Sunday, March 31, 2013

Requests Sunday: Crown Princess Margaret's Egyptian Necklace

I missed the last two Requests Sunday (sorry for that) so, as promised, today we have three entries. The first article is dedicated to Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden's Egyptian Necklace - a piece that has been requested several times since Princess Lilian's death on 10 March.
Crown Princess Margaret's Egyptian Necklace
This interesting an unusual necklace is adorned with rubies, emeralds, diamonds and a sapphire, and decorated with scarabs. It was made by Jeweller Koch of Frankfurt in 1905. 

The necklace was a wedding gift to Margaret of Connaught from King Gustaf V of Sweden and Victoria of Baden on the occasion of Margaret’s marriage to their son, Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf (future Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden).
Margaret of Connaught (left), and Margaret with Gustaf Adolf (right)
The latter was most probably a subtle reminder of the couple’s first meeting. Princess Margaret, along with her parents and younger sister Patricia, was on an extended trip. The aim of the trip was simple: find suitable husbands for the Connaught sisters among the reigning Monarchies. As Margaret and Patricia were among the most eligible and beautiful Princesses of Europe, that didn't really present much of a problem. Moreover, while their parents wanted illustrious matches for their daughters, they made it clear loveless marriages were out of question. 

At some point of the trip, the Connaught family found itself in Cairo, Egypt, where Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden was at the time as well. A meeting was arranged and as soon as Margaret and Gustaf Adolf met, they fell in love at first sight. Prince Gustaf swiftly proposed at a dinner at the British Consulate in Egypt just days later. Their union was a happy and harmonious but unfortunately not a particularly long one; Crown Princess Margareta died as a result of an infection  pregnant with her sixth child. She was greatly mourned in Sweden; as Swedish Prime Minister said, Stockholm Palace’s ray of sun had gone out. 
Princess Lilian wearing the Egyptian Necklace to Nobel Gala Dinners
The necklace was inherited by Gustaf and Margaret’s third son, Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland. It was often worn by his long-time companion and eventual wife, Lillian May Davies. It became something of a trademark piece of hers; the Duchess would often wear it to Nobel galas and other evening occasions. 

The much loved Princess Lilian tragically passed away on 10 March 2013. It isn't known what will become to her jewellery collections but it is expected that most pieces of royal provenance will be returned to the Royal Collection.

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