15 April 2013

The Duchess of Gloucester’s Pendant Earrings

The Duchess of Gloucester's Pendant Earrings
One of the Queen’s frequently worn pairs of earrings are these ornately scrolled frames of diamonds set in gold and silver with detachable pearl drop pendants. They came from Princess Mary, the Duchess of Gloucester, who passed away in 1857 and left them to her niece, Princess Mary Adelaide, the Duchess of Teck. Mary Adelaide in turn left them to her daughter, the future Queen Mary, on her death in 1897.
The Duchess of Teck, wearing the original earring tops and the pearl pendants without the diamond frame
The earrings originally featured the scrolled frame and pearl pendant hanging from what we call the Duchess of Teck Earrings, with a central pearl surrounded by diamonds in a square formation. The tops were detachable, and were worn on their own by both the Duchess of Teck and by Queen Mary. Queen Mary finalized the separation when she gave the tops alone to her granddaughter Princess Elizabeth as a present. She added a brilliant diamond to the remaining pendants to create the Duchess of Gloucester Pendant Earrings we know today. I refer to them as two separate pairs of earrings since they continue to be used separately.
The Queen inherited the Gloucester earrings from her grandmother in 1953, and has made frequent use of them since. They are a particular favorite match with two other favorite diamond and pearl pieces: the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara in its pearl setting and Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Necklace.

2005: Official Visit from Norway 
1991: State Visit to the United States
1982: State Visit from the Netherlands
1978: State Visit to Germany 
1972: State Visit from Germany 
1972: State Visit to France
1972: State Visit from the Netherlands
1967: State Visit from Saudi Arabia
1965: State Visit to Germany   
1958: State Visit to the Netherlands
Various Years: State Opening of Parliament  
Various Years: The Garter Service
Various Years: CHOGM Dinners 

Photos: Royal Collection/Leslie Field/Getty Images