05 August 2016

Royal Jewels of the Day: The Princess Royal's Diamond and Pearl Floral Brooch and Grima Earrings

The Princess Royal is a member of the IOC, president of the British Olympic Association, and a former Olympian herself, so she's the British royal family's rep at the Rio Olympics. Her greatest challenge in Rio so far? Standing next to struggling Team GB flag bearer Andy Murray, it seems.

She's a gem, so let's talk about some of her gems. (YES, I can and will turn anything and everything back to the jewels. Look for my upcoming feature, Tiaras That Remind Me of the Olympic Rings.)

Wearing her Diamond and Pearl Floral Brooch and Grima Earrings, 2005
Once upon a time, a royal lady who was asked to christen a ship could count on receiving a nice jeweled bonus for her troubles. Princess Anne really cleaned up on that front in the 1960s and 1970s, receiving her lovely diamond Festoon Tiara as well as a handful of other jewels that have grown to be favorites over the years. Two of those jewels can be seen in the photo above.

When she christened the ship Esso Northumbria for the Esso Petroleum Company at the Swan Hunter Shipyard in 1969, Princess Anne received a pair of earrings with central pearls surrounded by gold and diamonds. They were the work of jeweler Andrew Grima, an artist who counted several members of the royal family as fans. The Queen still wears her Grima Ruby Brooch, which happens to be on display at the Palace of Holyroodhouse with the Fashioning a Reign exhibition at the moment.

Earrings worn with the pendants, 1969
The earrings have detachable pendants, as you can see in the above photo, but today we see the Princess Royal using the stud portion only, and she does so frequently. (Respect the glory of that hair, kids. Take your time.)

Sometimes she combines the Grima earrings with a diamond brooch, a spray with a flower of diamond petals and a pearl center. This brooch was also a gift from that 1969 ship christening, given by Swan Hunter. The floral brooch is more traditional in style, but the pieces are pulled together by their shared yellow gold setting. Something a little modern, something a little classic, and - combined with the many other pearls and gold jewels in her collection - two pieces to wear again and again. Like I said, she CLEANED. UP.