For today's post something very special was prepared. The blog has been granted unprecedented access by virtue of Princess Marie-Elizabeth of Swann to the entire jewellery collection of the House of Swann. This makes for a very interesting post due to the fact that much of the jewellery is never worn in public because our current Duke of Swann remains a bachelor. His sister the Princess Marie-Elizabeth has her own jewellery and limited access to the family jewels so at least we regularly get to see some pieces of this great collection. Today however the doors to the vault are thrown open to us for one day only.
Our hostess Princess Marie-Elizabeth. Here she is seen at the 2011 Christmas Ball wearing her own gold and diamond jewellery. She is devoted to her brother the Duke of Swann and her country but does tend to avoid the glitzy public events unless protocol demands. This leaves the viewing public bereft of the extravagant display of the major parts of the Swann Jewellery Collection.
The Princess was given permission to present the Swann Collection on this blog in order to document and display its magnificence for posterity. Protocol denies the Princess wearing some of the pieces that are reserved for the wife of the ruling Duke but she will don the other pieces as viewing them in display only detracts from the full effect.
First up we have the most important piece, The Crown of Swann. The Crown is the symbol of the monarchy in Swann and is only used at Coronations, Opening of Parliament, State Funerals and in State Portraits. It is made of platinum and set with diamonds, rubies and pearls.
This is the small State Diadem of the Duchess Consort. Because the current Duke remains unmarried this diadem has not been worn or used in any context, since his mother passed away during the 96 revolution.
The large collection of State Jewellery reserved for the use of the Duchess Consort only. This collection includes at left, the Swann Diamond Parure, the "Tear of the Swan" Diamond Necklace in the centre and the Swann State Sapphire Parure at right. There are also two brooches and a bracelet set out in this display that are also state property.
Next up we have the dowry of Princess Elizabeth of Scotney, the mother of the current Duke. Her family contributed the diamond tiara, necklace and earrings that form what is now known as the Scotney Dowry Parure.
The last Duchess Consort of Swann, Princess Elizabeth of Scotney wears her dowry jewels in this photo.
Princess Marie Elizabeth has only worn this once in public early in 2012 for the opening of the new Opera House in Swann. She did so with the special permission of her brother to tip the hat to her mother who initiated the project of the Opera House before her death.
Earlier on this blog we briefly discussed the Swann Ruby Kokoshnik. It forms part of a bigger set of rubies.
Here is the full parure as worn for this feature by Princess Marie-Elizabeth.
The Swann Collection includes the vast set of emeralds. The demi-parure of earrings and necklace. made from indigenous Syldavian emeralds was already part of the Swann Collection when Princess Elizabeth married the current Duke's father. They were originally a gift of friendship from the then King of Syldavia. For her first wedding anniversary, Princess Elizabeth's parents gave her a matching tiara and now the set is known as the Scot-Syldavian Emerald Parure.
Princess Marie-Elizabeth models the emeralds for this blog post.
This is the Swann Yellow Topaz Parure otherwise also known as the Sun Parure. The stones were a gift from the King of Scotney when the Principality of Swann was founded as an independent country. The large round topaz is meant to symbolise the "rising sun" and by extension a "new day".
The rubies, emeralds and topazes will never be worn by Princess Marie-Elizabeth in public as they are considered the property of the Duke of Swann and as such expected to be worn by his wife even though strict protocol does not forbid it like in the case of the State Jewellery.
Here Princess Marie-Elizabeth models the Princesses of Swann Tiara. The tiara's more humble size makes it appropriate for younger princesses and events of a less formal air. It is very popular as a "first tiara" and is as such the first worn by the younger members of the family. It has also served as a nuptial tiara on occasion. The earrings and necklace are set with very large and top quality diamonds. These were a gift from the Queen of Ophiri to the first Duke of Swann when the Principality was first established.
Other jewels in the collection include a smaller sapphire set and an aquamarine parure. These have been worn by the Princess Marie-Elizabeth on occasion.
The sapphires were worn to the celebration in honour of the Duke of Swann's fifteenth year on the throne in March 2012.
The Swann Aquamarine Parure was designed for the last Duchess. Here they are worn without the matching necklace to the State Banquet in honour of Princess Xenia of Wallachia in 2011.
The Swann Collection is obviously one of the most spectacular in the world and it is sad that it isn't used to its full capacity due to the lack of a Duchess Consort. This might change in future but at the very least, by the time Prince Dillon of Swann comes of age and marries our viewing pleasure might increase.