This week, we’re devoting our sparkling spotlight posts to some of the most glamorous and regal ruby tiaras in Europe’s royal vaults. Today’s jewel, the Danish Ruby Parure Tiara, currently sparkles on the head of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.
Today’s spotlight appearance took place a little over a decade ago. In January 2012, royals from all over descended on Copenhagen for the celebrations of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark’s Ruby Jubilee. The grandest event of the festivities was a fabulous white-tie gala dinner at Christiansborg Palace. Crown Prince Frederik arrived in his formal dress uniform, while Crown Princess Mary wore a stunning evening gown made of midnight blue velvet for the dinner.
The gala dinner was a rare “collar” event for the members of the Order of the Elephant, Denmark’s highest order of chivalry. Accordingly, Crown Princess Mary wore the collar of the order, with its distinctive elephant badge, along the neckline of her gown. The star of the order was pinned near her waist, and near her left shoulder, she wore the Royal Family Order of her mother-in-law, Queen Margrethe.
Crown Princess Mary’s jewels for the evening were equally luxurious and special. She wore pieces from the Danish Ruby Parure, an heirloom set of jewelry that was made for Désirée Clary Bernadotte (later Queen Desideria of Sweden) to wear at the coronation of Napoleon and Joséphine in Paris in 1804. When the Bernadottes ascended to the Swedish throne, the jewels became part of a royal collection. They came to Copenhagen in 1869 when Princess Lovisa of Sweden married the future King Frederik VIII of Denmark. The jewels have been in Danish royal hands ever since, and several royal ladies (notably, Queen Alexandrine, Queen Ingrid, and Crown Princess Mary) have made adjustments to the set to make it more personal and comfortable. Crown Princess Mary has been the exclusive wearer of the rubies since her royal marriage in 2004.
For the jubilee gala banquet, Crown Princess Mary wore the grand tiara from the parure, as well as the earrings and necklace from the set. Both the earrings and the necklace are delightfully convertible, able to be worn in their full settings or in various other combinations. Mary chose a smaller setting of the earrings (with just the stud and one pendant drop) for this dinner, but she wore the complete necklace with its festoon and pendant sections.
Crown Princess Mary also added a few other pieces from the suite to her ensemble. She wore some of the pins from the set in her hair. She also wore the bracelet from the set on her right wrist and the suite’s cluster ring on her right hand.