To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we’re counting down ten of the Queen’s most glittering jewels set in platinum. Today, our fourth installment in the series focuses on a unique pair of sparkling earrings: the Greville Chandelier Earrings.
Back when the Queen was still Princess Elizabeth, her 1947 royal wedding to Prince Philip brought her an incredible haul of wedding gifts. Her parents lavished jewelry on her, including several pieces that her mother, Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) had inherited from a friend, Dame Margaret Greville, in 1942.
One of the sparkling gifts that the Queen Mother gave to her daughter was this pair of rather incredible diamond and platinum earrings. They were made for Mrs. Greville by Cartier in London. Their construction began in 1918, right after the end of World War I, and she tinkered with their design through the end of the 1920s. The resulting pair of earrings, according to the Royal Collection, is “a lexicon of modern diamond cuts.” These include a trio of pair-shaped diamond pendants, plus diamonds in baguette, baton, emerald, half-moon, trapeze, and square cuts. The ultimate effect is that of a modern girandole or chandelier earring.
Princess Elizabeth began wearing the earrings for gala occasions from the earliest years of her royal marriage. Here, she wears the earrings for the first Royal Variety Performance of her reign, which took place in November 1952. She wore the earrings with the Nizam of Hyderabad Tiara and its coordinating necklace, plus Queen Mary’s diamond bangles.
Throughout her reign, the Queen has often worn the earrings for important gala occasions, like state banquets and receptions. Here, in May 1969, she wears the earrings for a dinner at the British Embassy in Austria. She paired them with additional diamond jewels, including the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, the Diamond Festoon Necklace, the Dorset Bow Brooch, and Queen Victoria’s Diamond Bracelet.
In July 1976, the Queen danced in the earrings with President Gerald Ford at the White House in Washington, D.C., during a state visit. She also wore Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik and the Diamond Festoon Necklace with her canary yellow gown.
As the Queen has gotten older, she has generally preferred to wear different (often smaller) pairs of earrings. One of her last prominent appearances in the chandelier earrings came in July 2010, when she wore them with additional jewels (the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, Queen Alexandra’s Diamond Collet Necklace, and Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Brooch) for a dinner at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto.
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