Princess Marina’s Black Pearl Brooch 

Happy Birthday to the Duchess of Kent, who turns 89 today! One of the longest-working members of the Royal Family, who has been largely retired for the past two decades, the Duchess once had access to an illustrious jewellery collection, which we have featured previously, and much of which has been modified or sold, so to mark the day, we are featuring Princess Marina’s Black Pearl Brooch!

Grace Kelly - Princess Grace of Mon...
Grace Kelly - Princess Grace of Monaco - Bains de Mer Tiara - Royal Jewels Documentary

The Duchess of Kent’s Tiaras | Cambridge Sapphire ParurePearl and Diamond Fringe Tiara | Pearl Earrings | Art Deco Brooch | Girandole Earrings | Diamond Flower Suite | Black Pearl Brooch | 89 Facts about the Duchess of Kent

Embed from Getty ImagesEmbed from Getty ImagesEmbed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

A diamond brooch with a central round black pearl and a black pearl drop, this brooch was originally seen on Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent around the 1950s, and was either inherited from Queen Mary or her grandmother, the Grand Duchess Vladimir, with the pearls from her legendary collection being inherited by her mother, Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna, Princess Nicholas of Greece. Princess Marina often wore the Black Pearl Brooch during the 1950s and 1960s, sometimes with a similar White Pearl Brooch which now belongs to her younger daughter-in-law, Princess Michael.

After Princess Marina’s death in 1968, her Black Pearl Brooch was inherited by her elder son, the Duke of Kent, and began to be worn by his wife, the Duchess of Kent, who was notably pictured in the Brooch on a visit to Manchester in 1970, among a series of appearences in the late 60s and early 70s.

Embed from Getty ImagesEmbed from Getty ImagesEmbed from Getty Images

At some point in the early 1970s, the Duchess of Kent had Princess Marina’s Black Pearl Brooch made into the clasp of a Choker, which she wore multiple times during the 1970s and 1980s, both with and without the pear-shaped Black Pearl Pendant. The Choker was notably paired with the Kent Pearl and Diamond Fringe Tiara, Princess Marina’s Girandole Earrings, and her Art Deco Brooch for a Banquet in the 1970s.

Embed from Getty Images

Around the early 1990s, the Duchess of Kent began wearing a a two-strand pearl choker, with a round white central pearl and a white pearl-shaped pearl pendant, with an identical setting as Princess Marina’s Black Pearl Brooch, meaning it is likely the same piece (h/t to the wonderful Beth for a confirmation). The Choker has not been seen since the Duchess retired from royal duties in 2002, and it is unknown if it is still in the Duke and Duchess’ collection.

The Duchess of Kent’s Tiaras | Cambridge Sapphire ParurePearl and Diamond Fringe Tiara | Pearl Earrings | Art Deco Brooch | Girandole Earrings | Diamond Flower Suite | Black Pearl Brooch | 89 Facts about the Duchess of Kent

22

Leave a Reply