Queen Sofia of Spain is celebrating her 80th Birthday this week, and to mark her milestone birthday, we are taking a look at the top 8 pieces from the jewellery collection of the Greek Princess who became the first consort of the restored monarchy of modern Spain, featuring her favourite jewel, Queen Frederica’s Ruby Pendant, today!
Featuring a cabochon ruby surrounded by a two-ringed diamond frame, the frame was a favourite of Queen Frederica, who wore the piece as a brooch at the Christening of King Constantine in 1940. The Pendant/Brooch could have come from the Greek Royal Family or her Hanoverian/Prussian family. The Ruby Pendant was a favourite for Queen Pendant after the Second World War, and she wore it at both daytime and Gala events.
Queen Frederica wore the Ruby Pendant for a series of important occasions, including the engagement announcement of her daughter Princess Sofia and Prince Juan Carlos of Spain in 1961 and the Engagement of her son Crown Prince Constantine of Greece and Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark in 1963. She also wore the Pendant (from a brooch) at the Christening of her grandsons Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece in 1967, and now King Felipe VI of Spain in 1968, after the abolition of the Greek Monarchy. After Queen Frederica’s death in 1981, the Ruby Pendant was inherited by her elder daughter, Queen Sofia of Spain.
After inheriting the Pendant in 1981, Queen Sofia notably wore it just a few months later, but then it remained in her jewellery box until the Wedding of Princess Alexia of Greece in 1999, when it came into her regular rotation and became a favourite. A notable appearance came in 2014, when Queen Sofia wore the Ruby Pendant at the abdication of her husband and the accession of her son, King Felipe.
Since becoming the Queen Emeritus, Queen Sofia has avoided most of her important jewellery, but Queen Frederica’s Ruby Pendant has been regularly worn, with notable occasions including King Carl Gustaf’s 70th Birthday, the Wedding of Crown Prince Leka of Albania, and the Wedding of Prince Philip of Serbia. There is no doubt it will continue to be a favourite for years to come.