Princess Katherine’s Emerald Earrings | The Royal Watcher

Today marks the 110th Anniversary of the Birth of Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark, who was born on this day in 1913! The younger sister of three Kings and two Queens, who was the last surviving great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Katherine did not have the magnificent jewellery collection of her siblings, with her jewels included these Emerald and Diamond Earrings!

Queen Sophie’s Diamond Circle Tiara | Pearl Earrings | Emerald Earrings

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But first, lets learn about Princess Katherine! The youngest daughter of King Constantine of Greece and Princess Sophia of Prussia, Princess Kathrine was the sister of King George II of Greece, Queen Helen of Romania, King Alexander of Greece, King Paul of Greece and Princess Irene, Duchess of Aosta (one-time Queen of Croatia), the cousin of the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Margarita, Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Princess Cecile, Grand Duchess of Hesse, Princess Theodora, Margravine of Baden, Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, Princess Paul of Yugoslavia, Princess Sophie of Greece and Hanover, Princess Eugenie of Greece, and Prince Michael of Greece, and the aunt of Queen Sofia of Spain, King Constantine II of Greece, King Michael of Romania, Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia, and the Duke of Aosta. Born just a few weeks after the assassination of her grandfather, King George I, Princess Kathrine’s godparents were Queen Olga of Greece (grandmother), Queen Alexandra (great-aunt), King George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II (uncle), the Greek Navy and the Greek Army. Her childhood was spent in a chaotic period of the First World War, including when she was carried by Queen Sophie when the Tatoi Palace was set on fire, before the Royal Family went into exile in 1917, when her brother, King Alexander, was made a puppet King under Allied pressure, due to the Crown Prince (and the King and Queen’s) position as germanophiles. King Constantine was restored after King Alexander’s death in 1920, but abdicated two years later, dying the following year, with the family settling in Italy after the Monarchy was abolished in 1924, settling at the Villa Sparta in Florence, home of her sister, Queen Helen of Romania.

Princess Katherine was educated at a boarding school at Broadstairs and then North Foreland Lodge in England, being a bridesmaid at the Wedding of Prince George, Duke of Kent and her cousin, Princess Marina of Greece, in 1934. Princess Katherine returned to Greece with her brother King George II following the restoration of the monarchy in 1935, joining the Greek Red Cross when the Second World War broke out, though the Greek Royal Family were forced to flee when Greek was invaded by the Axis in 1941, following which Princess Katherine worked as a nurse at a hospital in Cape Town, before retiring to England in 1946, meeting Major Richard Campbell Brandram MC, an officer in the British Royal Artillery, on board the Cunard liner RMS Ascania. The Greek Royal Family returned to Athens in 1946, with Princess Katherine’s engagement announced the following February. The Wedding to Major Richard Brandram at the Royal Palace of Athens took place in April, as originally scheduled after the sudden death of her brother, King George II

The couple settled in the United Kingdom, where King George VI granted her the rank and title of a duke’s daughter, so she was styled as Lady Katherine Brandram. They had one son, Richard Brandram, and remained happily married until his death in 1994. Princess Katherine was the last surviving great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria at the time of her death in 2007, remaining close to the Greek and British Royal Families.

A pair of square emeralds ringed by diamonds and suspended from a row of diamonds, these earrings are likely royal heirlooms originating from her mother, Queen Sophia of Greece. 

The Emerald Earrings began to be worn by Princess Katherine in the 1930s, most notably for a Ball in London with her sisters; Queen Helen of Romania and Princess Irene, Duchess of Aosta,  and cousin, Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia, in 1934 and a series of official portraits. 

Later, after her wedding to Major Richard Brandram in 1947, just weeks after the death of her brother, King George II. Princess Katherine wore the Emerald Earrings for her brother, King Paul’s 60th Birthday Banquet at the Royal Palace of Athens in 1961 and also the Greek Monarchy Centenary Gala in 1963.

Like her Pearl Earrings, the Emerald Earrings have remained with the family since Princess Katherine’s death in 2007, being worn by her granddaughter, Alexia Hicks, for the Wedding of her sister , Sophie Brandram, in 2017. There is no doubt we will continue to see these heirlooms worn for years to come!

Queen Sophie’s Diamond Circle Tiara | Pearl Earrings | Emerald Earrings


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