Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jewelry Fit for a Duchess

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor have fascinated me for years. Was theirs a love story? A tragedy? Giving my thoughts on that would be a very long post in itself - and one I'm not sure too many of you would be interested in!

Regardless, the Duke showered his lady-love with jewels, starting when he was the Prince of Wales, continuing on when he was King Edward VIII, and then during their more than 30 year-long marriage as Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Feast your eyes on a few examples.

This diamond and emerald bracelet is circa 1935.

The Duchess's engagement ring with a 19.77 carat emerald. The band was engraved "We are now ours" and the date October 27, 1936 - the day of her divorce hearing. "WE" was their way of describing their union - taking the first letter from both their first names.

They were married in France on June 3, 1937. This pearl necklace and earrings set were a wedding present sent by the Duke's mother, Queen Mary. The Duchess and the Queen never met. The Duke bought the pearl pendant later, which the Duchess usually wore attached to the necklace.

In 1940, the Duke had Cartier create this flamingo brooch.

This 206.82 carat sapphire pendent is another Cartier creation requested by the Duke in 1951.
The Duke died in 1972, the Duchess in 1986. They are buried side by side at Frogmore, in the grounds of Windsor Castle. As stipulated in her will, all her jewelry was sold at auction with the proceeds going to a French hospital.


  1. Elspeth - What lovely jewels!! It is a really interesting question whether this relationship was or wasn't a tragedy...Hmm.... you've got me thinking! It's certainly one of the most fascinating relationships in royal history. Thanks for reminding me of it.

  2. Margot; They do take your breath away, don't they? The size of the stones makes my head whirl.

    Karen; I think because they live a lifestyle most of us can only see in pictures and they're a through line of history.

  3. You make this time period come back to life. Those jewels are amazing. I especially love the flamingo. And the size of that sapphire! OMG!!

  4. I was wondering where my emerald had gotten off to! Those Windsors! :)

    Actually, I've always been interested in their story, too...

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  5. Carol; It is incredible isn't it?

    Elizabeth; It's only fair - that's my saphirre!

    Jemi; Uh, yeah.

  6. What gorgeous jewellery.
    And the Royal Family never failed to fascinate because they were so different from us- we didn't aspire to be like them, but loved looking at them.
    Which probably is why we don't care too much for what the Royal Family has become - they are just like you and me!

    ~ Rayna

  7. Beautiful jewellery. I especially love the sapphire.


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