20 December 2014

Saturday Sparkler: Princess Dagmar's Floral Tiara

Since she officially became an HRH in 2008, Princess Marie of Denmark has worn precisely two tiaras. While she debuted the silver and amethyst Flora Danica Tiara earlier this year, today's tiara, a diamond floral piece that has been in the family for several generations, is still the workhorse of her collection. From her wedding to the annual Danish New Year’s Courts to family celebrations, it’s been all floral all the time for Princess Marie.

Princess Dagmar of Denmark, ca. 1921 (source)

The tiara’s first wearer was also a Danish princess: Princess Dagmar of Denmark, the daughter of King Frederik VIII. Dagmar’s siblings included King Christian X of Denmark, King Haakon VI of Norway, and Princess Ingeborg of Sweden — so you know she needed a tiara for all sorts of royal events.

Where and how Dagmar received her tiara is unclear. We also don’t know who made it, although it seems quite possible that the tiara is a twentieth-century piece. But we do know that Dagmar wore it into her old age — she was photographed in the piece at a wedding shortly before her death.

Even though Dagmar and her husband had five children, she bequeathed her tiara to her nephew, King Frederik IX. Maybe she knew there would be more use for a tiara in the main line of the royal family? Dagmar’s husband was a commoner, so all of their children were born commoners, too.

In turn, King Frederik gave the tiara to his daughter, Margrethe. Queen Margrethe wore the tiara for years before handing it over to her new daughter-in-law. Marie wore the tiara for the first time at her wedding, and she's worn it at all but one tiara event she's attended since.

I think it’s telling that the court announced that Marie does not personally own the tiara; it’s just a permanent loan from the queen. Seems like perhaps Margrethe may have learned her lesson about tiaras and daughters-in-law after the Alexandrine Diamond Drop was divorced right out of the royal family? Whatever the case, the permanent-loan solution is a good one for a royal family that doesn't have a family jewel foundation. (Psst, Margrethe: start a jewel foundation!)