This week, we’re devoting our Sparkling Spotlight posts to bejeweled flashbacks to gorgeous gala appearances in Februarys past. We’re starting things off with a fabulous tiara moment from Queen Elizabeth II in February 1965.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh flew to Africa in February 1965 for state visits to Ethiopia and Sudan. In Addis Ababa, they were hosted by Emperor Haile Selassie for a grand banquet at the Imperial Palace.
The Queen wore a green evening gown for the occasion with beaded detailing. She also wore the insignia, including the collar, of Ethiopia’s highest decoration, the Imperial Order of Solomon.
She accessorized with grand diamonds from the royal vaults, including Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik. The tiara was made in 1888 for her great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra, as a 25th wedding anniversary gift from a group of aristocratic women. At Alexandra’s request, the jewel was modeled on a diamond fringe tiara worn by her sister, Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia. The Queen inherited the tiara from Queen Mary in 1953.
The Queen also wore some very important Victorian diamonds: the Coronation Necklace and Earrings. These were made for Queen Victoria to replace jewels that had been lost in the Hanoverian Claim. They’ve become staples of royal coronation jewelry in Britain, and the Queen has worn them often for gala occasions throughout her long reign.
She also wore diamonds on both wrists: the Edinburgh Wedding Bracelet on her right wrist, and a diamond evening watch on her left.