Happy Birthday to Queen Sofia of Spain, who turns 82 today! To mark her milestone birthday, we are taking a look at another piece from the varied jewellery collection of the Greek Princess who became the first consort of the restored monarchy of modern Spain: Queen Sophia’s Star Sapphire Brooch!
Consisting of a substantial cabochon star sapphire surrounded by diamonds, the Brooch originates with Queen Sophia of Greece, born a Princess of Prussia, and though the provenance is unclear, it could be the ‘sapphire surrounded by diamonds’ in a bracelet given as a wedding gift by the Count and Countess Hohenau. Queen Sophia was notably pictured in her Star Sapphire Brooch, along with her Ruby Brooch, at the Wedding of Prince Paul of Yugoslavia and Princess Olga of Greece in 1923.
After Queen Sophie’s death in 1932, the Star Sapphire Brooch, like most of Queen Sophie’s jewels including her Diamond Tiara, Diamond Circle Tiara and the Ruby Brooch, were inherited by her sons, King George II and the later King Paul, and worn a few years later by the latter’s wife, Queen Frederica, who often wore the brooch for both casual and formal events, usually with both the Greek Emerald Parure and Queen Sophie’s Ruby Brooch, with notable appearences including the Christening of King Constantine in 1940, the Wedding of King Michael of Romania (a grandson of Queen Sophia) in 1947, and the Wedding of Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover in 1951. The Star Sapphire Brooch continued to be worn into her widowhood, through not after the Greek Royal Family was exiled in 1967 .
In 1956, Queen Frederica loaned Queen Sophia’s Star Sapphire Brooch to her elder daughter, Princess Sophia, the namesake of her grandmother, for the Greek State Visit to France, and the Brooch was eventually inherited by the then Queen Sofia of Spain in 1981. Queen Sofia has worn the Star Sapphire Brooch in a variety of creative ways, which include adding a pear shaped pearl drop and also wearing it as a clasp or a pendant suspended from a pearl necklace, with notable appearences including the Wedding of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium and Queen Margrethe’s 60th Birthday. Queen Sofia has her own namesake granddaughter, Infanta Sofia of Spain, and we think it would be a fitting tribute to her great-great-grandmother if the Infanta received the Star Sapphire Brooch in the future.