Princess Mary’s Emerald Necklace

Today marks the Anniversary of the Death of Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood, who passed away on this day in 1965! The only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary who married into the prominent Aristocratic Family, Princess Mary had an enormous jewellery collection, most of which has been sold in the years since her passing, though today’s piece is unique in having been sold during her life time!

Harewood Scroll Tiara | Queen Victoria’s Sapphire Tiara | Fringe Tiara | Emerald Necklace

When Princess Mary married the future Earl of Harewood in 1922, she received splendid wedding gifts from around British and the Empire. Among those gifts was a Brooch with three large emeralds presented by the County of York as well as a Diamond and Emerald Négligée Pendant from the Royal Navy, both of which Princess Mary was photographed in for a portrait taken around 1936, though the design of both made them seem rather heavy and not as fashionable for the 1920s or 30s, thus they were not frequently worn.

At some point between the mid-1930s and the early 1950s, Princess Mary had the York Brooch and the Royal Navy’s Négligée into a splendid Emerald and Diamond Necklace, with two rows of diamonds connecting the five emerald elements. The necklace was often paired with the Harewood Scroll Tiara, for all manner of occasions, including a few Official Portraits and also for a Gala Performance at Covent Garden during the Swedish State Visit to Britain in 1954.

While much of Princess Mary’s splendid Jewellery Collection has been sold in the years since her death, there were some pieces that Princess Mary sold during her lifetime to help support Harewood House and the Estate. Alongside a Romanov Sapphire & Diamond Corsage, the Emerald and Diamond Necklace was sold for £36,000 to an unknown individual. British Royal Jewels has shared that the necklace could be broken up into a diamond rivière, brooch, and earrings. The Emerald and Diamond Necklace was later resold at Christie’s Geneva in 1988 where it realized 825,000 SF. The current location of the piece is unknown.


Harewood Scroll Tiara | Queen Victoria’s Sapphire Tiara | Fringe Tiara | Emerald Necklace

One thought on “Princess Mary’s Emerald Necklace

  1. It’s amazing that the daughter of a king and a Princess Royal had to sell some jewels to support her house. It goes to show you the draconian taxes those big estates have to pay! Her conversion of the brooch and negligee necklace into the resulting emerald and diamond necklace was very successful. It was magnificent, quite impressive with the five emeralds properly displayed front and center. However, since it had no particular royal provenance, I can see where she would have had little compunction in sending it to the auctioneer’s block.

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