Queen Maud’s Seed Pearl Choker

Today marks the Anniversary of the Birth of Queen Maud of Norway, the British Princess who became the first Queen of an Independent Kingdom of Norway! To mark the occasion, we are going to be taking a look at her statement Seed Pearl Choker:

Embed from Getty Images

Featuring no less than twenty rows of seed pearls separated by diamond bars, unlike most of Queen Maud’s jewels, the Seed Pearl Choker has no established provenance but was probably acquired during the late Victorian or the Early Edwardian era, when chokers were popularised by her mother, Queen Alexandra, to hide a scar. After being worn in some portraits in the first decade of the 20th century, Queen Maud’s Seed Pearl Choker was not publicly worn for decades, when fashions changed. In 1938, Queen Maud brought all her jewels with her to England while she was having an operation, and where she passed away of heart failure. Queen Maud’s jewels remained in England, throughout the Norwegian Royal Family’s exile during WWII, and were only reclaimed during a visit for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953. Soon afterwards, her daughter-in-law, Crown Princess Martha passed away, and the Choker remained in the vaults for years until the Norwegian Royal jewellery collection was divided up following the wedding of then Crown Prince Harald in 1968.

Chokers came back in fashion in the 1970s, and Crown Princess Sonja wore Queen Maud’s Seed Pearl Choker during the Swedish State Visit to Norway in 1974 and on a visit to India in the 1980s. Years later, the Seed Pearl Choker was worn by her daughter, Princess Märtha Louise, for a very important occasion, the Consecration of King Harald V in 1991. Despite Queen Sonja’s predilection of Pearl Chokers, Queen Maud’s Seed Pearl Choker has not been the most worn Royal Heirloom, and hasn’t been publicly seen in decades, making us wonder if it too, along with Queen Maud’s Pearl Tiara, was stolen in London in 1995 and is among the unspecified jewels. If the Seed Pearl Choker still exists with the Royal Family we hope it makes another reappearance.

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6 thoughts on “Queen Maud’s Seed Pearl Choker

  1. Even though I’m not a fan of choker necklaces, it’d be a shame if thieves got away with this one. Its provenance is impeccable and the antiquity makes it special as well. I wonder, if it was indeed stolen, did Garrard replace it just like they replaced the pearl tiara? We’ll never know until one of the ladies wears it during a gala, so it looks like it’ll be a while before we can hope to see it again!

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      1. Oh! I didn’t know that this was the provenance of the Amethyst Necklace tiara! It may very well be that the choker is lost forever.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am sorry, but this is not correct:

    1: Queen Sonja used her seed pearl choker last time in Copenhagen some few years ago.
    2: Queen Maud had at least two seed chokers (almost identical). The other one went to Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner and was used in 2017 by the wife of her son, Carl Christian Ferner. (Queen Maud also had several others chokers, some with velvet and one that resembles Queen Mary’s love trophy collar).
    3: The amethyst tiara was NOT a compensasion from the robbery. The amethysts were a 60th gift from King Harald to Queen Sonja in 1997 and that was written in our Norwegian papers in 1997, one can find it in Norwegian digital archives (not available outside Norway).

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    1. 1: The Choker worn by Queen Sonja is quite different to this one. https://royalwatcherblog.com/2018/10/09/norwegian-independence-centenary-gala-in-copenhagen-2005/

      2: This choker has a distinctive design, and is different from her other Seed Pearl Chokers.

      3: While the Amethyst Parure was a gift to Queen Sonja on her 60th Birthday, it has been widely reported that it was offered to the King as compensation of the other jewels that were stolen.

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  3. What has been reported in Norwegian media is that this was not a compensasion. She did not loose any significant jewelry at Garrard’s others than the tiara.

    But yes, when I know see the seed pearl choker is different. They have several of them. The one owned by the Ferner family (never used by Princess Astrid) does look a lot more like the one Queen Sonja wore in the 1970s and Märtha used in 1991.

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