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The Napoleonic Heritage
By Bjarne Steen Jensen
European Royal History Journal © 2000

Queen Ingrid's rubies

In the jewelcase belonging to the Dowager Queen of
Denmark, Queen Ingrid, born a princess of Sweden,
there is a Parisian parure in rubies and diamonds
that once belonged to Queen Desiree of Sweden,
Queen Ingrid's ancestor. Not that Queen Ingrid
brought the rubies with her to Denmark. They arrived
with Louisa, consort of Frederic VIII, mother of
her father-in-law, King Christian X. Like Queen
Ingrid, Queen Louisa was born a princess of
Sweden. But the jewels have an interesting history.

In 1804 as Napoleon planned his coronation giving
his marshals great sums of money to buy modern
jewelry for their wives, he wanted the eyes of
the world riveted on Paris, again, as the center of
good taste; he wanted the royal houses of Europe
to become customers again of the Parisian jewelers.
In the years of revolution Paris did not play that
role and the coronation, therefore, was a promotion
of Parisian craftmanship.

One of Napoleon's marshals, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte,
married to a former fiancee of Napoleon, Desiree Clary
from Marseiles, bought the ruby garniture for his wife
who wore it for the coronation on the 2nd of December,
1804, in Notre Dame Cathedral.

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