Happy Easter, magpies who are celebrating today! Let’s delve today into a particularly seasonal topic: the fun and festive Easter egg pendants worn by Queen Sofia of Spain.
When she married the future King Juan Carlos of Spain, Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark changed both the spelling of her first name and her religion. Because she is now Roman Catholic, she’s celebrating Easter today, but Sofia was raised in the Greek Orthodox religion (which celebrates Easter next Sunday). That tradition has a special focus on the Easter egg. Queen Sofia is pictured above wearing several necklaces with egg pendants in Palma de Mallorca on Easter Sunday in 2009.
Here’s a closer look at the tangle of necklaces and pendants from April 2009. As dedicated readers will know, royals from Greek and Russian Orthodox families have often owned jewels and art objects made to resemble elaborate eggs. In particular, Fabergé has produced eggs in various sizes for royals for more than a century. These include both small pendants and larger bejeweled eggs. (Here’s a closer look at one of the small royal pendants that sold at auction several years ago.) Many have guessed that the eggs on Sofia’s necklaces are probably from Fabergé, perhaps a mix of vintage pieces and newer pendants (as Fabergé continues to sell them today).
On Easter Sunday in 2010, Sofia wore the pendants bunched together, resting just below the neckline of her pale pink jacket. If you look closely, you’ll be able to spot many of the same pendants worn the previous year. It seems likely to me that Queen Sofia receives these pendants as gifts, perhaps to mark Easter every year, just as her Romanov ancestors did before her.
On Easter Sunday in 2011, Queen Sofia wore the pendants placed on a longer chain. She’s worn them in this form for nearly every Easter Sunday mass since. The longer necklace shows off the pendants much more successfully, but it’s also often partially hidden inside her jackets.
When Sofia arrived for mass on Easter Sunday in 2012, she wore two necklaces with egg pendants: the longer necklace, plus a second, shorter necklace with several bunched-together eggs.
The eggs were a bit tangled together as she arrived at the cathedral in Palma de Mallorca on Easter Sunday in March 2013.
Sofia went for a two-necklace format again on Easter Sunday in April 2014. She’s pictured here with her granddaughters, Princesses Leonor and Sofia, as well as their parents.
The two princesses were awfully cute back in 2014 (and still gorgeous almost a decade later!), but look behind them to see a good view of the two egg necklaces worn by Queen Sofia for Easter that year. There’s a longer necklace with evenly-spaced pendants, and then several more eggs mixed with other pendants on a shorter necklace.
And here’s one more view of the way she wore the necklaces in 2014.
On Easter Sunday in 2015, Sofia went with a variation on the two-necklace theme: the longer, sautoir-style necklace, and then a second necklace with a single light blue egg pendant.
It was back to the shorter bunch of egg pendants for Easter Sunday in 2016.
She went with a single long necklace of egg pendants, layered with additional other necklaces, for Easter Sunday in 2017. (Love the bright pink outfit with the colorful eggs!)
The long necklace of egg pendants was tucked beneath the ruffled collar of her jacket for Easter Sunday mass in Palma de Mallorca in April 2018.
We most recently saw Queen Sofia attend Easter Sunday mass publicly in Palma de Mallorca in April 2019. She wore a lovely yellow and white jacket for the occasion, but her egg necklace was tucked beneath it, giving us just a few glimpses of the bejeweled pendants.
Here’s another angle, showing the other side of the necklace, with its green-blue-gold color scheme.
Last year, when I gave a talk in Richmond, two of the lovely ladies from the group hosting me gifted me a gorgeous egg pendant necklace of my very own. (Richmond, of course, is the home of an excellent collection of Fabergé. One of these days, we’ll talk about that in more detail here.) I’m wearing my necklace today. Does anyone else have an egg pendant in their collection?