, who grabbed the headlines by wearing the Taylor-Burton Diamond in public for the very first time.)
Grace paired the earrings with her sapphire and diamond floral brooch at the Red Cross Ball in 1972. She wore the jewels with a bright pink gown and an inventive pink headpiece made of flowers and braids. Above, the jewels sparkle as she dances with the German actor Horst Bucholtz.
After Princess Grace’s death in 1982, her jewels have remained with the princely family in Monaco. The diamond floral earrings are still worn occasionally today. Princess Caroline, Grace’s elder daughter, wore the earrings at the Rose Ball in Monte Carlo in March 2008. Interestingly, she wore them facing in a different direction than Grace usually did.