Today, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark marks her 83rd birthday. To celebrate, I’ve got a closer look at some of the most important pieces in her jewelry box: her diamond and pearl wedding earrings.
On June 10, 1967, Crown Princess Margrethe of Denmark married her French fiancé, Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, in a glittering ceremony at the Holmen Church in Copenhagen.
When we discuss Margrethe’s wedding jewelry, we often focus (understandably) on her incredible diamond engagement ring, her fantastic heirloom bridal diadem, the Khedive of Egypt Tiara, or her beautiful, sentimental bodice ornament, the Diamond Daisy Brooch. But Margrethe also wore a pair of special earrings for her wedding that has had lasting echoes as well.
Her diamond and pearl earrings were a wedding gift from her new husband, Prince Henrik. The earrings were commissioned just for her, and their design is indeed reminiscent of jewelry from the 1960s. The white gold setting of the earrings is formed in rope-like twists. The round pearl in the earring’s stud is surrounded by a floral-esque setting, while a figure-eight design is included in the pendant section. In her book on Queen Margrethe’s jewelry, Heidi Laura refers to the design of the earrings as “neoclassical” but “in no way pompous, capturing all of the modern lightness of Margrethe’s style.”
The earrings have been mainstays in Margrethe’s jewelry box for more than 50 years, but one of their most important appearances came early on in her life. In January 1972, her beloved father, King Frederik IX, passed away, and she succeeded him as Denmark’s monarch. She was proclaimed Queen of Denmark on the balcony of Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen by Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag on January 15.
She wore two pieces of jewelry for the significant moment: the diamond and ruby horseshoe brooch given to her by her father on the day she was officially made heir to the throne, and her diamond and pearl wedding earrings. Heidi Laura writes that “choosing to wear [the] earrings during the proclamation was a significant gesture toward Prince Henrik,” confirming that her relationship with her parents and her relationship with her spouse were the two most important influences in her life.
She has continued to wear the earrings often in the years since, often bringing them out for family celebrations, diplomatic visits, and wedding anniversaries. Here, in July 1978, she wears them in Norway during the 75th birthday celebrations for King Olav V. (Look at little Frederik and Joachim holding her hands!)
And here, she wears them during a visit to her first cousin, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, in 1985. She’s also wearing a special pearl and diamond cluster brooch here. It was a wedding gift to Queen Lovisa of Denmark (who was born a Swedish princess) in 1869 from two of her new in-laws, Alexander III and Marie Feodorovna of Russia (Princess Dagmar of Denmark). The brooch was originally set as the clasp of a pearl necklace, and it’s now part of Lovisa’s married Pearl Poiré Parure.
Here, in July 1993, Queen Margrethe wears the earrings for a dinner in Warsaw, hosted by President Lech Walesa of Poland. She’s paired it with Princess Dagmar’s Floral Tiara (now worn by her daughter-in-law, Princess Marie) and lots more pearls. (And have a look at those unusual glasses!)
In June 2009, Queen Margrethe threw a big celebration in Copenhagen to mark Prince Henrik’s 75th birthday. A concert, given as part of the festivities, happened to fall on their 42nd wedding anniversary. (They were married on the day before his birthday.) Appropriately, she wore her wedding earrings for the occasion, pairing it with pearls and her heirloom sapphire and diamond cluster brooch. The brooch dates to the nineteenth century, and it comes from the family of Princess Marie of Hesse-Kassel, the queen consort of King Frederik VI of Denmark and Norway.
Four years later, in June 2013, Margrethe again wore the earrings as she and Henrik attended an event in Copenhagen on their 46th wedding anniversary.
Poignantly, Queen Margrethe also wore the earrings in February 2018 for Prince Henrik’s funeral service, a lovely tribute to their lasting partnership. She paired the earrings with a special brooch that she often wears for occasions of remembrance. The heart-shaped jewel, made of gold, diamonds, and enamels, is a memorial pin made in 1917 in memory of Margrethe’s maternal great-grandmother, Princess Louise, Duchess of Connaught.
In 2022, the wedding earrings were included as part of the landmark jewelry exhibition at Amalienborg celebrating Queen Margrethe’s Golden Jubilee. We also saw her wear them that year for an official visit to Denmark by the Prime Minister of India. On that occasion, she again paired the earrings with pearls and the sapphire and diamond brooch.