July is the month to marvel at magnificent royal rubies, and today, we’ve got a gorgeous antique ruby brooch from Norway on display.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway has been wearing royal rubies since her engagement to Crown Prince Haakon in January 2000. He offered her the same diamond and ruby engagement ring that had been previously worn by his grandmother, Crown Princess Märtha, and his mother, Queen Sonja.
Another early ruby addition to Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s jewelry collection was this antique diamond and ruby crescent brooch. The brooch features a diamond and pearl flower in the center of the crescent and diamond and rubies on the tips of the gold bar on which the crescent and flower are set.
The brooch almost certainly dates to the 1890s, at the end of the Victorian era. It was a popular design, so much so that you can generally find almost identical pieces for sale through various brokers and websites regularly today. The brooch above, which is a very close match, is currently for sale at Kil NYC.
This close twin of the brooch was sold through another antique jewelry website, Estate Jewelry Mama. Their brooch included the piece’s original case, which is stamped with the logo of Carrington & Co., the British jewelry firm located on Regent Street during the nineteenth century. It’s certainly possible that Mette-Marit’s brooch was also made by Carrington during the same era.
There’s an obvious family connection here—Queen Maud was a British princess who was married in London in 1896, and whose wedding gifts included several diamond and ruby brooches—but to my knowledge no provenance information about Mette-Marit’s brooch has ever been shared. I’ve read that it might have been an engagement present from King Harald V and Queen Sonja, who also offered Mette-Marit an antique British-made tiara as a wedding gift. I don’t think we know for certain. (Please correct me if we do.)
Crown Princess Mette-Marit doesn’t wear brooches often, though she did sport this one a few times early on in her marriage. Notable early appearances took place during a diplomatic trip to Russia in October 2003 and at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in December 2003.
Your best bet for spotting brooches on the crown princess, though, is to keep an eye out during Norway’s annual National Day celebrations. She often uses brooches from her collection, including the ruby crescent, to secure her ribbons during the festivities. After all, it does match two of the countries national colors. Above, she wears the brooch in Oslo in 2009.
And here, she wears the brooch during the Children’s Parade at Skaugum in 2017.
She also sometimes wears the crescent brooch with her ribbons for the annual balcony appearance at the Royal Palace in Oslo. She pinned the brooch to her ribbons on a cream-colored coat in 2011.
And most recently, we saw her use the brooch to secure her ribbons on the palace balcony during this year’s National Day festivities in May.