Today marks the 65th Anniversary of the Death of Crown Princess Märtha of Norway, the mother of King Harald, who tragically passed away on this day in 1954! The Crown Princess brought many splendid jewels to the Norwegian Royal Vault, today’s piece is her Sapphire/Pearl earrings.
When Crown Prince Olav of Norway married Princess Märtha of Sweden in 1929, she received a pair of sapphire and diamond earrings, consisting of a large sapphire surrounded by diamonds, suspended from a long frame, as a wedding gift from her aunt, Princess Thyra, which may have originated from the legendary collection of her grandmother, Queen Lovisa of Denmark. The sapphire version of the earrings were pictured on Crown Princess Märtha on a handful of occasions through the 1930s.
By the late 1930s, Crown Princess Märtha seems to have replaced the sapphire with pearls, which were worn on a variety of occasions, including a Tour of the United States in 1939. The earrings were one of the few jewels worn by Crown Princess Martha while in exile from Norway during the Second World War, notably worn on a visit to London in 1942, for King Haakon’s 70th Birthday and the Christening of Prince Michael of Kent.
After Crown Princess Märtha’s death in 1954, the pearl and diamond earrings were worn by her daughter, Princess Astrid, usually with the Vasa Tiara in her years as ‘First Lady’ of the Kingdom for her grandfather and father.
The Norwegian Royal Jewellery Collection was divided up at the time of the Wedding of then Crown Prince Harald in 1968, when these earrings came into the possession of Princess Ragnhild, who wore them for the 1968 Wedding, and for a plethora of gala occasions through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, usually with Princess Ingeborg’s Boucheron Pearl Circle Tiara and Queen Maud’s Diamond Tiara, including Crown Prince Harald’s 40th Birthday in 1977, Crown Prince Harald’s 50th Birthday in 1987, and King Harland and Queen Sonja’s Silver Anniversary in 1993. It is unknown if the earrings have remained with Princess Ragnhild’s children or have returned to the main Norwegian Royal Family after her death in 2012, so lets hope we see these heirlooms again soon!