31 October 2016

The Daily Diadem: The Spanish Wedding Gift Tiara

The Spanish Wedding Gift Tiara (Photo: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Queen Fabiola of Belgium wears the coronet setting of the Spanish Wedding Gift Tiara in Brussels, 1960


Dutch Visit to Australia: Visit to Elizabeth Quay

Willem-Alexander and Maxima in Perth, Australia (Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images)

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima are currently on a state visit to Australia. Today, they arrived at Elizabeth Quay in Perth, where they commemorated the 400th anniversary of the landing of Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog. Maxima kept her jewelry simple, choosing one important necklace as an accessory.


Costume Jewels: Royal Ladies on Stage and Screen

Dame Anna Neagle and the cast of 1938's Victoria the Great
[Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images]

Royalty has often been a favorite subject of playwrights and screenwriters; movies, television shows, and plays are full of portrayals of royal figures from throughout history. Because today is Halloween, the greatest costume festival in my part of the world, and because we're counting down to the release of  The Crown on Netflix this Friday, let's have a look at actresses in royal costume over the years.

30 October 2016

The Daily Diadem: The Dutch Emerald Parure Tiara (Pearl Setting)

The Dutch Emerald Parure Tiara, Pearl Setting (Photo: Mark Renders/Getty Images)

Annemarie Gualtherie van Weezel wears the pearl setting of the Dutch Emerald Parure Tiara at her wedding to Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Parma in Brussels, 20 November 2010


The Sunday Ring: The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond Ring

The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond Ring (Photo: FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/AFP/Getty Images)

Yesterday, we marveled at the diamond tiara worn by the late, great Elizabeth Taylor. Today, we're looking at one of the most spectacular diamonds in her collection: the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond, an remarkable stone set in a classic ring.


29 October 2016

The Daily Diadem: Queen Maud's Pearl Tiara

Queen Maud's Pearl Tiara (Image: Grand Ladies Site)

Queen Maud of Norway wears the full version of her pearl tiara in a portrait, ca. 1905


The Mike Todd Diamond Tiara

The Mike Todd Diamond Tiara (Photo: Express/Express/Getty Images)

Elizabeth Taylor may not have been actual royalty, even if she was made a dame by Queen Elizabeth II, but she certainly was Hollywood royalty. It’s no wonder that her film producer husband thought she needed her very own tiara...


28 October 2016

The Daily Diadem: Prince Johann Georg's Pearl and Diamond Tiara

Prince Johann Georg's Pearl and Diamond Tiara (Photo: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

An early nineteenth-century diamond and pearl tiara (also known as the "Hanover Tiara") worn by both wives of Prince Johann Georg of Saxony, on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 18 September 2013


This Week in Royal Jewels: October 21-27


October 21-27, 2016

We've got some major sparkle in store, including a three-way tie for first place! Be sure to vote for your favorites in the poll below.


Photo: BENOIT DOPPAGNE/AFP/Getty Images

10. For a reception on Wednesday at the Royal Palace in Brussels honoring Belgium's Rio 2016 athletes, Princess Astrid wore pearl earrings and a stack of statement necklaces.


27 October 2016

The Daily Diadem: The Leeds Cartier Tiara

The Leeds Cartier Tiara

Nancy Leeds, later Princess Anastasia of Greece and Denmark, wears the diamond and pearl tiara made for her by Cartier, ca. 1917


Pearls and Palm Leaves in Poundbury

The Windsors visit Poundbury (Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The big four of the British royal family -- Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall -- traveled to Poundbury in Dorset today for a very special statue unveiling.


Book Review: Brilliance and Fire (2016)

Book cover photograph taken by me; all rights reserved.

Diamonds weren't always forever. The sparkling gemstones occupy a very specific place in our culture today: they're symbols of commitment, of wealth, of belonging. But that didn't happen by chance. The myth of the diamond has been carefully crafted and constructed over the course of the past century, and the history of the gemstone itself is much more fraught. That's the overarching story told in Rachelle Bergstein's new book, Brilliance and Fire: A Biography of Diamonds.


26 October 2016

The Daily Diadem: The Pearl Poiré Tiara

The Pearl Poiré Tiara (Photo: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark wears the Pearl Poiré Tiara at a dinner for the diplomatic corps at Amalienborg Palace, 15 March 1973


Seven Tiaras That Cheated Death

Queen Ena of Spain wears "La Buena"

As we continue on in the lead-up to Halloween, today we've got seven tiaras that nearly succumbed to oblivion. Enjoy seven spooky tales of tiaras that managed to survive -- but only just barely!


25 October 2016

Charlene Glitters at the Princess Grace Awards

Princess Charlene speaks at the 2016 Princess Grace Awards Gala (Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Princess Grace Foundation)

On Monday, Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco attended the 2016 Princess Grace Awards Gala in New York City. Here's a look at what the princess wore...


The Daily Diadem: Empress Eugenie's Pearl Tiara

Empress Eugenie's Pearl Tiara (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The diamond and pearl tiara owned by Empress Eugenie of France, on display in the Louvre Museum in 2012


Jewel History: Fatal Opal, Curse of Spain's Court (1898)

Detail, Louis Pierson's photographic portrait of the Countess of Castiglione, ca. 1860

"Fatal Opal, Curse of Spain's Court"
(originally appeared in the Chicago Tribune, 9 Oct 1898)

A few superstitious Spaniards believe that the long series of misfortunes that has befallen Spain and the present dynasty follows a cursed opal ring that a neglected beauty spitefully bestowed upon poor Alfonso XII [1] some four-and-twenty years ago. This is the story:

"It is an opal of large size and of most brilliant coloring, with a spark of living fire in its center. It is set in filigree gold, and has no other jewels about it. The ring belonged to that famous beauty and adventuress, the Comtesse de Castiglione [2], who was the most beautiful woman Europe ever knew, and who was in the glory of her loveliness and power during the reign of Napoleon III [3]. The Emperor was her abject slave and aroused the most violent jealousy on the part of Eugenie [4]. This dazzling woman was present at all the great functions of the Tuileries [5], and displayed her superb shoulders and bust in bewildering relief by the lowness of her corsages.


24 October 2016

The Daily Diadem: The Vladimir Tiara

The Vladimir Tiara (Image: Grand Ladies Site)

Queen Mary of the United Kingdom wears the Vladimir Tiara in a bejeweled portrait


Creepy-Crawly Royal Jewels

Queen Maxima wearing a pair of spider brooches (Photo: MARTIJN BEEKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Halloween is nearly upon us, which means that it's time to celebrate all of the creepiest, crawliest, slither-iest jewels in royal jewelry boxes. If you like your bugs and snakes better in diamond form, this is the post for you!


23 October 2016

The Daily Diadem: The Antique Pearl Tiara

The Antique Pearl Tiara (Photo: Michel Porro/Getty Images)

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands wears the Antique Pearl Tiara at a state banquet for China's president in Amsterdam, 22 March 2014


The Sunday Ring: Queen Elizabeth II's Engagement Ring

Queen Elizabeth II's engagement ring (Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The world of royalty is filled with fabulous engagement rings, but today's ring -- Queen Elizabeth II's engagement ring -- may be my favorite of them all. It's classic, it's balanced, and it has a Romanov backstory. What could be better than that?


22 October 2016

The Daily Diadem: The Wurttemberg Ornate Pearl Tiara

The Wurttemberg Ornate Pearl Tiara (Photo: GERO BRELOER/AFP/Getty Images)

Queen (now Princess) Beatrix of the Netherlands wears the Wurttemberg Ornate Pearl Tiara at a state banquet in Germany, 12 April 2011


Queen Mary's Honeysuckle Tiara

Queen Mary's Honeysuckle Tiara (Photo: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Queen Mary was instrumental in the creation of multiple tiaras, but one of her most classic commissions was today's sparkler: her diamond honeysuckle tiara. The provenance of this tiara was a bit fuzzy for years. Some thought the piece was one of the items that came from the estate of Tsarina Marie Feodorovna of Russia (sister of Queen Alexandra). But although the shape of the piece does resemble some kokoshnik-style Romanov tiaras, that wasn't the case. It was actually commissioned by Mary herself shortly after she became queen.


21 October 2016

The Daily Diadem: The Mellerio Ruby Parure Tiara

The Mellerio Ruby Parure Tiara (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Queen Juliana of the Netherlands wears the tiara and jewels from the Mellerio Ruby Parure, ca. 1980


Letizia Wears Coolook in Oviedo

Queen Letizia in Oviedo (Photo: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

For a series of audiences during the Princess of Asturias Awards celebrations on Friday, Queen Letizia of Spain wore one of her most versatile pairs of earrings.


This Week in Royal Jewels: October 14-20


October 14-20, 2016

We've got earrings galore this week -- be sure to vote for your favorites in the poll below!


Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

10. The Duchess of Cambridge wore a pair of earrings by Oscar de la Renta for engagements in Manchester on Friday. (More pictures here!)

20 October 2016

The Daily Diadem: Queen Emma's Diamond Tiara

Queen Emma's Diamond Tiara (Photo: ARCHIVE/AFP/Getty Images)

Queen (now Princess) Beatrix of the Netherlands wears Queen Emma's Diamond Tiara, ca. 1979


Queen Sirikit's Diamond Fringe Tiara

Queen Sirikit's Diamond Fringe Tiara (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

As Thailand continues to mourn the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, images of the monarch and his consort are prevelant throuhgout the country and other parts of the world. Many of these portraits feature an important jewel from the Thai royal vaults: the family's diamond fringe.


19 October 2016

The Daily Diadem: The Dutch Sapphire Parure Tiara

The Dutch Sapphire Parure Tiara (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, wearing the Dutch Sapphire Parure Tiara, greets the Queen Mother (who wears the Greville Tiara) during a state visit to the United Kingdom, 13 April 1972


Girandoles for Letizia in Barcelona

Queen Letizia attends a literary awards ceremony in Barcelona (Photo: Miquel Benitez/Getty Images)

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain attended the 65th Premio Planeta Literature Awards in Barcelona on Sunday, and Letizia did not spare the glitter for the prestigious occasion.


18 October 2016

Olympic Jewels for Kate and the Queen

Team GB visits Buckingham Palace (Photo: YUI MOK/AFP/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom held a reception at Buckingham Palace this evening for Team GB's Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and both she and Kate wore glittering jewels.


The Daily Diadem: Queen Wilhelmina's Wedding Gift Tiara

Queen Wilhelmina's Wedding Gift Tiara (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands wears her (now-dismantled) wedding gift tiara in a portrait, ca. 1940


Royal Jewel Rewind: King of Thailand's Diamond Jubilee, Part 2

The Sultan of Brunei, the King of Thailand, and the King of Sweden at the reception (Photo: Pool/Getty Images)

Yesterday, we marveled at the jewels worn during the first evening reception celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of the late King of Thailand in 2006. Today, here's a look at the second reception, held at the Royal Palace, tiaras and all!

17 October 2016

The Daily Diadem: The Dutch Diamond Bandeau

The Dutch Diamond Bandeau (Photo: Michel Porro/Getty Images)

Queen (now Princess) Beatrix of the Netherlands wears the Dutch Diamond Bandeau at a state dinner for Switzerland's president in Amsterdam, 24 May 2004


Royal Jewel Rewind: King of Thailand's Diamond Jubilee, Part 1

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden greets the King and Queen of Thailand (Photo: Pool/Getty Images)

Today, Thailand is mourning the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, but ten years ago, the country was celebrating the 60th anniversary of his reign. For the occasion, royals from around the world gathered for two major glittering events. Today, we're looking at the first of the two: a reception held at Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall in Bangkok. Everyone was dressed formally, but tiaras were optional. Even so, we saw some royal ladies donning diadems -- including a few that we rarely see them wear in public.

16 October 2016

The Daily Diadem: The Stuart Tiara

The Stuart Tiara (Photo: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Queen Juliana of the Netherlands wears the Stuart Tiara at her birthday celebration, 1962


The Sunday Ring: The Sky Blue Diamond Ring

The Sky Blue Diamond Ring (Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Catherine the Great's bow necklace isn't the only sparkling wonder being auctioned at Sotheby's next month. The auction house will also offer the Sky Blue Diamond, an incredible gemstone set in a strange and compelling ring. The bauble may not have a royal provenance, but it's certainly fit for a queen.


15 October 2016

The Daily Diadem: Queen Ena's Fleur-de-Lis Tiara

Queen Ena's Fleur-de-Lis Tiara (Photo: JULIAN ABRAM WAINWRIGHT/AFP/Getty Images)

Queen Sofia of Spain wears "La Buena," Queen Ena's Fleur-de-Lis Tiara, while presenting the Order of the Golden Fleece to King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand in Bangkok, 13 June 2006. Thailand's king died this week at the age of 88, following a seven-decade reign


Queen Sonja's Modern Gold Tiara

The Modern Gold Tiara (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

When Queen Sonja arrived at this week's state banquet, she was wearing a tiara that has become one of the most polarizing royal jewels of all: her Modern Gold Tiara. While some hail it as a modern marvel, others deride its sci-fi aesthetic. Either way, it's certainly one of the more interesting pieces in a royal collection today.


14 October 2016

Kate Wears Oscar in Manchester

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Manchester (Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge headed to Manchester today for a series of engagements. Kate wore a pair of eye-catching earrings for the events.


The Daily Diadem: The Leuchtenberg Sapphire Tiara

The Leuchtenberg Sapphire Tiara (Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Queen Silvia of Sweden wears the Leuchtenberg Sapphire Tiara at the Nobel Prize banquet, 10 December 2012


This Week in Royal Tiaras: October 7-13


October 7-13, 2016

Get excited everyone -- it's time for another rare weekly tiara roundup! We were blessed with too many glittering jewels this week to fit into one poll, so we've got a separate post here for my top ten tiaras of the week. Vote for your favorites below!


Photo: KIMIMASA MAYAMA/AFP/Getty Images

10. The Wolfers Tiara: Worn by Queen Mathilde of the Belgians at a state banquet in Japan on Tuesday.


This Week in Royal Jewels: October 7-13


October 7-13, 2016

Between state banquets and royal weddings, it was a bang-up week for royal jewelry. To give all of the best pieces a proper amount of breathing room, we're separating this week's jewel roundup into two posts. The tiaras will have their own separate post later today -- in the meantime, here's everything else! Be sure to vote for your favorites below!


Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

10. The Duchess of Cambridge made a solo visit to the Netherlands on Tuesday, and she brought some very royal jewelry with her: pearl and diamond earrings borrowed from the Queen. (More pictures over here!)

13 October 2016

The Daily Diadem: Queen Josefina's Diamond Tiara

Queen Josefina's Diamond Tiara (Photo: MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)

Queen Sonja of Norway wears Queen Josefina's Diamond Tiara at a banquet in Lisbon, 27 May 2008


Pearls on a Rainy Spanish National Day

Spain's royals on their national day (Photo: JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia, the Princess of Asturias, and Infanta Sofia all gathered in Madrid on Wednesday to celebrate Spain's national day. For the military parade and audiences at the palace, Letizia chose one of her most elegant pairs of earrings.


Catherine the Great's Bow Necklace to Be Sold Again

Catherine the Great's Bow Necklace previewed at Sotheby's (Photo: Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for Sotheby's)

For the second time in eleven years, an important diamond bow necklace from the Russian imperial collection will be sold at Sotheby's. The necklace is thought to have been worn by one of the most important figures in Russian history: Catherine the Great. Sotheby's previewed the piece in London on Tuesday, giving us a close-up glimpse of the dazzling necklace.