Happy Birthday to Lady Sarah Chatto, who turns 57 today! The only daughter of Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong Jones, Lord Snowdon, she was born during the Royal Baby Boom of 1964, and is the only niece of Queen Elizabeth II. Inheriting the bulk of her mother’s jewellery collection, Lady Sarah wears quite a lot of special heirloom pieces these days, including Princess Margaret’s Sapphire Earrings!
Featuring slim pale blue briolette sapphires in an ornate diamond frame that includes two small rubies, these earrings are of unknown provenance and entered Princess Margaret’s jewellery box around the mid-1950s, being notably worn for her Tour to Tanzania and a Gala Performance by the Sadler’s Wells Ballet at Covent Garden in 1956, as well as being paired with the Cartier Halo Tiara for a Gala Performance at the Drottningholm Palace Theatre in Stockholm that summer. The Earrings were also paired with Empress Maria Feodorovna’s Sapphire Bandeau for a Return Banquet in 1958.
Princess Margaret continued to wear her Sapphire Earrings well into the 1960s and 1970s, most notably paired with the Lotus Flower Tiara for a Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City during her Official Visit to the United States in 1965, as well as on a visit to Nice in 1966.
The Sapphire Earrings continued to be worn after Princess Margaret’s divorce, well into the 1980s and 1990s, including at a Gala Performance of ‘Don Quixote’ in 1993 and a Gala Performance marking the closure of Royal Opera House for redevelopment in 1997.
After Princess Margaret’s death in 2002, while many of her jewels were sold by her children at the famous 2006 Christie’s Auction, the Sapphire Earrings were inherited by her only daughter, Lady Sarah Chatto, who wore them most notably for the LINLEY, her brother’s bespoke furniture brand, Spring Party in London in 2017. Lets hope we continue to see these beautiful royal heirlooms for years to come!