29 June 2016

The Top Ten: Royal Pearl Tiaras

Queen Elizabeth II wears the Vladimir Tiara (Photo: KIERAN DOHERTY/AFP/Getty Images)

As June winds down, it's time to pay another tribute to this month's birthstone, the elegant pearl. Today, I'm counting down my top ten tiaras that include pearls and are currently worn by royals. Let us know in the comments which tiaras make your top ten!

10. The Pearl Sunburst Tiara
One of the Japanese imperial family's many tiaras set with "white" gemstones is this magnificent, modern diamond and pearl sunburst tiara. So far, it's been worn by both Empress Michiko and Crown Princess Masako.

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Now owned by Princess Benedikte, this nineteenth-century tiara features a dramatic set of alternating pearl and diamond-star toppers.

Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

This pearly tiara may be a replica of the original, but it still packs a lot of sparkle into its convertible frame. Queen Sonja is usually the wearer of the full version, but she also shares the smaller version with Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Princess Martha Louise.

This pearl tiara was patterned after one owned by Princess Augusta, Duchess of Cambridge -- and now it's worn by the current Duchess of Cambridge. The most famous wearer of the tiara, however, will probably always be Diana, Princess of Wales.

Photo: Michel Porro/Getty Images

This tiara was designed to mimic the shape of one that belonged to Anna Pavlovna, wife of King Willem II; its pear-shaped pearls belonged to a seventeenth-century Dutch princess. The tiara resides in the Dutch royal family's jewel foundation, which means that all of the royal ladies have handy access to it.

Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois -- mother of Prince Rainier III of Monaco -- ordered this pearl and diamond sparkler from Cartier in 1949. She famously wore it at her son's pre-wedding gala in 1956, but today, it is more commonly worn by her granddaughter, Princess Caroline.

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark frequently wears this heirloom pearl tiara, which was made in 1825 for Princess Louise of the Netherlands. It meandered through the line of Louise's descendants, through the Swedish and Danish royal family, before Queen Louise of Denmark placed it in a trust in 1926. Today, the tiara is worn exclusively by Queen Margrethe. 

Photo: GERO BRELOER/AFP/Getty Images

Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands wore this grand diamond and pearl tiara, which was made in 1897, at her wedding in 1966. The versatile tiara has multiple settings, and because it is in the family's jewel foundation, it can also be worn by multiple royal women. Queen Maxima debuted the tiara in Japan in 2014.

Photo: DAVE CHAN/AFP/Getty Images

Likely made by Bolin for Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna (wife of Grand Duke Vladimir of Russia) in the late nineteenth-century, this tiara was rescued from post-revolution Russia by a British diplomat. Queen Mary later purchased it and had it adjusted so that it could also be worn with the Cambridge emerald drops. Today, Queen Elizabeth II wears it three different ways: with the original pearls, the emeralds, and "widowed" (i.e., with no drops at all).


One of my favorite tiaras of all time, this diamond and pearl sparkler was made by Cartier for Queen Ena of Spain -- using gemstones from a tiara given to Ena by her mother-in-law! The tiara could originally also be worn with emeralds, but today, it's worn only with pearls. After making its way through the Spanish royal family, it resides today in Queen Sofia's jewelry box.