The royal and imperial collection resurfaces, astonishingly pristine and with all its pieces in their original design, for the first time in nearly a century, having only been recently discovered hidden away in a bank vault.
Long time, nothing was known about the history of Elizabeth the Queen Mothers, carved rock crystal art deco brooch.
The eagle-eyed Frank had sent me a note from the August 1923 about Queen mother’s style.
And an earlier press story was found, from the May, one month after the royal wedding.
In the splendid year of 1923, a momentous occasion unfolded as Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyons, the destined Duchess of York, was graced with an array of resplendent treasures to embellish her wedding. Among these treasures, a remarkable Art Deco Pendant Brooch shone with unparalleled brilliance.
During the enchanting month of May in that very year, the spotlight of the press was cast upon a distinctive trend inaugurated by the Duchess of York – a trend that would captivate the realm of fashion.
A pendant of exquisite square-shaped crystal emerged as the centrepiece, its delicate contours accentuated by an almost imperceptible rim of onyx adorned with diamonds. This captivating pendant, suspended by an ornate loop that echoed its elegance, hung gracefully from a black moiré ribbon interlaced with crystal beads, all united by a platinum chain of utmost sophistication.
Among the trove of gifts bestowed upon the royal bride, a novelty of striking originality emerged – a purse of singular design. Its circular form, enveloped in ebony moiré, boasted a circumference bejeweled [with probably useable with that brooch ),that sparkled like stars.
That pendant brooch could be used also as: onyx and carved crystal clasp, a masterpiece of artistry, secured this objet d’art, which was further graced by its attachment to an onyx slave bangle.
In a realm where precious gems symbolize significant occasions, the Duchess of York ingeniously transformed her pendant into a resplendent headpiece, a magnificent homage to the grandeur of her visit to Australia during the illustrious Royal Tour of 1927.
As time waltzed on and the pages of history turned, the radiant reign of Elizabeth the Queen Mother drew to a close, but her legacy endured.
The carved rock crystal brooch, once worn with regal grace, found a new wearer upon the graceful form of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. With remarkable frequency, this treasure adorned her on diverse royal occasions, etching its presence into the annals of history. It gleamed proudly on the grand stage of Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th reign jubilee, as well as during the dignified ceremonies of parliamentary openings, a silent testament to the enduring elegance that transcends generations.
Once formed over 150 kilometers deep within the Earth’s mantle, diamonds now glitter on many a ring finger. A recent study sheds light on how these precious gems made their way to the surface. Through geological clues and model simulations, researchers revealed how the breakup of tectonic plates led to volcanic eruptions that brought these „treasure-rich“ materials within our reach.
Diamonds are made of ordinary carbon, but what sets them apart from materials like coal is their purity and consistency. Naturally, their highly compact crystal structure can only form under immense pressure and heat in the Earth’s mantle, conditions found at depths over 150 kilometers. Over millions of years, diamonds were „baked“ in this extreme environment. The process of how they reached the Earth’s surface was roughly understood: diamond-bearing rocks melted due to geological processes, rose through fissures, and eventually surfaced during volcanic eruptions. The remains of these cooled volcanoes formed the deposits where raw diamonds are found today, typically embedded in a material known as kimberlite, named after the South African diamond-rich location, Kimberley. However, previous models couldn’t fully explain the origin of kimberlite melts deep within the Earth. It was evident that these processes were somehow linked to the restructuring of the Earth’s tectonic plates.
Unraveling the Mobilization Process
To investigate the geological processes leading to mobilization and kimberlite eruptions, the team led by Thomas Gernon from the University of Southampton delved into the matter. „The pattern of diamond eruptions is cyclic and follows the rhythm of supercontinents forming and breaking apart over hundreds of millions of years. However, until now, we didn’t know the process that suddenly brings diamonds to the Earth’s surface after resting 150 kilometers deep for millions or billions of years,“ says Gernon.
To gather new insights, the researchers analyzed the global correlation between the occurrence of kimberlites and the history of tectonic plate movements on Earth. They combined radiometric dating results with tectonic reconstructions, revealing that kimberlites formed over the past billion years typically erupted about 30 million years after the breakup of continental plates in the corresponding regions. This suggested an association with specific processes occurring at rift zones.
Hot Processes at Plate Boundaries
To shed light on the exact mechanisms, the team developed geological model simulations that provided a plausible picture of the processes. According to their explanation, a continental plate thins considerably over many millions of years before it breaks apart. This process, known as „rifting,“ causes the Earth’s surface to sink, eventually forming a rift valley. This is currently happening in East Africa, where the Rift Valley is forming. The model suggests that something similar occurs deep within the Earth: pieces of the underside of the plate sink into the mantle while hotter rock flows in from below to fill the void—similar to seawater on the surface. This incoming magma destabilizes the surrounding rock containing diamonds, turning the previously ductile material into a liquid that then rises upward. Eventually, through volcanic eruptions, it reaches the surface and solidifies into diamond-rich kimberlite.
Furthermore, the researchers can explain why volcanic eruptions with diamond-rich kimberlite can occur relatively far from the continental edges. These eruptions are also ultimately caused by plate breakup. Dynamic processes that extend far and wide occur during this process. „These flows along the underside of tectonic plates remove a considerable amount of rock, dozens of kilometers thick. This chain reaction ultimately reaches regions of the continents that are far from rift zones,“ explains co-author Sascha Brune from the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam.
On June 9th, 1921, an extraordinary couple exchanged vows in a church in Copenhagen, creating a wedding that defied convention and captured the attention of the world. This was no ordinary union, and the circumstances surrounding it were far from ordinary. The bride, Her Royal Highness Princess Margrethe of Denmark, was the daughter of Prince Waldemar of Denmark, himself the youngest son of King Christian IX of Denmark, and Princess Marie of Orléans. The groom, His Royal Highness Prince René of Bourbon-Parma, hailed from a Catholic family, and their wedding took place in the Catholic Sacred Heart of Jesus church, despite the Protestant background of the Danish royal family.
Princess Margrethe’s upbringing was unique, as she was raised in the Catholic faith despite being a member of the Protestant Danish Royal Family. This was due to her mother’s French royal lineage. When Prince Waldemar and Princess Marie married in 1885, it was decided that their sons would be raised as Protestants, while their daughters would be raised as Catholics. Princess Margrethe happened to be the only daughter born from this Protestant-Catholic union.
Born in September 1895, Princess Margrethe received the names Margrethe Françoise Louise Marie. Her baptism took place in her parents‘ home two days after her birth, followed by a grander christening ceremony witnessed by family members and public representatives, befitting her status as the granddaughter of the King of Denmark.
Tragedy struck at a young age when Princess Margrethe’s mother passed away in 1909, leaving her motherless at the age of 10. Prince René’s background was equally noteworthy, with his father being the Duke of Parma and his mother born an Infanta of Portugal. He came from a large family, with half-siblings and siblings, including the famous last Empress of Austria, Zita. His brother Felix married the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, and one of his half-sister Marie-Louise , married Prince Ferdinand I of Bulgaria.
The announcement of the royal engagement on March 11th came as a surprise to many, including those close to Prince Valdemar’s family. However, there were indications that some preparations had been made prior to the announcement. Prince René, accompanied by his brothers, had arrived the day before to meet with Princess Margrethe’s family. The engagement was celebrated at a birthday reception and luncheon for the Danish Crown Prince, where the rest of the family had the opportunity to meet the groom-to-be. Various private dinners were hosted by Prince Waldemar and the Queen Dowager, providing further opportunities for the families to bond and celebrate the upcoming union.
Pre-wedding events continued in the days leading up to the wedding, following the tradition of Royal weddings of that era. Guests arrived, and festivities commenced, including a grand dinner and ball hosted by Prince Waldemar at Bernsdorff Palace. The Royal guests, along with Princess Margrethe’s friends, enjoyed the enchanting evening adorned in elegant attire, captured in a photograph that immortalized the moment.
The photograph revealed a display of tiaras and jewelry, worn by the distinguished guests. Details regarding the specific events and their tiara usage were scarce due to the private nature of these occasions.
The wedding day arrived on June 9th, 1921, with preparations taking place at Bernsdorff Palace. The exterior was decorated with greenery, Danish flags, and the initials of the couple, creating a picturesque scene. Inside the church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, invited guests, including representatives from official authorities, courtiers, and members of the Danish Catholic community, filled the pews. The church itself was adorned with a tasteful and impactful decoration scheme, featuring palms, ivy, rhododendrons, and hydrangeas.
Floral crosses representing both the Danish and French flags adorned the altar.
The Royal guests arrived at the church and were received by the Marshal of the Court, Chamberlain W. Rothe, and other dignitaries. The procession, led by the King and Queen, Prince René and his mother the Duchess of Parma, the Queen Dowager, and other Royal family members, made their way down the aisle to their designated seats. The anticipation grew as the moment approached for the bride and her father to make their entrance. Princess Margrethe, radiating joy, walked beside her father, her magnificent lace train held in place by a wreath of myrtle and orange flowers, accentuated by a delicate diamond tiara, a gift from the groom.
Following the church ceremony, the Royal family returned to Amalienborg, where a luncheon was hosted in their honor. The guests, who had received invitations, extended their congratulations to the newly weds and enjoyed a sumptuous meal accompanied by music and Danish and French melodies. The grandeur of the occasion was enhanced by the beautifully decorated tables adorned with pink roses and the sparkling crystal used for the dining experience.
Outside the palace, crowds of people had gathered, eagerly awaiting a glimpse of the newly weds. Princess Margrethe and Prince René made a balcony appearance, waving to the enthusiastic crowd, before returning inside to continue the luncheon. The celebrations concluded with the departure of the couple, bidding farewell to their family members, and embarking on their journey together. As they left, well-wishers showered them with rice and flowers, adding to the joyful atmosphere.
The wedding of Princess Margrethe and Prince René was a remarkable event that captured the imagination of the public. It defied expectations and highlighted the union of two individuals from different backgrounds and faiths. The day was filled with love, joy, and a sense of unity, as the Royal families and their guests came together to celebrate this extraordinary marriage.
more about the wedding gift and royal jewels of the bride:
Der weltweit einzigartige Bernsteinkronleuchter, der im Schlossmuseum Oranienburg ausgestellt wird
Dieser atemberaubende Kronleuchter stammt aus Königsberg und wurde um 1650 hergestellt. Er besteht aus feinstem Bernstein und besitzt zwölf Kerzen, die ein warmes und magisches Licht erzeugen. Weltweit gibt es nur zwei weitere Kronleuchter dieser Art, und sie werden beide im Schloss Rosenborg in Kopenhagen aufbewahrt. Der Kronleuchter der SPSG ist jedoch das einzige Exemplar, dessen Arme vollständig aus dem kostbaren Bernstein gefertigt sind.
Ursprünglich gehörte der Kronleuchter zur Sammlung von Baron Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818–1874) und wurde 1977 von der West-Berliner Schlösserverwaltung bei einer Auktion bei Sotheby’s erworben. Um ihn in seinen heutigen Glanz zurückzuversetzen, wurden umfangreiche Restaurierungsmaßnahmen durchgeführt. Von 1983 bis 2001 hing der Kronleuchter im Schloss Charlottenburg, bevor er in den Depots der SPSG aufbewahrt wurde, bis er nun endlich im Schlossmuseum Oranienburg seinen verdienten Platz gefunden hat.
Der Bernsteinkronleuchter ist ein beeindruckendes Zeugnis der Bernsteintradition des Hauses Brandenburg-Preußen. In der Frühen Neuzeit wurden viele Kunstobjekte aus diesem seltenen Material gesammelt und verschenkt. Berühmt ist dabei das Bernsteinzimmer, das König Friedrich Wilhelm I. von Preußen (1688-1740) Zar Peter „dem Großen“ von Russland (1672-1725) überreichte. Auch Kronleuchter aus Bernstein waren hochgeschätzte Kunstwerke und wurden als diplomatische Geschenke überreicht.
Der Kronleuchter im Schlossmuseum Oranienburg wurde vom flämischen Messingkronleuchter des 17. Jahrhunderts inspiriert. Er besteht aus einer zentralen Eisenstange mit verschiedenen Segmenten, in die geschwungene Arme und Verzierungen eingefügt sind. Das Highlight ist eine heraldische Adlerfigur als Krönung. Beim Bernsteinkronleuchter wurden dieselben Elemente verwendet: Die Schaftelemente, die Mittelkugel und die große Abschlusskugel sind alle aus gebogenen Bernsteinplättchen gefertigt. Die Oberflächen sind kunstvoll verziert mit Reliefs von Ranken, Blättern, Früchten und Vögeln. Die Arme des Kronleuchters sind tierähnlich gestaltet und mit gravierten Schuppen verziert. Sie sind durch stilisierte Weinreben und transparenten Bernstein verbunden, auf dem Imperatoren-Köpfe, Halbfiguren, Vögel und Früchte prachtvoll dargestellt sind.
Die Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg (SPSG) hat beschlossen, dieses kostbare Kunstwerk der Öffentlichkeit dauerhaft zugänglich zu machen.