Savoy Foundation Hosts 17th Annual 2021 Savoy History Presentation on Jewelry in the Royal Courts of Europe with H.R.H. Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia

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The Savoy Foundation’s 17th Annual Savoy History Series on November 4, 2021 was a captivating presentation by HRH Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia about the jewels worn by Prince Dimitri’s ancestors and his own designs, inspired by his family’s unparalleled jewelry as illustrated in his recently published book “Once Upon a Diamond: A Family Tradition of Royal Jewels” (Rizzoli). The presentation’s main title was: “The Power of Gems Across European Royal Courts and The Fabled Jewels of the Savoy Queens of Italy: The Fascinating Reminiscences of H.R.H. Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia and The Inspiration of Ancestral Gems on Jewels of His Own Design.”

©2021JuanPatinoPhotography

2021 Savoy History Series Sponsored by The American Foundation of Savoy Orders (Savoy Foundation)

Prince Dimitri, a historical witness with a unique heritage as a descendent of the great royal and imperial houses of Europe, underscores the symbolic, intertwining relationship between royal jewels, the majesty of monarchy, autocratic power and aesthetics.

On November 4, 2021, The American Foundation of Savoy Orders (Savoy Foundation) held its 17th Annual Savoy History Series Presentation, Reception and Dinner. The event was held at the Knickerbocker Club in New York City and benefited the educational programs of the Foundation. The Chairman of the Savoy History Series, John Laurent J. Gelati, welcomed H.R.H. Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, the presenter, and moderator Prof. Caroline Weber.

The presentation by Prince Dimitri explored the magnitude and significance of the collection of jewels worn by Prince Dimitri’s ancestors, and the ones he has designed himself, inspired by his family’s unparalleled jewelry as illustrated in his recently published book “Once Upon a Diamond: A Family Tradition of Royal Jewels (Rizzoli).” The presentation’s main title was: “The Power of Gems Across European Royal Courts and The Fabled Jewels of the Savoy Queens of Italy: Prince Dimitri’s talk was in the form of an informal interview moderated by Caroline Weber, who is an author, fashion historian and a scholar of French literature, history, and culture.

This year’s 2021 presentation was more meaningful since the Savoy History Series missed gatherings in 2019 and 2020. The standing room only crowd experienced one of the liveliest and most exciting events in the history of the Savoy History Series. The talk was filmed for future presentation by subscription on the Savoy Foundation’s YouTube channel to reach a wider audience.

The attendees were treated to fascinating tales of jewels worn by many of Prince Dimitri’s royal relatives — including his mother, Princess Maria Pia of Savoy. A segment focused on the jewelry collection of the three Savoy Queens of Italy - Margherita, Elena and Marie-José; another segment was on the Russian Imperial jewels of Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia and of Empress Carlotta of Mexico. Prince Dimitri provided personal anecdotes about the gems and the “haute joaillerie” collected and commissioned during their reigns, as well as their provenance. Following the talk, Prince Dimitri graciously personally autographed his book for each guest.

The Savoy Foundation is grateful to the following supporters of the Savoy History Series event: Grand Patrons: Ms. Fatima Alsarhan, Ms. Vivan Cardia, Mr. Bruce Horten, Mr. John Laurent J. Gelati, Mr. and Mrs. Marco Grassi, Mr. Daniel J. McClory, Carl J. Morelli, Esq., Ms. Valerie Ohrstrom and Mrs. Maria Pellecchi; Patrons: Mr. Philip Norkeliunas, Mrs. Larissa Van Duser, and Dr. Maria T. Zoratti; Sponsors: Mr. Anthony J. Cipriano, Mme. Barbara de Portago, Dr. Regnier Brandon Fradd, Ms. Vanessa Noel, Mr. Chistopher Page, Ms. Caroline St. George, Ms. Stephanie Stokes, Ms. Ann Van Ness, Mr. Christopher English Walling and Ms. Carole Bellidora Westfall.

In a joint comment as to the success of the lecture, the seventeenth in the Savoy History Series, Carl J. Morelli, Chairman of the Board and Joseph Sciame, President of the American Foundation of Savoy Orders, stated: “The overall event was stellar in content, presentation and ease with which Prince Dimitri shared facts and recollections of history unknown to the average person and attendee. Our congratulations to him and to the Event Chairman John Laurent Gelati for his oversight and to our own Savoy Foundation Executive Director Larissa Van Duser for the splendid coordination of the presentation.”

ABOUT THE AMERICAN FOUNDATION AND THE AMERICAN DELEGATION OF SAVOY ORDERS
Headquartered in New York City, the American Delegation of Savoy Orders, which includes all 50 of the United States of America, is among the 35 delegations of the Savoy Orders located throughout Europe, the Americas and Japan. The Dynastic Orders of the Royal House of Savoy are among the oldest orders of chivalry in the world. Their origins and principles, traditions and humanitarian goals date back a thousand years, like those of the Royal House of Savoy, which has the hereditary right to confer them.

H. R. H. Prince Victor Emmanuel of Savoy, son of His Late Majesty Umberto II, King of Italy, is head of the House of Savoy and Grand Master of the Savoy Orders. His son H. R. H. Prince Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy is head of the Council of the Savoy Dynastic Orders. Cav. di Gr. Cr. Dott. Johannes Niederhauser is the Grand Chancellor of the Savoy Orders. Cav. di Gr. Cr. Dott. Sergio Pellecchi serves as the coordinator for the Savoy Delegations in the Americas.

The American Foundation of Savoy Orders, Incorporated a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, has supported local, national, and international charities focusing on medical, educational, and humanitarian fields, including philanthropy for U.S. veterans, hospitals and relief agencies for children, the poor, sick and elderly. The Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organization in Roster Consultative Statues with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. In 2019, the Savoy Foundation launched a new charitable initiative - Chivalry for Children’s Causes - a multi-year program assisting institutions and charitable organizations that provide aid to children and families in need.

The Savoy Foundation sponsors the Savoy History Series, an annual presentation given by distinguished scholars and masters in their respective fields and sometimes by members of the Italian Royal Family on a topic related to the House of Savoy, and the history of Italy, Italian literature, history, art, music, science and impact on other countries. A wide array of extraordinary lectures and dynamic conversations featuring topics in Italian history and highlights from current exhibitions, film discussion and musical performances related to Italy and the Savoy dynasty provide interesting insights from a unique perspective. Savoy History Series is a program of the Savoy Foundation

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