All the exquisite jewels Queen Mary has inherited

A deep dive into the exclusive Danish Crown Jewels.
Danish crown jewels

Upon her fairytale-esque ascension to the throne in early January, Queen Mary now has access to the Danish royal family’s crown jewels. The crown jewels are made up of four sets of exquisite heirloom parures which can only exclusively be worn by the Queen of Denmark.

The parures can be traced back to 1746 when Queen Sophie Magdalene, who was married to Christian VI, decided that future Danish Queens should have their own specialty selection of jewels. 

According to the Danish royal family, Queen Sophie Magdalene noted that, “ …in this Royal House, there are so few jewels and not any crown jewels at all.” Over the centuries, Queen Sophie Magdalene’s original jewels have changed along with trends and styles. As of now, the official collection includes four parures: a brilliant-cut diamond set, an emerald set, a pearl-ruby set and a rose-cut diamond set.

It is customary that the jewels are to only be worn by the monarch and to not leave the country – even on an official visit. When they are not being worn by the monarch, the jewels are displayed in the treasury in the secured basement under Rosenborg Castle.

Emerald set

The emerald set is another parure that makes up the royal family’s crown jewels. This particular set includes a diadem, necklace, brooch and earring made from emeralds and diamonds that had been owned by the royal family for a century.

The set dates from 1840 when King Christian VI commissioned C.M. Weisshaupt to create a parure as a wedding anniversary present for Queen Sophie Magdalene.

Danish crown jewels
(Credit: Iben Kaufmann)

Queen Mary recently donned the exquisite set for the first time in an official royal portrait. As well as the Emerald Set, Queen Mary also wore a brilliant diamond miniature portrait of The King in a bow of Order of Dannebrog ribbon. This is a long-held tradition in the Danish royal family where females wear a miniature portrait of the monarch. Prior to King Frederik’s ascension to the throne, Mary wore a miniature portrait of Queen Margrethe.

The Queen also donned a collar featuring an elephant motif which makes her a part of the extremely exclusive ‘Order of the Elephant’. The collar is only worn on special occasions, otherwise, the white elephant is instead worn pinned to a sash.

Brilliant set

The brilliant parure is the most exquisite of the four sets and dates back to Queens Sophie Magdalene, Caroline Mathilde and Juliane Marie. Made in 1840 by C.M. Weisshaupt, the set consists of seven pendants, a brooch and earrings. 

Queen Margrethe famously wore this set to the wedding of her son, King Frederik and Queen Mary in 2004.

Danish crown jewels
(Credit: Iben Kaufmann)

Pearl-ruby set

The pearl-ruby set is a decadent parure made from pearls, rubies and diamonds. The set is made up of a necklace, brooch and earring and was also designed by C.M. Weisshaupt. 

The pearl necklace originally belonged to Christian V’s consort, Charlotte Amalie. It later became part of the crown jewels. 

Danish crown jewels
(Credit: Iben Kaufmann)

The set is not to be confused with the diamond and ruby parure which Queen Ingrid left to Prince Frederik upon her passing in 2000.

Queen Margrethe wore the Pearl-ruby set to the wedding of her youngest son, Prince Joachim and his then-wife, Princess Alexandra, in 1995.

Rose-cut diamonds set

The rose-cut diamond parure is one of the more unusual pieces in the collection. The set, designed by C.M. Weisshaupt, features a belt and brooch made from rose-cut diamonds. 

The set can also be divided into four smaller brooches and two necklaces. This particular set first belonged to Princess Charlotte Amalie, who was the sister of King Christian IV. It appears that Queen Margrethe has only reached for this particular parure once during her reign, meaning that it can be easily seen on display for the public.

Danish crown jewels
(Credit: Iben Kaufmann)

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