The Countess of Wessex celebrates her birthday in January, and in her honor, we’re taking a look this month at some of the most glittering pieces from her jewelry box. First up: her collection of jewels set with gorgeous blue topazes and aquamarines.
In the early years of her royal marriage, Sophie began wearing a set of jewelry set with blue stones, possibly aquamarines or blue topazes. The earrings feature a modern design, with geometric ribbons of diamonds paired with the blue stone drops. The set also includes a necklace with a pendant in a matching design.
In May 2004, Sophie paired the earrings and the matching pendant necklace with a borrowed diamond tiara for the the pre-wedding gala for Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark in Copenhagen.
In November 2005 in Monaco, Sophie paired the set with a new piece: a convertible diamond and aquamarine tiara. The modern sparkler was worn for Prince Albert II’s enthronement gala. The large central aquamarine is significantly paler and greener than the stones in the necklace and earring set, but the modern design of each piece almost makes them work as a married parure. The tiara has been attributed to Collins & Sons.
In 2006, Sophie wore the new tiara as a necklace at a charity gala for Childline. Coincidentally, Prince Albert II of Monaco was also at this gala. To my knowledge, there’s never been a suggestion that any of Sophie’s jewelry is connected to the Grimaldis, but her aquamarines do pop up at events linked with the Monegasque princely family with some regularity.
More recently, we saw Sophie wear the convertible diamond and aquamarine tiara for a state banquet at Buckingham Palace during the South African state visit in November 2022. She paired the tiara with diamond jewels from the collection of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
Sophie also has a large aquamarine and diamond ring, worn here at Royal Ascot in 2009. I believe this has also been connected to Collins & Sons.
Another event in Monaco, another debut of an aquamarine piece! This Art Deco-style brooch, with a large central aquamarine, also features diamonds, plus surrounding rings of green and blue enamel. Sophie wore it for the first time in public at the July 2011 wedding of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco.
Sophie wears the gorgeous aquamarine brooch often. It pops up especially frequently at Royal Ascot. This outing took place at the races in the spring of 2012.
And here, she wears the brooch in the Royal Box at Ascot in June 2016.
Sophie has paired the Art Deco brooch with various earrings, including some set with blue gems. This gold pair, worn at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2013, features rectangular blue gemstone drops.
She also has a pair of floral earrings set with blue gems. Here, she wears them for a school visit on June 19, 2009, which also happened to be her tenth wedding anniversary.
But Sophie’s most significant piece of aquamarine jewelry is undoubtedly the tiara that she debuted at the wedding of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie of Luxembourg in October 2012. The piece, which features five large aquamarines set in complicated ribbons of diamonds, was worn by the late Queen in the 1970s.
The provenance of the piece is unclear—it may or may not be part of the aquamarine gifts that Queen Elizabeth II received from Brazil. Sophie has worn the piece with other items of jewelry that belonged to the Queen, including the King Faisal Necklace and the Silver Jubilee Pearl Earrings.
Sophie has worn the tiara on subsequent occasions as well, including a prominent outing at the wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden in June 2013. For that event, she paired the tiara with Queen Elizabeth II’s Pear-Shaped Diamond Pendant Earrings and a round brooch that also appears to be set with white and blue gemstones.