Twenty years ago today, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother passed away at the age of 101. We’re celebrating her jewelry legacy all week, and today, we’ve got a closer look at several pairs of her earrings still being worn by royal ladies today.
These earrings didn’t exactly belong to the Queen Mother, but she had the exclusive use of them for the duration of her husband’s reign (1936-1952). Made during the reign of Queen Victoria, the diamond earrings have been used during each subsequent reign. They’ve been worn by Queen Elizabeth II since her accession in February 1952.
This pair of diamond and ruby earrings also originally belonged to Queen Victoria, though they were set with opals instead of rubies during her time. Queen Alexandra converted the earrings and their coordinating necklace and tiara to ruby pieces; Queen Mary later had the matching brooch set with rubies as well. Because these are heirlooms of the crown, these also didn’t really belong to the Queen Mother. They should theoretically have passed to the Queen when her father died in 1952. But she let her mother continue to wear them for the rest of her life, and she finally inherited them in 2002.
When the Queen Mother gave the Coronation Earrings to the Queen, she had a back-up pair in her jewelry box. These diamond drop earrings were part of the major jewelry bequest she had received from Dame Margaret Greville in 1942. She wore the earrings for gala occasions for the rest of her life, leaving them to the Queen in 2002. The Queen wears them occasionally.
This pair of modern diamond and emerald drop earrings was also a part of the Greville bequest, left to the Queen Mother by Dame Margaret Greville in 1942. They too were left to the Queen in 2002. The Queen Mother liked to pair them with a classic diamond and emerald necklace from the bequest, and in 2019, the Queen wore them with another incredible diamond and emerald necklace, which many believe also comes from the same collection.
The Diamond Floral Earrings
In her later years, the Queen Mother was especially fond of this pair of dazzling diamond earrings, with a small stud and a large modern floral pendant. She wore the earrings for both daytime and evening occasions, with both brooches and gala jewels. The Queen inherited the earrings from her mother in 2002, and she has worn them on occasion, usually for formal evening events.
This pair of gorgeous gala earrings features sapphires in an Art Deco-style setting, with a delicate fringe pendant section. The Queen Mother wore these for formal evening occasions later in her life. Today, they’re worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, who has paired them with tiaras for banquets and worn them as standalone statement earrings.