The exhibition of Danish royal jewels at Amalienborg in Copenhagen is the gift that truly keeps on giving. And thanks to one of our lovely readers, we’ve gotten yet another jewelry surprise from the display—a revelation about heirloom Danish royal jewels that have been recently given to Crown Princess Mary as a birthday present!
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has generously offered numerous pieces of antique royal jewels from her personal collection to her daughters-in-law, Crown Princess Mary and Princess Marie. Several of these gifts are showcased in Heidi Laura’s new book about Margrethe’s royal jewels, and now, we’ve learned that two more heirloom pieces have been given to Mary by her mother-in-law.
Earlier this month, Queen Margrethe gave Crown Princess Mary pieces from her antique diamond and turquoise jewelry collection: the diamond and turquoise earrings and the diamond and turquoise brooch. Margrethe wears the earrings and the brooch (worn in two pieces, as a pendant and a brooch) for the concert held the night before the Swedish royal wedding in June 2010.
Thanks to lovely reader Michael, who visited the exhibition and shared this exciting jewelry news, we have this image of the turquoise earrings and brooch from the Amalienborg exhibition. Heidi Laura’s new book reveals that the brooch is said to have come from the collection of Catherine the Great, passed down through the generations to Princess Margaret of Connaught. (Margaret was a direct descendant of Catherine through her mother, Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia.) The label on the jewels at the exhibition has recently been updated, and it now states: “On 5 February 2022, HM The Queen gave the brooch and earrings to HRH The Crown Princess for her 50th birthday.”
Queen Margrethe has indeed worn the turquoises more than once for diplomatic events related to Russia. Above, she wears the earrings during a visit from President Medvedev to Copenhagen in April 2010.
Here’s another look at Margrethe wearing the turquoises in Sweden for Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel’s pre-wedding gala celebrations in June 2010. The jewels were an appropriate choice, as Princess Margaret of Connaught was the first wife of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden.
And here, Queen Margrethe wears the earrings and brooch with the Turquoise Daisy Bandeau and a pearl necklace for a state banquet at Christiansborg Palace in honor of President Hu Jintao of China in June 2012.
The turquoises are a fantastic, sentimental gift from a royal mother-in-law to her daughter-in-law. Can you imagine getting jewels that belonged to Catherine the Great as a birthday gift? Unreal. But Margrethe has offered Mary numerous pieces of jewelry over the past two decades.
Thanks to lovely reader Kim, who has also generously shared a remarkable treasure trove of information and photos about the exhibition with me, here’s a look at a display of gifts given to Mary, Marie, and Isabella. You’ll recognize Marie’s tiara and sapphire pendant here; her jewels on the display also include a diamond bracelet, piece #3. Pieces #5 and #9, a brooch and a necklace, are gifts to Isabella. (We’ll discuss those more in the future.)
But let’s talk further today about the displayed pieces that belong to Crown Princess Mary: the pearl bracelet (2), the pearl earrings (1), and the heart bracelet (10).
Queen Margrethe gave Mary this pearl-tipped gold and diamond bangle bracelet as an engagement gift in 2003. The bracelet once belonged to Margrethe’s mother, Queen Ingrid. According to Heidi Laura’s new book, Queen Margrethe wore the bracelet often during her own engagement to Prince Henrik. The exhibition label on the jewel states that it is “a piece of jewellery full of love.”
Here’s a look at Crown Princess Mary (then still Mary Elizabeth Donaldson) wearing the bangle bracelet on her right arm for a dinner at Fredensborg Palace during a state visit from the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg to Copenhagen in October 2003.
The new Amalienborg exhibition also shows three more gifts from Margrethe to Mary. These floral earrings, set with diamonds, pearls, sapphires, and rubies, are set in white gold.
Margrethe has also given Mary this meaningful royal bracelet. Known as the “Hjertearmbåndet,” or the “Heart Bracelet,” the jewel was one of Margrethe’s wedding gifts in 1967. Heidi Laura shares that Margrethe wore the bracelet in public for the first time “at the presentation of the newborn Crown Prince Frederik in 1968.”
And, of course, Queen Margrethe famously gave Crown Princess Mary the Connaught Sapphire Brooch in 2006 as a gift to mark the birth of Prince Christian. Like the turquoises, the brooch belonged to Princess Margaret of Connaught. It’s clearly one of Mary’s most treasured jewels, worn at the christenings of three of her children, as well as numerous other high profile events.
Here’s a lovely view of Mary wearing the brooch on a recent occasion: Denmark’s Flag Day celebrations in Copenhagen in September 2020.
Enormous thanks to readers Michael and Kim for sharing their experiences at the Amalienborg exhibition with me—and for so generously allowing me to share them with all of you!