10 August 2015

The Top Ten: Diamond Floral Tiaras

One of my favorite kinds of sparklers, hands down, is the classic floral tiara. It's hard to find one that doesn't make the wearer look good. They're usually well-balanced, extremely sparkly, and easy to wear -- three very important factors. Here are ten of my favorite floral tiaras -- be sure to weigh in with your list in the comments below!

10. The Small Nassau Floral Tiara

The Vine Leaves Tiara from the grand ducal collection is one of my favorite tiaras of all time, but it's really more of a wreath than a true floral tiara. The more petite diamond floral sparkler in the Nassau vaults is a proper floral tiara, and it's romantic enough that it's been used as a wedding tiara more than once by family brides.

This diamond sparkler originally belonged to the Queen Mother, who wore it in the fashionable '20s bandeau style early in her royal career. The tiara remains in the family's vaults today, and it's anyone's guess as to which princess will don it next. The Duchess of Cambridge? One of the York princesses? Prince Harry's future wife? We'll see!

8. The Isenburg Floral Tiara

The family tiara of a relatively minor German princely family, this diamond floral sparkler came into the spotlight when it was worn by two family brides: Katharina, who married Archduke Martin of Austria-Este (brother of Prince Lorenz of Belgium), and Sophie, who married Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia.

When Princess Astrid of Belgium dons a tiara, it's usually this diamond floral sparkler, which belonged to her mother-in-law, Archduchess Margherita of Austria-Este (born Princess Margherita of Savoy). A legacy of the '20s, the tiara was originally worn as a bandeau.

6. The Hanoverian Floral Tiara

They may not have a throne anymore, but the House of Hanover still has several sparkly tiaras in their arsenal, including this lovely diamond floral piece. Unseen for years, it reappeared a decade ago on Princess Caroline, the wife of Prince Ernst August, at the Danish crown princely wedding.

5. Princess Benedikte's Floral Birthday Tiara

It's a tradition in the Scandinavian royal families to give princesses a tiara on their eighteenth birthdays, and this was the sparkler given to Princess Benedikte of Denmark in 1962. Made from a diamond floral brooch that belonged to Queen Alexandrine, the tiara can also be worn with an emerald as its center stone.

Okay, maybe not all floral tiaras are easy to wear -- but then, not every floral tiara is the Braganza. The biggest sparkler in the Swedish royal vaults, this diamond tiara belonged Empress Amelie of Brazil before making its way to Sweden. Today, it's one of the favorite pieces of Queen Silvia.

3. The Imperial Chrysanthemum Tiara

Chrysanthemums are such an important symbol to the Japanese imperial family that the monarchy is sometimes called "the Chrysanthemum Throne." It makes sense, then, that one of their grandest tiaras features a chrysanthemum motif. Empress Michiko doesn't often wear tiaras anymore, but when she did, this diamond floral tiara was a regular in her rotation.

Princess Marie of Denmark really only wears one tiara on a regular basis, but it's a good one: a diamond floral sparkler that belonged to Princess Dagmar of Denmark. The tiara has height, sparkle, and interest -- what's not to love?

Classic, classic, classic -- this diamond floral tiara was made for a nineteenth-century Spanish queen and looks just as a good in the twenty-first century. This still belongs to Queen Sofia of Spain, but she frequently loans it to Queen Letizia, who puts it to good use at state banquets and other white-tie events.