Our journey through the Queen’s dazzling decades continues today with the 1960s, and a pair of appearances during a visit to Sierra Leone.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Sierra Leone in November 1961, a few months after the country became independent from Britain. For the first ten years of their independence, the people of Sierra Leone retained the Queen as their head of state. (In 1971, the nation became a republic.) Sir Milton Margai, the first Prime Minister of Sierra Leone, is pictured sitting here with the Queen and the Duke during a special entertainment performance during their visit to Bo in the Southern Province on November 27, 1961.
For the presentation of dancing and other entertainment in Bo, the Queen wore the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara with the Coronation Necklace and Earrings. She secured the sash of the Order of the Garter with Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Brooch.
A few days later, on November 29, the Queen and the Duke attended another presentation with Sir Milton Margai at Port Loko. The Queen wore a vibrant yellow dress with sparkling accents. The color contrasted nicely with the blue of her Garter sash.
The Queen wore the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara and Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Brooch for this event as well. (This was at the point when the base was still separate from the tiara, so it sat a bit lower on HM’s head.) This time around, she paired the tiara and brooch with pearls, as well as one of Queen Mary’s Chain-Link Bracelets.
Her earrings, a larger version of the pair that she often wears for daytime events, are the Ladies of Devonshire Earrings, which were among Queen Mary’s wedding presents in 1893. She passed them along to the Queen as a wedding gift in 1947. With the earrings, the Queen wore the Hanoverian Pearls, some of which are said to have belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots.
The Hanoverian Pearls have a distinctive diamond clasp connecting the two strands, which you can see in this photograph from the event.
Here’s another view of the Queen’s jewelry for the event in Port Loko. She’s also wearing a watch on her left wrist. I think this is a Jaeger-LeCoultre model, the same one she famously wore for her coronation.