The Queen’s jewelry box includes several impressive pairs of diamond drop earrings, including a dazzling, modern pair inherited from her mother two decades ago. Let’s look a little closer at the Greville Peardrop Earrings today.
This pair of diamond drop earrings, which comes from the incredible Greville inheritance, only includes six individual diamonds: two triangular diamond studs, from which are suspended two emerald-cut diamonds and two enormous pear-shaped drops. Those six diamonds, though, combine to pack a major, sparkling punch. The Royal Collection website features an excellent close-up photograph of the earrings. The Queen Mother wears them here (with the Greville Tiara, Queen Alexandra’s Wedding Necklace, and Queen Victoria’s Diamond Fringe Brooch) for the Royal Film Performance in 1965.
She’d had the earrings in her jewelry box for more than two decades by that point. The earrings arrived in her collection in 1942, when they were bequeathed by Dame Margaret Greville to Queen Elizabeth (better known to us as the Queen Mother). They were some of the more recent additions to the Greville cache, having been made by Cartier in 1938.
The timing ultimately was good: when Queen Elizabeth II inherited the throne in 1952, the Queen Mother handed her the Coronation Earrings, and she had the Greville Peardrops in her own collection to replace them. Here, she wears the earrings (again with the Greville Tiara and Queen Alexandra’s Wedding Necklace) in November 1964. (That’s Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent standing beside her, wearing her Russian Pearl Bandeau.)
The earrings are set in platinum, which surely helps to lighten the weight of the massive drop stones. Each of the drops weighs in at a little more than twenty carats. Not bad! Not that the Queen Mother was particularly worried about being to manage major gems. This is a typical outing: she’s wearing the earrings with the Greville Tiara, Queen Alexandra’s Wedding Necklace, the Duchess of Teck’s Flower Brooch, and Queen Mary’s Choker Bracelet as she attends the premiere of A Passage To India in March 1985. Beside her, Diana wears diamonds and emeralds.
The Queen Mother continued to wear the earrings throughout her life, usually for gala events. She also occasionally wore them for important daytime occasions, like the weddings of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon in 1960 and the Duke and Duchess of York in 1986. In this image, she pairs the earrings with the Greville Tiara and three strands of the Greville Festoon Necklace for a state dinner at Windsor Castle during the German state visit in December 1998. (She’s 98 years old here!)
After the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, they were inherited by the Queen, who has worn them occasionally at formal events like state banquets. Here, she wears the earrings with the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, the Coronation Necklace, and Queen Victoria’s Diamond Fringe Brooch for a banquet during the Turkish state visit in 2011.