Happy Birthday to Queen Suthida of Thailand, who turns 45 today! The former flight attendant and Commander of the Royal Guard who became the fourth wife of the controversial King, Queen Suthida has not had much opportunity to wear Royal Heirlooms, but surprised us by recently wearing the historic Thai Diamond Rivière!
While it is difficult to differentiate the provenance of Diamond Rivières, which can be transformed in size and length like this one, this heirloom Diamond Rivière originates from Queen Saovabha Phongsri, the wife and half-sister of King Chulalongkorn and the mother of King Vajiravudh and King Prajadhipok, who was photographed wearing up to three Diamond Rivières in portraits.
Following Queen Saovabha Phongsri’s passing in 1919, the Diamond Rivières were not publicly worn until King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit embarked on their landmark Tour of Europe in 1960, with one or two of the Diamond Rivières being worn for the State Visit to Britain, the State Visit to Germany, the State Visit to Norway, the State Visit to Sweden, the State Visit to Italy, the State Visit to Belgium, and the State Visit to The Netherlands, sometimes with a diamond pendant and at other times with the Thai Diamond Fringe.
The Diamond Rivières continued to be worn after the King and Queen’s return to Thailand, like during the Greek State Visit to Thailand and the Thai State Visit to Japan in 1963, the Wedding Ball of King Constantine II of Greece and Princess Anne Marie of Denmark in 1964, Crown Prince Akihito and Crown Princess Michiko’s visit to Thailand in 1964, the Iranian State Visit to Thailand in 1968, the British State Visit to Thailand in 1972, and the Japanese State Visit to Thailand in 1991.
By the 2000s, Queen Sirikit had begun wearing a longer Diamond Rivière, likely made from readjusting the collet diamonds on the previous diamond rivières, being worn for the Swedish State Visit to Thailand in 2003 and the Dutch State Visit to Thailand in 2004 as well as King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Diamond Jubilee Banquet in 2006, when the Rivière was worn with the heirloom pendant and Queen Sirikit’s Diamond Tiara.
Last month, Queen Suthida wore the heirloom Diamond Rivière and the Diamond Pendant for the specular Reception at Buckingham Palace on the eve of the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. Lets hope to see this spectacular Royal heirloom worn again soon!