01 January 2012

The Pearl and Diamond Button Earrings

Queen Mary's Button Earrings
Despite the fact that she must have a plethora of earrings to pick from, the Queen almost always wears the same pair for her daytime official engagements: a pearl stud with a small diamond on top.
Queen Mary (left) and the current Queen
These came, like so much of the Queen’s jewelry collection, from her grandmother Queen Mary. Photographs show that Mary wore these from fairly early on in her marriage.


The larger pair
Queen Mary’s collection has also provided another pair of pearl and diamond studs, quite similar but on a larger scale. These are worn by the Queen for special occasions only, such as the events of her Diamond Jubilee.
The larger pair worn by both queens
Leslie Field’s The Queen’s Jewels identifies the smaller pair (the ones the Queen wears constantly) as the Devon earrings, given to Queen Mary on her wedding in 1893 from the Ladies of Devonshire. The earrings were made to match a pearl and diamond necklace given by the ‘Ladies of England’ (since broken up). Queen Mary gave them to the current Queen as a wedding present in 1947. Entries from the start of this blog refer to these everyday jewels as the Devon Button Earrings.

However, the Royal Collection’s site includes the Ladies of Devonshire earrings; click here to see them. These seem to be the larger pearl and diamond pair of earrings, having a larger diamond in a different setting than the earrings worn nearly every day, so past identifications could be an error. Of course, the design of these earrings is not particularly unique, and the Queen may well have multiple pairs. For now, I will refer to the smaller pair as Queen Mary’s Pearl Button Earrings.

Appearances (Smaller Pair): Since these are seen at most engagements, I will refrain from linking each post individually. Each event where the earrings are seen is tagged; click here for those posts.

Appearances (Larger Pair):
10 November 2012: Festival of Remembrance
5 June 2012: Governors-General Reception
5 June 2012: Diamond Jubilee Thanksgiving Service
4 June 2012: Diamond Jubilee Concert
2000: State Visit to Italy, Papal Audience  
1980: State Visit to Vatican City 
Various Years: The Garter Service
Various Years: Remembrance Events  

Photos: Getty Images