18 April 2015

Saturday Sparkler Special: Queen Margrethe's Tiaras

All eyes have been on the jewel vaults of Denmark this week, as Queen Margrethe II celebrated her 75th birthday with a series of galas, dinners, and receptions. To wrap up our extensive coverage this week, today we've got a special edition of the Saturday Sparkler series, in which we survey Margrethe's impressive roster of heirloom and modern tiaras. Enjoy!

The Emerald Parure Tiara

Current Owner: The state of Denmark
Original Owner: Queen Caroline Amalie of Denmark, née Princess of Augustenburg
Maker: C.M. Weisshaupt, ca. 1840

Arguably the grandest tiara in Margrethe's repertoire, the emerald tiara is a part of the Danish crown jewels. It was given to Queen Caroline Amalie as an anniversary present by her husband, King Christian VII. But it's even older than its nineteenth-century creation date: Weisshaupt used emeralds that had belonged Queen Sophie Magdalena and Princess Charlotte, who both lived in Denmark during the eighteenth century. The tiara's "crown jewel" distinction means several things: Margrethe does not own it, but has the right to use it whenever she wants; it can't be taken out of the country; and only queens regnant and consort are allowed to wear it. Margrethe is only the latest in a long line of Danish queens to wear the piece: it's been used by every single Danish queen since it was made. Read more on my favorite royal emeralds over here!

The Pearl Poiré Tiara

Current Owner: Danish Royal Property Trust
Original Owner: Princess Louise of the Netherlands, née Princess of Prussia
Maker: Unknown (German?) jeweler, ca. 1825

Margrethe has also been wearing this pearl and diamond tiara, which is a part of a "married" parure of pearl and diamond jewelry, since the beginning of her reign. When Princess Louise of Prussia married Prince Frederik of the Netherlands in 1825, her father, King Friedrich Wilhelm III, gave her this tiara. Her daughter, Louise, took the tiara with when she married the King of Sweden; and then her daughter, also named Louise, took it with her when she married the King of Denmark. When Queen Louise died in 1926, she placed the tiara in a trust, which means that it belongs to the monarch, not to any individual. Read about one of the tiara's recent appearances over here.

The Floral Aigrette Tiara

Current Owner: Queen Margrethe II
Original Owner: Grand Duchess Anastasia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, née Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia (possibly)
Maker: Unknown jeweler, ca. mid 19th century

In 2000, Margrethe inherited this versatile tiara from the collection of her late mother, Queen Ingrid. The diamond tiara actually breaks into three pieces, which can be worn together or separately in various configurations. King Frederik IX bought it at auction for Queen Ingrid in 1963. He purchased it from Lauritz Melchior, a famous Danish-American opera singer, but (unsubstantiated) rumor has it that the tiara originally belonged to Frederik's Russian-born grandmother, Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna (mother of Queen Alexandrine). More about this inventive tiara here!

The Baden Palmette Tiara

Current Owner: Queen Margrethe II
Original Owner: Grand Duchess Louise of Baden, née Princess of Prussia
Maker: Koch, ca. mid 19th century

Margrethe's inheritance from Queen Ingrid also included this diamond tiara, which features palmette motifs arranged to echo heart shapes. The piece was a wedding gift in 1856 from the King of Prussia to his daughter, Princess Louise, who was marrying Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden. Their daughter, Victoria, took the tiara with her to Sweden when she married King Gustav V; their granddaughter, Queen Ingrid of Denmark, eventually inherited the piece. Read more about the tiara here!

The Turquoise Daisy Bandeau

Current Owner: Queen Margrethe II
Original Owner: Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden, née Princess of Connaught (possibly?)
Maker: Unknown jeweler, ca. late 19th or early 20th century

Yet another tiara that Margrethe inherited from Queen Ingrid, this tiara playfully incorporates the Queen's nickname, Daisy, into its design. (The French word for Daisy = marguerite.) Because of this, most think that the turquoise and diamond bandeau was one of the pieces that Ingrid received from her own mother, Crown Princess Margareta, who was also nicknamed "Daisy." Margrethe loves turquoises -- here's a look at her extensive collection of turquoise pieces.

The Golden Poppies

Current Owner: Queen Margrethe II
Original Owner: Queen Margrethe II
Maker: Arje Griegst, ca. 1976

Margrethe loves modern jewelry, and this piece, designed specifically for her, certainly fits the bill. Made of gold, the headpiece attaches to the back of the wearer's head via a small comb, and then spreads golden poppies and small bejeweled insects across the hair toward the forehead. Certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but definitely avant-garde. Read more about this, and nine more wacky tiaras, over here.

The Naasut Tiara

Current Owner: Queen Margrethe II
Original Owner: Queen Margrethe II
Maker: Nicolai Appel, ca. 2012

The newest addition to Margrethe's tiara collection is this piece, made of melted-down gold coins from Greenland. It was Greenland's gift to Margrethe to mark her ruby jubilee, and the floral tiara also includes small rubies and diamonds scattered among its golden flowers. Read more about the entire Naasut demi-parure here!

Also once owned and/or worn by Margrethe? The Khedive of Egypt Tiara, the Alexandrine Diamond Drop Tiara, and Princess Dagmar's Floral Tiara