Happy Birthday to Karen Spencer, Countess Spencer, who turns 50 today! The Canadian-born founder and CEO of Whole Child International who is the third wife of the 9th Earl Spencer, Lady Spencer is the current custodian of the splendid Jewellery Collection of the Spencer Family, which include these spectacular Diamond Earrings!
A pair of spectacular large pear-shaped Diamonds hanging in an ornate Diamond frame, these earrings originate from the collection of Adelhida Talbot, Duchess of Shrewsbury, an Italian Aristocrat married to the 1st Duke of Shrewsbury who was a Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Caroline. After her death in 1726, the Earrings were acquired by her great rival, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, to add to a Diamond Rivière was presented by Queen Anne to her favourite, the Duchess of Marlborough, which was also worn with three detachable pearl pendants which were presented by the City of London to Princess Elizabeth (The Winter Queen) when she married Frederick of the Palatinate. They were inherited by their son, the famous Prince Rupert of the Rhine, and sold by his illegitimate daughter to the Duchess of Marlborough. After the Duchess of Marlborough’s death in 1744, the Jewels were inherited by her grandson, the 1st Earl Spencer.
The Diamond Earrings passed down the family line and was first photographed on Cynthia, the 7th Countess Spencer, who wore them with the Honeysuckle Tiara and Spencer Tiara on numerous occasions from the 1920s to the 1960s, including the Royal Visit to Paris in 1938, a Gala Performance in 1950, at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, and a Banquet at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea in 1956.
Later, the Diamond Rivière and the Duchess of Shrewsbury’s Diamond Pendant Earrings were often worn by Raine, the 8th Countess Spencer, for numerous occasions through the 1970s and 1980s, including for the Wedding Ball of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.
The Diamond Pendant Earrings have often been worn by the current Countess Spencer, most notably when the Earl and Countess Spencer joined the Duchess of Cambridge for the Portrait Gala at the National Portrait Gallery in 2017. There is no doubt we will continue to see these spectacular earrings for years to come!