23 April 2014

Jewel History: Carlos Sold Crown Jewels (1908)

Carlos I of Portugal [1]
"Carlos Sold Crown Jewels"
(originally appeared in the New York Times on 25 Apr 1908)

King Manuel [2] has learned that $750,000 worth of the crown jewels [3], which are the property of the state, were sold by his father, King Carlos [4], in order to defray his expenses. The administrator of the royal house declared that the government had consented to the sale, and the governor of the Bank of Portugal declared it had been made in order to avoid a scandal.

King Manuel then announced his intention of refunding the value of the missing jewels.

1. Cropped version of a photograph available via Wikimedia Commons; source here.
2. King Manuel II of Portugal (1889-1932) was the last king of Portugal, reigning for only two years (1908-1910) between the assassination of his father and older brother (during which he was also injured) and the October 1910 revolution.
3. The Portuguese government still has a collection of crown jewels, although a theft in 2002 depleted the collection and led to a much stricter display policy. You can read more about the items in the collection here at Wikipedia.
4. King Carlos I of Portugal (1863-1908) reigned in Portugal from 1889 until his assassination in Lisbon in 1908. He was the son of Luis I of Portugal and Maria Pia of Savoy; he married a French princess, Amelie of Orleans, in 1886.

22 April 2014

Queen Margrethe's Turquoises

As a a reigning queen, Margrethe II of Denmark has access to a wide array of jewels, ranging from pieces that are a part of the nation's crown jewel collections to items of personal jewelry. Today, we're going to have a look at a little mini collection that belongs to the queen: her turquoise jewelry.

Margrethe has two sets of turquoise and diamond jewelry: an older suite and a more modern one. The older jewels were apparently inherited by Margrethe from her mother. The set includes a pair of diamond earrings with turquoise pendant stones, a large brooch (really, almost a small stomacher) that features three large turquoises set in diamonds, a smaller brooch, and a small bandeau tiara. The queen has also worn parts of the large brooch as a pendant on a diamond necklace (seen above at one of the events celebrating the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria in 2010).

21 April 2014

Birthday Jewels: Queen Elizabeth II

It's that time of year again -- one of the two birthdays of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom (and various other places, too!). Today is the real McCoy: her genuine birthday, not the "official one" celebrated with a military parade when the weather's nicer. To mark 88 years of royal excellence, let's enjoy a rundown of the jewelry she's worn at state banquets over the past decade. Which of her pieces of jewelry is your favorite?