The Queen’s jewelry box includes numerous examples set with May’s gorgeous green birthstone, the emerald. Today, we’ve got a closer look at one of the most modern of those sets: the Emerald Tassel Suite.
The world’s first glimpse of jewels from this demi-parure came in 1989. That July, she arrived for a dinner at Claridge’s in London wearing the emerald tassel necklace, paired with other diamond and emerald jewels from the royal vaults (namely, the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, Queen Mary’s Emerald Frame Earrings, and the Delhi Durbar Scroll Brooch). Because the dinner took place during a state visit from the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, many have guessed that the new emerald tassel necklace was a gift presented to her by the sheikh during the visit.
In fact, the necklace was a part of a larger suite of modern jewels made of yellow gold, emeralds, and diamonds. The demi-parure includes at least four pieces: the necklace, a pair of earrings, a bracelet, and a ring. Above, in July 1991, the Queen wears the earrings, necklace, and bracelet during a dinner at Buckingham Palace, part of the G7 Summit in London.
In October 2002, during her Golden Jubilee year, the Queen wore the necklace, earrings, and bracelet for a gala in Toronto. She paired the jewels with another magnificent diamond and emerald piece from her collection: the Vladimir Tiara.
We saw her wearing the suite once more in May 2011. The occasion was a dinner at Winfield House in London, the residence of the American ambassador to the UK, during a state visit from President Obama. These return events generally have a black-tie dress code (meaning no tiaras), and the Queen often wears her newer and more modern sets of jewelry on those evenings.
With an evening gown festooned with sequins, the Queen wore all four pieces—necklace, earrings, bracelet, and ring—from the demi-parure. She also added a gift presented to her by the Obamas during the visit: a small floral brooch made of moss agate.
We got a good glimpse of the ring on the Queen’s left hand as she signed the guestbook at Winfield House. She stacked a whole bunch of rings on her left hand for the occasion, but the modern emerald and diamond ring from the set can be spotted closest to the knuckle on her middle finger.
More recently, pieces from the emerald tassel suite have been loaned to the Queen’s granddaughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge. She wore the jewels for a March 2022 dinner hosted by Patrick Allen, the Governor General of Jamaica, at King’s House in Kingston. The event took place during a royal tour of the Caribbean timed to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Kate chose to wear the earrings and the bracelet from the set for the dinner. Here’s an excellent close-up view of the earrings, showing the knotted tassel design and the deep green emerald drops.
And here’s a view of Kate wearing the bracelet on her right arm during the dinner. The bracelet’s central motif echoes the twist design also present in the other pieces from the suite.