The Queen’s collection of sparkling earrings feels nearly endless sometimes, doesn’t it? Every time you think you’ve got the range fairly memorized, another pair pops out of the vaults. And that includes pieces she’s loaned to other family members, including today’s spotlight jewels, her Small Diamond Frame Earrings.
The earrings have been in the Queen’s jewelry box for around six decades. Leslie Field tells us, “In the early 1960s, [the Queen] acquired a new cluster-and-drop necklace and a pair of pendant earrings with detachable pear-shaped ruby drops in diamond collet frames. The rubies can be exchanged for diamond drops.”
Over the years, the Queen seems to have preferred the ruby setting of the earrings. She wears that setting in the photograph above, taken in May 1972 for a royal gala at the London Palladium. She’s also wearing the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara, as well as her Ruby Art Deco Bracelet and the Baring Ruby Necklace. (She’s often paired the Baring necklace and the ruby frame earrings together.)
In June 1973, she wore the ruby version of the earrings again (with the same groovy paisley-print gown) for dinner at the residence of the Canadian High Commissioner in London. She also wore the Baring Ruby Necklace again, and I think I spot a large ruby ring on her hand as well.
The Queen has also been spotted wearing the earrings in their empty-frame setting. Here, she wears that version with a diamond rivière necklace for a banquet at Spencer House in London in June 2003. (I think the necklace may be the same one that she has loaned to the Duchess of Cambridge.)
The following year, in December 2004, she brought out the ruby setting of the earrings again, this time for a state banquet at Buckingham Palace in honor of the visiting President of South Korea. She wore a gold evening gown for that dinner, as well as the Burmese Ruby Tiara, the Baring Ruby Necklace, the Dorset Bow Brooch, and the Cornwall Rose of York Bracelet.
In recent years, the Queen has loaned the earrings to her daughter-in-law, the Countess of Wessex. Sophie has worn them in both their diamond drop and open-frame forms. Her most prominent outing in the earrings came in Stockholm in June 2013, when she wore the empty-frame setting with the Aquamarine Ribbon Tiara for the wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O’Neill.