Happy Birthday to Queen Paola of Belgium, who turns 84 today! The beautiful Italian Aristocrat who married the younger brother of the Belgian King. Paola eventually became the Queen Consort and is the mother of the current King of the Belgians. With one of the smallest jewellery collections among her counterparts, today we are taking a look at her Half Moon Diamond and Pearl Earrings!
Made by the Belgian court jeweller Altenloh, this pair of crescent-shaped earrings were given in 1959 as a wedding gift to Princess Paola by her husband’s stepmother, Princess Lilian, second wife of King Leopold III. They consist of a central pearl button, flanked by a half moon of diamonds.
The then Princess of Liège started wearing them right after her marriage celebrations. She wore the Half Moon Earrings at the Pre-Wedding Ball of her brother-in-law, King Baudouin and Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragón in 1960, on an Official Visit to Monaco, on the Chamber of Commerce Ball in London in 1966, on a British State Visit to Belgium in 1966, among plenty of other occasions as Princess of Liège.
In 1993, Paola wore the Half Moon Earrings on two very unforgettable moments in her life: the Funeral of her brother-in-law, King Baudouin and the Proclamation of her husband, Albert, as King of the Belgians.
After becoming Queen, Paola kept wearing this pair of earrings very often, both for daytime events and galas. She has always shown a special fondness for this pair of earrings. Having in mind that her jewellery collection is quite small, the Queen was frequently seen wearing them for various state banquets, namely the one held during the Dutch State Visit to Belgium in 2006.
The Half Moon Earrings were also worn by Queen Paola on various royal weddings, such as the Infanta Elena’s Pre-Wedding Gala in 1995, the Wedding of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway in 2001, the Wedding of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark in 2004, the Prince of Asturias’ Pre-Wedding Dinner in 2004, and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume’s Pre-Wedding Gala in 2012. This is not a piece that has been loaned to her daughter, daughters-in-law or granddaughters, but there is no doubt we will continue to see it for years to come!
This article was written by assistant editor, David Rato, who runs the Spanish Royal Jewels account on Instagram!