Numerous sparkling suites of diamond jewelry were added to the British royal vaults during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, including this demi-parure set with petite pear-shaped diamonds.
In March 1987, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia made a four-day state visit to the United Kingdom. On the third day of the visit, King Fahd gave a dinner for the British royals at Claridge’s in London. At that dinner, the Queen wore Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik with a new set of jewelry: a necklace and earrings set with pear-shaped diamonds.
The combination of the event and the new jewelry have understandably led some to speculate that the diamonds may have been a gift from King Fahd. That possible provenance, however, has never been confirmed by the palace. While other Saudi diamond gifts, including the King Faisal and King Khalid Necklaces, were featured in The Queen’s Diamonds, for example, this set was not.
The Queen wore the necklace and earrings on occasion in the following years. She paired the jewels with Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik and Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Brooch for a dinner during her state visit to Germany in 1992.
She also wore the necklace and earrings for the Royal Variety Performance in November 2005. The event that year was held in Cardiff.
One of the late Queen’s most recent appearances in the suite came about a decade ago, when she wore the earrings and necklace for the South Korean state banquet at Buckingham Palace in November 2013. On that occasion, she paired the jewels with the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara and the center section of the Diamond Cockade Brooch, which is one of the Heirlooms of the Crown.
More recently, parts of the suite have been worn by other members of the royal family. The Countess of Wessex wore the necklace and earrings with her recently-renovated wedding tiara for the American state banquet at Buckingham Palace in June 2019.
A few months later, in December 2019, the then-Duchess of Cambridge wore the earrings with Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Tiara for the annual diplomatic reception. Rather than wearing the matching necklace from the set, she chose to wear the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace for the occasion.