Queen Frederica’s Bow Brooch

Today marks the 40th Anniversary of the Death of Queen Frederica of Greece, who died on this day in 1981! The Hanoverian Princess who became the Greek Queen and the mother of King Constantine II of Greece and Queen Sofia of Spain, she wore a plethora of Royal Heirlooms, including this magnificent Diamond Bow Brooch!

Queen Sophie’s Diamond Tiara | Emerald Parure | Pearl and Diamond Necklace Tiara |Prussian Diamond Tiara | Ruby Pendant |Bow Brooch | Ruby BroochDiamond Clip Brooches | Star Sapphire Brooch

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This antique Diamond Bow Brooch, featuring four ribbons with a central diamond cluster, can be worn with a variety of pendants, including a single diamond solitaire, an emerald, a ruby, a pearl, or Queen Frederica’s Ruby Pendant. The provenance of the piece is unknown but it could originate from her mother-in-law, Queen Sophia of Greece, or mother, Princess Victoria Louise, Duchess of Brunswick. The Bow Brooch first appeared around the late 1930s, and was worn for Official Portraits as Crown Princess, the Christening of the future Queen Sofia of Spain in 1939, and was also worn for King Paul’s Accession Portraits in 1947, the Wedding of King Michael of Romania and Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma in 1948, the Wedding of Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover and Princess Ortrud of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg in 1951 and a Charity Ball in Athens in 1952.

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Queen Frederica wore the Bow Brooch for a variety of formal and casual events, including the Greek State Visit to France in 1956, the Greek State Visit to Ethiopia in 1959, the Greek Independence Day celebrations in 1960, and the Greek New Year’s Reception in 1961. It was often worn with Queen Sophie’s Diamond Tiara and the Greek Emerald Parure.

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The Bow Brooch remained a favourite of Queen Frederica for the rest of her life, being worn for King Paul’s 60th Birthday Banquet at the Royal Palace of Athens in 1961, the Greek Monarchy Centenary Gala at the Royal Palace of Athens in 1963, the Greek State Visit to Britain in 1963, and the French State Visit to Greece in 1963. After being widowed, she wore the Brooch for the Christening of her grandson, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, in 1967, the Greek Royal Family’s last event before their exile, and the Christening of another grandson, now King Felipe VI of Spain, in 1968.

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After Queen Frederica’s death in 1981, the Diamond Bow Brooch was inherited by her son, King Constantine, but not worn by Queen Anne-Marie until the Wedding of her nephew, Prince Joachim of Denmark, and Marie Cavallier in 2008, when it was worn with the Khedive of Egypt Tiara.

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In 2010, Queen Frederica’s Bow Brooch was worn by her granddaughter, Princess Alexia of Greece, with her Diamond Tiara for the Wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, who also wore the Brooch at the Wedding of her cousin, Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, in 2011. Lets hope we see this magnificent Royal Heirloom worn again soon!

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