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The sparkling sapphire with a poignant history that marked the moment a future monarch came of age

A future king of Denmark has celebrated a milestone birthday with huge crowds cheering him and royalty from across Europe coming together in his honour. But amidst the festivities for the 18th birthday of Prince Christian of Denmark was one very special tribute and it was made by his proud mum.

Crown Princess Mary chose a touching piece of jewellery for the balcony appearance that marked the coming of age of her first born child, a young man who will grow up to reign in Denmark. The Crown Princess picked diamond, sapphire and pearl brooch which she wore on the day of Prince Christian’s christening, 21 January 2006.

The brooch has a very special meaning for Crown Princess Mary and for the Danish Royal Family. It was a gift from Queen Margrethe to her daughter-in-law and chosen for an important reason. As Queen Margrethe II recounted in a book on her jewels to coincide with her Golden Jubilee last year: “I think that I myself was so touched that my mother [Queen Ingrid] gave it to me…therefore I thought that the piece of jewellery should go to Prince Christian’s mother.”

The Crown Prince and Princess were living in the Chancellery at the time of Christian’s birth, and Queen Margrethe further felt that, because Queen Ingrid had once lived there, too, and that Crown Prince Frederik and his grandmother were so close, “It had to continue that way.”

The brooch also came into the Danish Royal Family through Queen Ingrid who was born a Princess of Sweden. She inherited it from her mother, Crown Princess Margaret, who died in 1920 when Ingrid was just ten years old. Queen Margrethe is named in honour of this grandmother she never knew.

The brooch is made up of a large sapphire surrounded by diamonds with pearls suspended from the main part of the jewel. Crown Princess Mary has worn the brooch at many important occasions in the past but this event was, for her, among the most significant of them all. A touching tribute from a mother watching her son begin a new chapter in his life.

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.