Today marks the 90th Anniversary of the Death of Queen Maria Christina of Spain, the Austrian Archduchess who married King Alfonso XII of Spain and then served as the Regent for her posthumous son, King Alfonso XIII of Spain. While we have already featured her Cartier Loop Tiara recently worn by Queen Letizia, to mark the Anniversary, we are taking a look at her Mellerio Pearl Necklace-
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This necklace was made by Mellerio for Queen Maria Cristina. It consists of a gold semi rigid frame set with diamonds adorned with 10 grey drop pearls and 10 round diamonds. Queen Maria Cristina passed the jewel to Infanta Maria de la Paz who later gave it to her daughter Pilar. Pilar was pictured using the necklace (last photo here). In 1988, the necklace was offered for sale in Geneva and seems to have been bought by King Juan Carlos (or by the King of Morocco, like some say). Since then we have seen Queen Sofia using the piece (the two pictures I am posting were taken during an outgoing state visit to Morocco and an incoming state visit made by the King of Morocco to Spain). It is a beautiful piece, IMO, with an interesting family background. What do you think? Don’t forget to follow @spanishroyaljewels
Featuring gray Pearls and Diamonds set in Gold, the Necklace was made Mellerio dits Meller, and was bought by Queen Marie Christina of Spain, who later gave it to her sister-in-law, Infanta Maria de la Paz. Auctioned by the latter’s descendants in Geneva in 1988, it was bought by King Juan Carlos of Spain, the great-grandson of Queen Marie Christina .
While it is not a favourite, Queen Sofia has worn Queen Marie Christina’s Mellerio Pearl Necklace a couple of times, including a State Visit from Mohammed VI of Morocco in 2000, when it was paired with her Floral Tiara.
It was also worn at a State Dinner in Rabat on King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia’s State Visit to Morocco in 2006, paired with the Countess of Barcelona’s Pearl Brooch and Queen Sofia’s Wedding Earrings.
Most recently, Queen Sofia wore Queen Marie Christina’s Mellerio Pearl Necklace with her Floral Tiara and Wedding Earrings for a State Banquet in Honour of the President of Argentina in 2009. With King Felipe and Queen Letizia off on a State Visit to Morocco in a few days, will we see this heirloom again soon?