The Countess of Barcelona, mother of King Juan Carlos and grandmother of King Felipe of Spain, passed away on this day in 2000. The Bourbon-Two-Sicilies Princess who was the de-facto Queen Consort of Spain, the Countess had a magnificent jewellery collection, from which we are featuring her Art Deco Ruby and Diamond Clip Brooch.
The Art Deco Ruby and Diamond Clip Brooch was part of the Wedding Gifts given to Princess María de las Mercedes of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies when she married Infante Juan of Spain, the third son and heir of the exiled King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain, in 1935, and displayed with her corbeille de mariage. The Art Deco design of the piece really stands out alongside the other heirloom jewels.
Though not as much of a favourite as her pearl jewellery, the Art Deco Ruby and Diamond Clip Brooch was worn by the Countess of Barcelona in a variety of configurations throughout her life, most notably at the Christening of Infanta Cristina in 1965. After her death, the Brooch passed to her daughter-in-law, Queen Sofia, becoming a ‘married parure’ with her suite of diamond and ruby jewellery.
In 2004, Queen Sofia loaned the earrings and the Countess of Barcelona’s Art Deco Ruby and Diamond Clip Brooch to her soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Letizia Ortiz, for the Wedding of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, a week before her own wedding. Since then, while the now Queen Letizia has worn other parts of the suite, the Brooch has not been seen, though given Queen Letizia’s recent streak of wearing heirloom jewels, a reappearance may may not be far off.