Monday, 27 May 2013

The ruby set

Mary first wore the ruby set on the 11th May 2004 - at the pre-wedding gala banquet. Nowadays it consists of an impressive tiara, a necklace, chandeleer earrings, a brooch, hairpins and a ring. All are made from diamond and rubies.

So where does this parure find its origines?

1. Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, one of Napoleon's 12 marchals, buys a diamond and ruby wreath tiara for his wife Desirée Clary to wear to the coronation of Napoleon in 1804. Désirée had been engaged to Napoleon herself, but the engagement was broken off. When Bernadotte later becomes king of Sweden, his wife becomes queen Désirée. She brings the ruby & diamond parure with her to Sweden.

2. The ruby parure passes from queen Désirée to her daughter-in law, princess Josephine von Leuchtenberg (married to crown prince Oscar of Sweden, Désirée's son) at Désirée's death in 1860.

3. In 1869 queen Josephine of Sweden gives the set as a wedding gift to her granddaughter, princess Lovisa of Sweden who marries the Danish crown prince Frederik.

4. Queen Louisa of Denmark passes the parure on to her daughter-in-law, princess Alexandrine of Denmark in 1898. For the first time a tiara is composed out of several pieces that were seperately worn in the hair.

5. In 1947 princess Ingrid of Sweden, the wife of crown prince Frederik, becomes queen of Denmark. She receives the ruby parure. By adding two of the parure's brooches to the wreath, a magnificent tiara is composed.

the "wreath" tiara before:

the tiara after adding the two brooches:

In the early 1950s queen Ingrid's middle daughter, princess Benedikte of Denmark wears the parure when she dresses up as queen Désirée...

6. At her death in 2000 queen Ingrid leaves the ruby parure to her grandson crown prince Frederik, to be worn by his future wife. Ingrid didn't know this would be Mary - the two of them never met. The parure does not belong to the royal collection, it's crown prince Frederik's personal possession.

7. In 2010 Mary has the tiara altered, "to the shape of her head" thus changing its unique shape to a more bland form. She trusts the tiara to Marianne Dulong's gold smiths who take some of the diamond and ruby leaves away. Sometimes pearls are added to the earrings or brooches, diamond leaves are used as hair pins as well.

The 'new' hairpins:

In 2010 Mary adds a Marianne Dulong custom made ring to the set, composed of newly purchased diamonds and a large ruby.

In 2012 Nina Hald published a book on the history of this parure and on the changes that Mary and other royals had made to it over the course of 200 years. It was called "Eventyrlige Rubiner" and translated to "Royal Rubies". 

A promo video, sponsored by Marianne Dulong, the company that made the changes according to Mary's wishes.

8. In 2018 new alterations were made to the tiara, placing the top leaves and berries a bit higher and creating an image that's more reminiscent of queen Ingrid's design.

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