The Top Ten: Bandeau Tiaras
They may not be the biggest or mightiest of tiaras, but I have a soft spot in my heart for the humble bandeau. Sparkly with a vintage flair, these tiaras tend to be lightweight, easy to wear, and flattering even on modern hairstyles. Be sure to chime in with a list of your favorite bandeaux in the comments below!
10. The Diamond Daisy Bandeau
When Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby married Crown Prince Haakon of Norway in 2001, she embodied cool, minimalist Scandinavian style. Her wedding bandeau was a vintage piece that complemented that aesthetic perfectly. Reportedly made during the Edwardian era, the bandeau is a delicate row of diamond-studded daisies. It was a gift to the new crown princess from her husband's parents, King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway.
9. The Swedish Aquamarine Bandeau
It's a tradition for Scandinavian princesses to receive a tiara as an 18th birthday present, and Princess Madeleine of Sweden's birthday gift tiara was a vintage bandeau. The tiara, which features a single large aquamarine suspended between two thin bands of diamonds, was reportedly worn by Queen Louise in the 1920s. The tiara has been worn both atop the head and, in true '20s style, across the forehead.
8. The Luxembourg Amethyst and Pearl Bandeau
The jewel vaults of the grand ducal family of Luxembourg are full of bandeau tiaras set with a variety of gemstones, including citrines, aquamarines, and pearls. This golden bandeau, worn above in the 1970s by Princess Marie-Astrid, features oval-shaped amethysts interspersed with rows of seed pearls. The tiara was recently worn by one of the family's newest members, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie.
7. The Turquoise Daisy Bandeau
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark's nickname is "Daisy," so it's only fair that she should have her own delicate bandeau made of daisies. This tiara is nearly the twin of Crown Princess Mette-Marit's daisy bandeau; however, this one includes small turquoises interspersed between the diamonds, making it a perfect partner to Margrethe's growing collection of modern turquoise jewelry.
6. The Strathmore Rose Tiara
The Queen Mum was a true '20s princess when she joined the British royal family, and she had plenty of bandeau tiaras to keep up with the latest fashions. One of the most lovely was the small diamond floral tiara given to her as a wedding present by her parents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore. The tiara was made in the late 19th century, but it had two frames: one that allowed it to be worn atop the wearer's head, and another that let it drop down across the forehead.
5. Queen Marie-José's Seed Pearl Bandeau
Now owned by the German state of Baden-Württemberg, this tiara originally belonged to Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Baden. It was later lengthened to be worn bandeau-style by Marie-José, the last queen of Italy. Its delicate pattern of seed pearls echoes the shape of a coronet.
4. The Nine Provinces Tiara
The tiara reserved for Belgian queens, the Nine Provinces Tiara, can be worn in various forms, but my favorite is without a doubt the delicate meander bandeau of the tiara's base. Made by Van Bever for Queen Astrid in the 1920s, it has been worn by every Belgian queen since. When Queen Mathilde began wearing the tiara, she originally selected just to wear the bandeau, saving the bigger version for later.
3. Empress Marie Feodorovna's Sapphire Bandeau
We don't really know that this gorgeous diamond and sapphire bandeau belonged to Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia, but tradition links the piece to her. Regardless of its provenance, it's one of the most gorgeous bandeaux in the British royal collection. Worn in the 20th century by Queen Mary and Princess Margaret, this one hasn't been seen in years -- but I'd love to see one of the young Windsor princesses give it a whirl!
2. The Emerald Wreath Bandeau
Francesca von Habsburg, who is married to the head of the House of Habsburg, often wears a bandeau featuring emeralds and diamonds set in a wreath pattern. The tiara was originally owned by a different royal family: it was a silver wedding anniversary present given to Empress Augusta Viktoria of Germany. From her, it moved into the collection of the Hanoverian royal family, and when they auctioned it, it was bought by the Habsburgs. The bandeau can also be worn as a necklace.
1. The Dutch Diamond Bandeau
With more than a hundred total carats of diamonds, this diamond bandeau is perhaps the grandest of them all. Made in the 1930s using stones from one of Queen Emma's necklaces, the tiara has become one of Queen Máxima's trademarks. It's easy to see why: the platinum tiara is reportedly light and very easy to integrate into various hairstyles. And it has serious, serious sparkle under candlelight!