Princess Mary’s jewellery collection blends Scandinavian sophistication with old-school European opulence

By Will Lennox

Photo: AFP

Blending the contemporary with the traditional, Princess Mary’s jewellery collection runs the full spectrum of modern-day royalty

Mary Donaldson, better known now as Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, has had quite the royal transformation. From humble beginnings on the Apple Isle in Tasmania, to the royal court in Copenhagen, soon to be the first Australian-born queen, has flourished in her new life in the public eye since marrying Crown Prince Frederik in 2004. Embracing a role that champions social justice and equality in Denmark and beyond.


And while her work in the advocacy space deserves the spotlight, of course, it’s impossible to ignore the new jewellery box Mary has had access to since becoming a royal two decades ago. The Danish Royal Family is one of the oldest in the world, and have amassed a dazzling collection of jewellery in their centuries on the throne. From gifts, to elaborate custom pieces, the Danish crown jewels combine Scandinavian sophistication with intricate craftsmanship. Tiaras, necklaces, rings, and more, historical significance and priceless value has imbued each and every piece with deep significance.

Princess Mary has been spotted in no shortage of elegant pieces in her myriad royal engagements. With a debonair polish that she's picked up amongst Europe’s most tasteful culture in Denmark, Mary has a keen eye for great jewellery and knows exactly how to wear it.

Naturally, she has her favourites, the Danish Ruby Parure is one, an heirloom set that has been with the Danish royal family since the mid 19th Century, and Mary is now the sole wearer. Other pieces have come as gifts from her mother-in-law, Queen Margrethe, and include plenty of antique diamonds and precious stones. And of course, pearls. Princess Mary has a particular affinity for pearls of all kinds.

Below, we take a look at all the jewellery Princess Mary has borrowed or been gifted since joining the royal family.


Photo: AFP

A view of the hair clips worn at an official occasion in 2013. . Photo: Getty

Danish Ruby Parure

Easily Princess Mary’s most spectacular set of jewellery, the ornate Danish Ruby Parure consists of a dazzling tiara, necklace, earrings, numerous brooches, bracelets, a ring, and even hair clips. Originally made for the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte for the then-king and queen of Sweden, the set fell into Danish hands in the 19th Century when the Swedish royal family joined the Danish one through marriage.


Photo: AFP

Photo: Getty

Wedding tiara

Another wedding-day gift from her in-laws, Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik, Princess Mary’s wedding tiara was actually worn after she’d already had a chance to try the Danish Ruby Parure set. Little is known about the wedding tiara, save for that it was a gift, and features diamonds shaped in hearts and fleur-de-lis configurations. It can also be worn as a necklace when removed from its frame.


Photo: Getty

The Midnight Tiara

It’s not just heirlooms and antiques that make up the Danish royal jewels, Princess Mary is very fond of this contemporary tiara from the Ole Lynggaard workshop. Crafted specifically for the future queen in 2009, the piece doesn’t actually belong to Princess Mary, but is instead loaned exclusively to her. It was made and inspired by Australia, with the small jewelled berries and leaves inspired by our native Golden Wattle.


Photo: Getty

The Danish Edwardian tiara, worn as a necklace. Photo: Getty

The Danish Edwardian tiara

Not all of Princess Mary's tiaras are gifts from her family, of course. To mark her 50th birthday, Mary was seen wearing this dazzling Edwardian tiara that she reportedly purchased herself at an auction, along with matching earrings. The glittering piece features diamonds, rubies and spinels and is set in both gold and silver. Like her other tiaras, it can be taken off its frame and worn as a necklace.


Photo: WireImage

Turquoise jewellery set

Princess Mary’s mother-in-law Queen Margarethe has been incredibly generous with her gifts since Mary joined the royal family. One such gift was given from the Queen’s antique royal jewellery collection. A set of earrings and brooch, both featuring vivid turquoise stones with diamond detailing. The jewellery was reportedly given to Princess Mary as a gift for her 50th birthday in 2022.


Photo: AP Photo

The ring, seen here, has had two extra diamonds added. Photo: Getty

Engagement ring

The (first) engagement ring Prince Frederik gave Princess Mary consisted of a white gold ring with a central emerald-cut diamond, flanked by two emerald-cut rubies. The decision to use red and white precious stones was to represent the colours of the Danish flag. The ring has since been updated to include two diamond baguettes to represent the couple’s four children.


Photo: Getty

Order of the Elephant collar

In Denmark, the Order of the Elephant is an centuries-old order of chivalry, and is Denmark’s highest-ranking offical honour. Bestowing the honour grants the recipient the right to wear a chain link collar, which Princess Mary has done at countless royal engagements, most often at New Years events. The collar features a small elephant with a castle on its back, representing the well-known “elephant and castle” motif that signifies strength in European countries.


Photo: AP Photo

Double-strand pearl necklace

Princess Mary’s engagement heralded plenty of gifts from far and wide. Another gift came from Prince Henrik, her new father-in-law. Comprised of contrasting freshwater pearls and Tahitian pearls, held together by a sapphire clasp, the stunning necklace has been worn on several occasions by Princess Mary, and plays to her love of pearls.


Photo: Getty

Diamond brooch

This brooch was another wedding day gift from Prince Henrik, originally belonging to Prince Henrik’s mother, it features six diamond-laden petals that surround a large central diamond. Today, the small but significant brooch is worn for memorials, most recently at the funeral of Prince Henrik.


Photo: Getty

Connaught sapphire brooch

Queen Margrethe presented the jewelled brooch to Mary to mark the birth of her first son Prince Christian, in October 2005. Originally, this brooch was a wedding gift to a Prussian princess in the 1800s, before reaching the Danish royal family several generations later.


Photo: Getty

Aquamarine jewellery set

Before even marrying Prince Frederik, Mary was the recipient of an array of aquamarine-set jewels. The set includes a ring, a pair of drop cocktail earrings, a grander pair of girandoles and a centrepiece choker necklace.

Originally published on