24 October 2012

The King Faisal Diamond Necklace

The Queen's King Faisal Necklace
This Harry Winston design is a fairly well-known member of the Queen's diamond necklace collection. It features a combination of baguette, brilliant, and pear-shape diamonds; the first row is baguettes, the second alternates baguettes with two brilliants, the third includes loops of baguettes and individual brilliants, and the last row includes pear drop and brilliant pendants. The necklace seems somewhat petite in use, but the diamonds come in at just under 84 carats.
The Queen
The necklace was made as a stock piece for the jeweler in 1952 and was purchased by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia in 1967 as a gift to present to the Queen on a state visit to the United Kingdom. The Queen has worn it for the occasional evening event in the years since the visit.
Diana, Princess of Wales
One of the reasons this particular necklace has become somewhat well-known is because it is one of the pieces of her collection which she will loan out to family members. She's only done so twice that we know of: to the Princess of Wales for a visit to Australia in 1983, and to the Countess of Wessex for the pre-wedding gala dinner for the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg in 2012.
The Countess of Wessex
I've always liked this necklace; it's a nice compromise between modern jewelry designs and traditional jewels. I think it would make an interesting tiara, though the Queen doesn't really have a need to try such a thing out. Regardless, I'd love to see her continue to loan it out to various family members.

19 October 2012: The Pre-Wedding Gala Dinner in Luxembourg (on the Countess of Wessex, at Order of Splendor)
1991: Balmoral Ghillies Ball 
1988: Official Visit to the Netherlands  
1978: State Visit to Germany
1967: State Visit from Saudi Arabia 

Photos: Leslie Field/Getty Images/Cour grand-ducale