Letizia, the guardian of the 'Ena' jewelery box

It is said that 'Ena', as Victoria Eugenia was affectionately nicknamed in Buckingham, was the favorite granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England. She also felt such a fascination for jewelry that she did not understand a world without diamonds and pearls. Alfonso XIII fell in love with her at the British court, there he had gone to arrange marriage with one of her cousins. It is said that on the day of her wedding with the King in Spain -on May 31, 1906, with an attack included- the tradition of the wedding cake began in our country. In 1931, the Queen went into exile with her jeweler ahead of her.

Until her death in 1969, she was forced to pawn or sell some of her most valuable pieces, but she reserved many others with the purpose of becoming the jewels of the Spanish Crown.

Excerpt from Victoria Eugenia's will:

«The jewels that I received in usufruct from King Alfonso XIII and from the Infanta Isabel herself, which are: a diadem of diamonds with three fleurs-de-lys, the largest chaton necklace, the necklace with thirty-seven large pearls, a brooch of diamonds from which hangs a pear-shaped pearl called La Peregrina, a pair of earrings with a thick diamond and diamonds around it, two bracelets with the same diamonds, four strands of large pearls, a brooch with a large pale gray pearl surrounded by diamonds and from which hangs a pear-shaped pearl, all of them, I would like, if possible, to be awarded to my son Don Juan, begging him to transmit them to my grandson Don Juan Carlos. The rest of my jewelry, to be shared between my two daughters.»

Excerpt from Victoria Eugenia's will:

«The jewels that I received in usufruct from King Alfonso XIII and from the Infanta Isabel herself, which are: a diadem of diamonds with three fleurs-de-lys, the largest chaton necklace, the necklace with thirty-seven large pearls, a brooch of diamonds from which hangs a pear-shaped pearl called La Peregrina, a pair of earrings with a thick diamond and diamonds around it, two bracelets with the same diamonds, four strands of large pearls, a brooch with a large pale gray pearl surrounded by diamonds and from which hangs a pear-shaped pearl, all of them, I would like, if possible, to be awarded to my son Don Juan, begging him to transmit them to my grandson Don Juan Carlos. The rest of my jewelry, to be shared between my two daughters.»

Excerpt from Victoria Eugenia's will:

«The jewels that I received in usufruct from King Alfonso XIII and from the Infanta Isabel herself, which are: a diadem of diamonds with three fleurs-de-lys, the largest chaton necklace, the necklace with thirty-seven large pearls, a brooch of diamonds from which hangs a pear-shaped pearl called La Peregrina, a pair of earrings with a thick diamond and diamonds around it, two bracelets with the same diamonds, four strands of large pearls, a brooch with a large pale gray pearl surrounded by diamonds and from which hangs a pear-shaped pearl, all of them, I would like, if possible, to be awarded to my son Don Juan, begging him to transmit them to my grandson Don Juan Carlos. The rest of my jewelry, to be shared between my two daughters.»

Excerpt from Victoria Eugenia's will:

«The jewels that I received in usufruct from King Alfonso XIII and from the Infanta Isabel herself, which are: a diadem of diamonds with three fleurs-de-lys, the largest chaton necklace, the necklace with thirty-seven large pearls, a brooch of diamonds from which hangs a pear-shaped pearl called La Peregrina, a pair of earrings with a thick diamond and diamonds around it, two bracelets with the same diamonds, four strands of large pearls, a brooch with a large pale gray pearl surrounded by diamonds and from which hangs a pear-shaped pearl, all of them, I would like, if possible, to be awarded to my son Don Juan, begging him to transmit them to my grandson Don Juan Carlos. The rest of my jewelry, to be shared between my two daughters.»

Thus, in her will, she wrote that a collection of necklaces, bracelets, brooches and tiaras would be part of the "passing jewels", pieces that only queens could wear. And so it was that in June 2014, the day that Felipe VI was proclaimed King, Doña Letizia received the legacy of Victoria Eugenia from Queen Sofía. Letizia, who
turns 50 today, is now the usufructuary of 'Ena's' jewelery box. And she has made it shine, a lot of shine, in these last eight years, despite the fact that in the first year and a half of her reign she resisted using them.

«... a diadem of diamonds

with three lily flowers...»

«... a diadem of diamonds

with three lily flowers...»

«... a diadem of diamonds

with three lily flowers...»

«... a diadem of diamonds

with three lily flowers...»

It becomes the great crown that the Spanish monarchy lacks. It is the most representative piece of the Bourbon jeweler. Signed by the Ansorena house, it was a gift from Alfonso XIII to her fiancée at the time and it was the tiara that Victoria Eugenia wore for her wedding in 1906. Queen Sofía reserved it for great occasions; Doña Letizia, too. He "premiered" it in February 2017, at the dinner in honor of the Argentine president, Mauricio Macri, and his wife, Juliana Awada, at the Royal Palace. And he has also worn it on several of his state trips: Japan, the United Kingdom, Sweden...

"...the largest chaton necklace..."

"...the largest chaton necklace..."

"...the largest chaton necklace..."

"...the largest chaton necklace..."

Doña Letizia has worn it on a couple of occasions. Always in short version. It is a totally versatile piece. The one that María de las Mercedes received from his mother-in-law reached almost to the knee. The original was given by Alfonso XIII to Queen Victoria Eugenia also on the occasion of her wedding. And the King periodically gave his wife new chatons that included her necklace.

"...the necklace with 37 large pearls..."

"...the necklace with 37 large pearls..."

"...the necklace with 37 large pearls..."

"...the necklace with 37 large pearls..."

It was the first piece of the "passing jewels" that Doña Letizia used. She wore it in 2015, at the Princess of Asturias Awards ceremony. Victoria Eugenia inherited this necklace, which is considered the most valuable jewel in the Palace, from her mother-in-law, María Cristina. Alfonso XII had not compared it to her, but to her first wife, Queen Mercedes. The original had 41 pearls. Then it was lightened and the current one is 37.

"...a diamond brooch from which hangs a pear-shaped pearl called 'La Peregrina'..."

"...a diamond brooch from which hangs a pear-shaped pearl called 'La Peregrina'..."

"...a diamond brooch from which hangs a pear-shaped pearl called 'La Peregrina'..."

"...a diamond brooch from which hangs a pear-shaped pearl called 'La Peregrina'..."

Everything has been said and written about this piece. For some she is the authentic 'pilgrim', for others, no; the real one is the one that was owned by Liz Taylor. In any case, although the pear-shaped pearl is still in the royal jewelry box, the brooch from which it hung, in the form of a bow, which María de las Mercedes gave to her granddaughter Simoneta Gómez de Acebo for the her wedding Queen Letizia has not used it yet; On the other hand, Queen Sofía, yes, who wore it, for example, for the wedding of the Infanta Elena in Seville.

«...a pair of earrings

with a thick rhinestone and rhinestones around»

«...a pair of earrings

with a thick rhinestone and rhinestones around»

«...a pair of earrings

with a thick rhinestone and rhinestones around»

«...a pair of earrings

with a thick rhinestone and rhinestones around»

Doña Letizia turns to them frequently for big occasions. They are known as chaton earrings. And, despite being an exclusive jewel of the queens of Spain, it was the one worn by the Infanta Cristina on her wedding day with Iñaki Urdangarin.

"...two equally brilliant bracelets..."

"...two equally brilliant bracelets..."

"...two equally brilliant bracelets..."

"...two equally brilliant bracelets..."

Originally they were a small crown, from the firm Cartier, which Queen Victoria Eugenia had adapted into two identical bracelets, called the twins. Queen Letizia has used them in various ways: one on each wrist, both together or just one.

"...four strands of large pearls..."

"...four strands of large pearls..."

"...four strands of large pearls..."

"...four strands of large pearls..."

Queen Victoria Eugenia used to assiduously put on all four threads at the same time. Doña Letizia has not yet worn the entire set, although it is suspected that one of the necklaces was placed in October 2018, on the occasion of the official visit to Spain of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

"...a brooch with a large pale gray pearl surrounded by diamonds and from which hangs a pear-shaped pearl..."

"...a brooch with a large pale gray pearl surrounded by diamonds and from which hangs a pear-shaped pearl..."

"...a brooch with a large pale gray pearl surrounded by diamonds and from which hangs a pear-shaped pearl..."

"...a brooch with a large pale gray pearl surrounded by diamonds and from which hangs a pear-shaped pearl..."

The pearl that hangs from the brooch is sometimes confused with 'La Peregrina', despite the fact that its size and color are different. She 'premiered' it Letizia at the 2019 Military Easter. This past January, in the same act, she starred in a curious anecdote, since she came off the brooch in the parade ground.

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