Queen Alexandra’s Dagmar Necklace

Queen Alexandra wearing the full Dagmar necklace as a stomacher (public domain)

Queen Alexandra’s Dagmar Necklace was commissioned by King Frederick VII of Denmark for the daughter of his future successor, Princess Alexandra, for her marriage to the then Prince of Wales in 1863.

King Frederick furnished the replica of the Dagmar Cross from the 11th or 12th century with a splinter of wood, supposedly a fragment of the True Cross, with a piece of silk from the grave of King Canute.

Upon the necklace’s arrival in London, it was altered by the jeweller Garrard. The two larger pendant pearls, the central pearl and the diamond cluster, as well as the Dagmar Cross, were made detachable. This allowed Princess Alexandra to wear parts of the necklace separately.

She wore the full piece on at least two occasions when she was dressed as Mary, Queen of Scots, for the Waverley Ball in 1871 and for the coronation in 1902. Queen Alexandra bequeathed the necklace as an heirloom of the Crown on the condition that it wouldn’t be altered.

Queen Elizabeth II has worn it with the cross and the two larger pearl pendants detached.1

  1. The Queen’s Diamonds by Hugh Roberts p.98

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