Our Platinum Jubilee survey of some of the Queen’s most sparkling platinum jewels continues today with a closer look at a spectacular necklace presented as a diplomatic gift: the King Khalid Necklace.
The necklace is a classic diamond floral fringe, but it was made relatively recently. The piece was designed in the late 1970s by Harry Winston. Made of diamonds set in platinum, the fringe necklace features 20 pear-shaped diamond pendants radiating out from the central band of diamonds.
The Queen received the necklace as a gift from King Khalid of Saudi Arabia during a tour of the Middle East in 1979. Two years later, in June 1981, she wore the necklace for a return dinner at Claridge’s during King Khalid’s state visit to Britain. On that occasion, she paired the necklace with the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara, the Antique Girandole Earrings, and the Edinburgh Wedding Bracelet.
The necklace coordinates particularly well with the design of the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara, and the Queen has worn the two jewels together often over the past four decades. They’re so similar in style that they almost appear to form a married parure. She wore the two together, along with the Antique Girandole Earrings and one of Queen Victoria’s Bow Brooches, for a banquet in Singapore in October 1989.
In the early ’80s, the Queen also loaned the necklace to her daughter-in-law, the Princess of Wales. Diana wore the necklace with the Qatari Pearl Drop Earrings in March 1982 for an event at the Barbican in London. She was expecting Prince William at the time.
In recent years, we’ve seen the Queen make occasional appearances in the necklace. In March 2018, she wore the jewel at Windsor Castle for a reception celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of the Aga Khan.