Queen Sofia of Spain is celebrating her 80th Birthday this week, and to mark her milestone birthday, we are taking a look at 8 pieces from the jewellery collection of the Greek Princess who became the first consort of the restored monarchy of modern Spain, featuring her Niarchos Ruby Parure today!
In 1962, the then Princess Sofia of Greece received a versatile Van Cleef & Arpels set of necklaces from Greek shipping tycoon Stavros Niarchos, ahead of her wedding to Prince Juan Carlos of Spain, while the coordinating earrings were a wedding gift from her mother, Queen Frederica. The ruby and diamond clusters of the Parure could be worn in various configurations, including two necklaces of varying lengths, and as a one-row or double-row tiara.
After wearing the Niarchos Rubies for a variety of events in the 1960s, including her brother’s wedding ball, Princess Beatrix’s Pre-Wedding Ball in 1966, and a State Dinner at the White House, Queen Sofa notably wore the Parure for King Juan Carlos’ Enthronement in 1975, which heralded the restoration of the Spanish Monarchy.
Queen Sofia has continued to wear her Niarchos Ruby Parure to a variety of Galas, and State banquets, including State Visits to Sweden and Luxembourg, when she wore the rare double-row Tiara. Another notable appearance was Crown Prince Felipe’s Pre Wedding Dinner in 2004, and the last appearance of the Niarchos Rubies was the French State Banquet in 2009. I hope to see it reappear soon, on either Queen Sofia or Queen Letizia.