|Ella wears the original parure, ca. 1890s [source]|
|Ella wearing the original parure [source]|
|Maria Pavlovna the Younger wears the emeralds [source]|
About the same time — 1922, to be precise — Princess Maria of Romania was preparing to marry King Alexander I of Yugoslavia. Her mother, Queen Marie of Romania, had heard that MP the Younger (who was Marie’s first cousin) was planning to sell her jewels, and she encouraged Alexander to buy the tiara as a wedding gift for Maria, who was called "Mignon." He did just that, and the tiara became one of the pieces that Mignon wore most often during her queenship. (It was also later worn by her daughter-in-law, Queen Alexandra, who reportedly disliked the tiara because of its uncomfortable weight.)
But then things got bad for the royal family in Yugoslavia, too. King Alexander was assassinated in 1934, and Mignon’s young son, Peter, became King Peter II. He was then deposed during World War II, and the entire family went into exile. In 1953, was Mignon’s turn to sell the tiara. This time, the buyer was Van Cleef and Arpels. In a move that recalled their earlier treatment of the emerald tiara of Empress Marie Louise of France, the jewelry house removed the valuable Romanov emeralds, sold them to an unknown buyer and replaced them with paste. One more Serbian princess got the chance to wear the tiara after the emeralds were removed; Van Cleef loaned the kokoshnik to Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Prince Paul and Princess Olga. And you'll sometimes see the tiara — but sadly not the emeralds — on display today, as VC&A occasionally also loans it out to various exhibitions.