domenica 4 agosto 2013

The Duchess of Cambridge's Pearl Pendant Brooch

Not the present Duchess of Cambridge, but a piece of jewellery I'd just love to see debuted by Kate in the near future. Maybe, due to its historical connections, the Queen might loan it to the Duchess for Prince George's christening, who knows?


This beauty is made up of a large pearl bouton encircled by a narrow pavé-set diamond band and an outer circle of 14 brilliant-cut diamonds, from which are suspended a detachable brilliant and pavé-set baroque pearl pendant. It measures a rather impressive 7.2 x 3.3. cm and is, by far, one of my personal favourite among the Queen's extensive brooch collection: definitely a piece I'd like to see passed along to its current namesake, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

It originally belonged to George III's daughter-in-law, Augusta, Duchess of Cambridge (1797-1889), who can be seen above, in a portrait by Heinrich von Angeli, wearing the brooch at her neck.
On the Duchess's death, the brooch was inherited by her youngest daugther, Princess Marie Adelaide, Duchess of Teck, and from her it passed to her own daughter, Queen Mary, who was then still Duchess of York and wore it at the christenings of both her granddaughter Princess Elizabeth, and her great-grandson Prince Charles.

Queen Mary wearing the pearl bouton without pendant.

Holding an infant Prince Charles in his christening robes.

Upon Queen Mary's death in 1953, it was inherited by her granddaughter the Queen - and it'd great if we saw this particular piece of jewellery loaned to the Queen's granddaughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge - I, for one, have sorely missed seeing her in serious bling of the kind the late Diana, Princess of Wales, used to wear, and Prince George's christening this autumn would be the perfect setting to show off this piece, in keeping with family tradition! So, fingers crossed...

The Queen on her forty-eight birthday at Windsor Castle.

With and without pearl pendant.
At a garden party in 2003.
At the 2012 Easter service.
[All jewel info from "The Queen's Diamonds" by Hugh Roberts and "The Queen's Jewels" by Leslie Field].