This week, Queen Margrethe of Denmark will celebrate her 80th Birthday and while the big celebrations to mark the day have been cancelled, we are still continuing with our series on her Top 8 Jewels to mark her 80th Birthday, continuing with the Danish Crown Pearl and Ruby Parure.
Featuring a large Pearl Necklace, Pearl, Ruby and Diamond Earrings, two Pearl Clasps, and two Ruby and Diamond links, the Danish Crown Pearl and Ruby Parure was made by C.M. Weisshaupt in 1840, for Queen Caroline Amalie, the Consort of King Christian VIII, ahead of the last Danish Coronation. The Pearl Necklace is the oldest part of the jewels, dating back to Queen Charlotte Amalie, consort of King Christian V, who may have received them from Leonora Christina, Countess Ulfeldt, the scandalous half-aunt of her husband, who was imprisoned without trial for 22 years in the 1600s. The gemstones became part of the Danish Crown Jewels in the will of Queen Sophie Magdalene in 1746, and the four sets made by Queen Caroline Amalie in 1840 have not been altered. The Danish Crown Jewels are owned by the state but remain at the disposal of the Queen, By custom, they remain in Denmark and cannot be taken visits to other countries, and when not being used, they are kept on permanent display in the treasure chamber at Rosenborg Castle (where I got to see them just a few weeks ago).
While parts of the Crown Pearl and Ruby Parure have been worn by Danish Queens for centuries, by the time they came into Queen Ingrid’s use in 1947, the pearls had lost their lustre after years without use. She brought them back to life by borrowing the Pearl Mecklace, by then at Rosenborg Castle, to wear at night next to her skin. However, Queen Ingrid was not pictured wearing the Pearl Necklace itself, and rarely pictured in other parts of the Parure.
In 1972, the Crown Pearl and Ruby Parure passed into the use of Queen Margrethe and she has taken full advantage of the versatility of the set, wearing the necklace with a variety of claps, including the large stomacher, which has also been worn in different configurations, often with the Floral Aigrette Tiara and the Pearl Poiré Tiara. The Danish Crown Jewels are most often seen at the Annual New Years Galas, and there is no doubt we will continue to see the Crown Pearl and Ruby Parure for years to come.