24 April 2017

Casual Marathon Jewels for Kate

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry were on the sidelines at Sunday's London Marathon, where they supported their mental health initiative, Heads Together.

Sparkling Flowers for Queen Elizabeth II

Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

The day after celebrating her 91st birthday, a beaming Queen Elizabeth II was back in her happy place: the world of horse racing. She wore a brooch she's had for more than half a century for a trip to Newbury Racecourse.

23 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: The Prussian Clover Coronet

Wikimedia Commons

Empress Augusta Viktoria of Germany wears the Prussian Clover Coronet in a portrait by Philip de László, ca. 1908

Jewels in Motion: Queen Friederike Glitters

AFP/Getty Images

While doing a bit of research for last week's post on the Greek royal emeralds, I found a treasure trove of sparkling video of the late Queen Friederike. Enjoy seeing some of her royal jewels in motion!

22 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna's Fringe Tiara

Wikimedia Commons
Queen Marie of Romania (born Princess Marie of Edinburgh) wears her mother's diamond fringe tiara in a portrait by Philip de László; the tiara was sold by Marie's daughter, Queen Maria of Yugoslavia, in 1960

The Burmese Ruby Tiara


Yesterday, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom celebrated her 91st birthday. To mark the occasion, we're taking a closer look today at one of her personal contributions to the family's tiara arsenal: the Burmese Ruby Tiara.

21 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: The Order of Christ Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

Augusta Viktoria of Portugal (born Princess Augusta Viktoria of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen) wears the Order of Christ Tiara in a portrait by Philip de László, ca. 1915. The tiara was a gift to Augusta Viktoria from her husband, the former King Manuel II of Portugal; it featured the cross emblem of Portugal's Military Order of Christ

This Week in Royal Jewels: April 14-20

April 14-20, 2017

It's been a very pearly week for royal jewels! Don't forget to vote for your favorites in the poll below!


10. The Duchess of Cambridge wore the necklace and earrings from her Mappin and Webb "Empress" suite on Thursday for the opening event of the Global Academy in London, part of the Heads Together initiative.

20 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: Empress Elisabeth's Diamond Scroll Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary wears a diamond scroll tiara in this portrait, painted posthumously by Philip de László, ca. 1898; the painting appears to be based partly on photographs from the Hungarian coronation of 1867, where she wore the same tiara

More Cervantes Pearls for Letizia


The Spanish royals continued their celebration of the 2016 Cervantes Prize on Thursday, and Queen Letizia upped her jewelry game for the annual award ceremony at the University of Alcala de Henares.

Letizia Celebrates Literature in Pearls

Jose Luis Cuesta - Pool/Getty Images

On Wednesday, King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain hosted an official luncheon for the 2016 Miguel de Cervantes Prize, honoring novelist Eduardo Mendoza Garriga.

19 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: Princess Nicholas's Modern Emerald Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

Princess Nicholas of Greece and Denmark (born Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia) wears a modern emerald tiara in a portrait by Philip de László, ca. 1914

The Greek Emerald Parure

Queen Friederike of the Hellenes wears the Greek emeralds during a 1956 state visit to Germany (Wikimedia Commons)

Yesterday, the Greek and Spanish royals marked the hundredth birthday of one of their most interesting family members: the late Queen Friederike of the Hellenes. Born a German princess, Friedrike was Greece's queen consort through her marriage to King Paul. To celebrate her centenary, we're looking at a suite of jewels she wore often: the Greek Emerald Parure.

18 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: The Londonderry Diamond Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

Edith Vane-Tempest-Stewart, Marchioness of Londonderry wears the Londonderry Diamond Tiara in a portrait by Philip de László, ca. 1927

Jewel History: Diamonds Guarded Ingeniously (1888)

The diamond and emerald tiara of the Duchess of Angouleme, on display with the French crown jewels in the Louvre's Apollo Gallery (Wikimedia Commons)

"Diamonds Guarded Ingeniously"
(originally appeared in the New York Times, 21 Apr 1888)

When the French crown jewels were sold by auction last season [1], it is well known that the finest and most historical of the gems, including the famous Regent Diamond [2], were reserved, and these may now be seen in the Louvre in the gallery called after the well-known statue of Apollo, which is such a prominent object in it [3].

17 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: The Bulgarian Fleur-de-Lis Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

Princess Marie Louise of Bulgaria (born Princess Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma) wears the family's diamond, ruby, and emerald fleur-de-lis tiara in a portrait by Philip de László, ca. 1890s. The tiara was made in 1893 by Kochert; it hasn't been seen in public since the 1960s, and it may have been dismantled or sold

Easter Jewels: Spanish Royals in Palma de Mallorca


The Spanish royal family attended Easter mass in Palma de Mallorca on Sunday, and there were a few pieces of holiday-appropriate jewelry on display.

Easter Jewels: British Royals at Windsor

Jonathan Brady/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Today on the blog, we'll be covering some of the jewels worn by royals who attended Easter Sunday services this weekend. We're starting off with the jewels worn by the Windsors at St. George's Chapel, Windsor yesterday.

16 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: Queen Ena's Meander Bandeau

Wikimedia Commons

Queen Victoria Eugenie "Ena" of Spain wears a diamond meander bandeau in a portrait by Philip de László, ca. 1920

Jewels in Motion: Queen Margrethe II of Denmark


Happy birthday to Queen Margrethe II of Denmark! To celebrate her 77th birthday, we're showcasing some of her sparkling tiaras and jewels today -- and even better, they're glittering in motion!

15 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: The Vasa Tiara

National Library of Norway/Wikimedia Commons

Crown Princess Martha of Norway (born Princess Martha of Sweden) wears the Vasa Tiara in a portrait, ca. 1929

Infanta Eulalia's Diamond and Pearl Tiara

Infanta Eulalia of Spain wears her diamond and pearl tiara

We often discuss the sad fate of the jewels worn by the Romanovs, many of which were lost, sold, or dismantled after the Russian Revolution of 1917. But there was another European royal family that experienced major jewel losses in the twentieth century, and today's tiara is one of those bejeweled casualties.

14 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: Queen Indrasakdi Sachi's Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

Queen Indrasakdi Sachi of Thailand wears a modified fringe tiara in a portrait, ca. 1922

This Week in Royal Jewels: April 7-13

April 7-13, 2017

It's been a quieter week on the royal jewel front, but we've still got plenty to enjoy, especially brooch-wise. Don't forget to vote for your favorites in the poll below!

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

10. The Duchess of Gloucester wore layered necklaces and stud earrings for a Davis Cup match in Rouen on Friday.

13 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: Princess Francoise's Turquoise Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

Princess Françoise of Greece and Denmark (born Princess Françoise of Orléans) wears her diamond and turquoise tiara (and accompanying jewels) in a portrait, ca. 1922; the turquoise parure was reportedly made for her by Faberge

Royal Maundy Jewels 2017

Anthony Devlin - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended the annual Royal Maundy service this morning, where she handed out traditional bags of Maundy money. This year's service was held at Leicester Cathedral.

The Queen's Royal Maundy Brooches


Every year on the Thursday before Easter (which, depending on your location and denomination, is called Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday), Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom attends a church service and distributes a small amount of money to a select group of congregants.

The tradition of Royal Maundy dates back to the seventeenth-century reign of Charles II. The idea behind it, though, goes back even further than that; it stems from the mandate (hence, "maundy") that Jesus gave to his apostles at the Last Supper that they should care for each other. In eras past, that instruction was carried out through the symbolic washing of subjects' feet, a practice that eventually evolved into the distribution of clothing and then of special coins.

12 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: Queen Astrid's Emerald Necklace Tiara

Queen Astrid of Belgium wears her convertible emerald necklace tiara in a portrait; the present whereabouts of this tiara are unclear

Jewel History: Cutting King's Diamond (1908)

The Cullinan III and IV Brooch displayed during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee exhibition at Buckingham Palace (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

"Cutting King's Diamond"
(originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times, 26 April 1908)

The special correspondent of the London Evening News at Amsterdam sends the first detailed and interesting story of the work of cutting the King's [1] diamond, which has now been begun in secret in that city. The great work of cutting the Cullinan diamond [2] and preparing it for its place among the crown jewels of England was begun (says our special correspondent) on Saturday.

All the members of the firm entrusted with the work -- Messrs. I.J. Asscher [3], who have a gigantic "fabriek" in the Tolstraat, not far from the center of town -- are now in Amsterdam. The actual splitting operation is to take place this week in the presence of several experts and a small number of privileged persons in the trade, who have obtained special permission from the authorities in London. Naturally, in such a case the greatest secrecy is observed, but I have been fortunate enough to ascertain many interesting facts in connection with the remarkable work that is being carried out.

11 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: The Strathmore Rose Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom (later the Queen Mother) wears the Strathmore Rose Tiara on its alternative frame

Spring Flowers for the Queen in Dunstable

Peter Nicholls - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh made a visit to Dunstable on Tuesday, and HM brought a rather sparkly spring floral piece along with her.

Book Review: Hidden Gems (2016)

Hidden Gems: Jewellery Stories from the Saleroom (Photo: The Court Jeweller)

Late last year, I reviewed Vincent Meylan's latest book, which focused on Christie's sale archives in their 250th anniversary year. This week, I got my hands on another book produced to mark that anniversary, Hidden Gems: Jewellery Stories from the Saleroom. The book is a fascinating look at the inner workings of historic jewelry sales from two people who have experienced it firsthand.

10 April 2017

Blue Jewels for Beatrix on World Parkinson's Day


Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands visited Nieuwegein on Saturday to mark the the 40th anniversary of the Parkinson Association during World Parkinson's Day 2017, and she chose bright blue jewelry for the occasion. The cause is a very personal one for Beatrix, as her late husband, Prince Claus, suffered from Parkinson's Disease.

The Daily Diadem: Queen Elisabeth's Cartier Bandeau

German Federal Archives/Wikimedia Commons

Queen Elisabeth of Belgium wears her diamond Cartier bandeau in a portrait, ca. 1920

Memorial Jewels: Thanksgiving Service for Lord Snowdon

Hannah McKay - WPA Pool /Getty Images

On Friday, members of the British royal family joined some of the brightest creative talents in Britain to give thanks for the life of the late 1st Earl of Snowdon. Here's a look at some of the jewels worn at the thanksgiving service, which was held at St. Margaret's Church at Westminster Abbey.

09 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: The Nine Provinces Tiara

Mark Renders/Getty Images

Queen Paola of Belgium (then Queen of the Belgians) wears the Nine Provinces Tiara and her half-moon earrings during a state visit from the Norwegian royal family, May 2003

Jewels in Motion: Portuguese State Visit (1955)

In 1955, Queen Elizabeth II welcomed the President of Portugal to London for a state visit. The visit wrapped up with a gala at Covent Garden, where they royal ladies put their best jewels on display. Here's a look at what they wore -- in motion!

08 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: The Danish Ruby Parure Tiara

Queen Alexandrine of Denmark wears the original bandeau version of the Danish Ruby Parure Tiara; read much more about the history of the tiara over here

The Vladimir Sapphire Kokoshnik

Queen Marie of Romania wears the Vladimir Sapphire Kokoshnik (Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons)

The jewel collection of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna (the Elder) of Russia -- better known to many as Grand Duchess Vladimir -- was the royal gift that just seemed to keep on giving in the wake of the Russian Revolution. But although some of her tiaras, including the famous Vladimir Tiara, were sold off after the family had gone into exile, this sapphire kokoshnik was the tiara that MP the Elder used to buy her way out of Russia as many of her family members were being murdered by the Bolsheviks. The buyers weren't just jewel collectors -- they were the Romanian royal family.

07 April 2017

Charlotte Sparkles for UNICEF

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Montblanc

Charlotte Casiraghi was out and about in New York this week, attending the the Montblanc and UNICEF Gala Dinner at the New York Public Library on Monday.

The Daily Diadem: Queen Mary's Ruby Aigrette

Grand Ladies Site

The Duchess of York (later Queen Mary of the United Kingdom) wears a diamond and ruby aigrette with feathers in a portrait, ca. 1890s

This Week in Royal Jewels: March 31-April 6

March 31-April 6, 2017

Lots of state visiting happening again this week, so we've got plenty of sparkle to enjoy. Don't forget to vote for your favorites in the poll below!


10. For a King's Day concert in Tilburg, Queen Maxima wore a pair of modern earrings with a pair of sentimental family bracelets. (See more over here!)

06 April 2017

Charles and Camilla in Austria: State Dinner

Chris Jackson-Pool/Getty Images

On Wednesday evening, President van der Bellen of Austria and his wife, Doris Schmidauer, hosted a state dinner for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.

Charles and Camilla in Austria: Arrival in Vienna

Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images

After wrapping up their visit to Italy and the Vatican, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall hopped a plane to Vienna for an Austrian visit on Wednesday.

Japanese/Spanish State Visit: Prime Minister Visit


The Spanish state visit to Japan continued on Thursday with a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

The Daily Diadem: Queen Emma's Diamond Tiara

ARCHIVE/AFP/Getty Images

Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands (later Queen Beatrix) wears Queen Emma's Diamond Tiara in a portrait taken to mark her inauguration as the country's monarch, April 1980

The Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg Fringe Tiara

Princess Benedikte, with Prince Richard, wears the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg Fringe Tiara at the wedding of their nephew, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, in Copenhagen in May 2004 (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Since the sudden and unexpected death of Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg a few weeks ago, the royal world has focused once more on some of the strange and disconcerting questions that surround the inheritance of the family's titles and estates. One of the sparkliest of the family's possessions is today's tiara: the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg Fringe.