Queen Sophia’s Star Sapphire Brooch

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! 

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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.

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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 .

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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.


A huge credit for this find goes to the Spanish Royal Jewels account on Instagram, go check their amazing account!

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Queen Sofia has in her collection this beautiful sapphire brooch. It consists of a large cabochon sapphire surrounded by a ring of diamonds. Doña Sofia often suspends a pearl pendant from it. Sometimes the brooch is worn as a pendant on a pearl necklace, the Queen wore it that way for the wedding of the then Duke and Duchess of Brabant (she also wore another sapphire brooch inherited from her mother). This piece is an inheritance from Queen Frederica who wore it many times for both informal events and galas. The Queen was quite extravagant, she usually mixed and matched emeralds, rubies and sapphires, all at the same time! This brooch was frequently loaned to her daughter, including for one of her first tiara appearances: a gala held during her parents State Visit to France. I suspect that King Paul inherited it from her mother, Queen Sophie, and later gave it to his wife. The last picture was taken during the wedding of Princess Olga of Greece and Prince Paul of Yugoslavia and Queen Sophie seems to be wearing an identical brooch on her left shoulder. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ La Reina Sofía tiene en su colección este hermoso broche de zafiro. Consiste en un gran zafiro cabujón rodeado de un anillo de diamantes, muchas veces una perla perilla es suspendida de el. A veces el broche se usa como un colgante en un collar de perlas, la Reina lo usó de esa manera para la boda de los entonces duque y duquesa de Brabante (también llevaba otro broche de zafiro heredado de su madre). Esta pieza es una herencia de la reina Federica, que la usó muchas veces tanto para eventos informales y galas. La reina era bastante extravagante, generalmente mezclaba y combinaba esmeraldas, rubíes y zafiros, todo al mismo tiempo! Este broche se lo presto con frecuencia a su hija, incluso para una de sus primeras apariciones en tiara: una gala celebrada durante la Visita de Estado de sus padres a Francia. Sospecho que el rey Pablo lo heredó de su madre, la reina Sofía, y luego se lo dio a su esposa. La última foto fue tomada durante la boda de la princesa Olga de Grecia y el príncipe Pablo de Yugoslavia y la reina Sofía parece llevar un broche idéntico en el hombro izquierdo.

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2 thoughts on “Queen Sophia’s Star Sapphire Brooch

  1. I think that in the March cover queen Frederica is wearing another brooch, the one she had pinned on her hat during the 1953 US visit

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