22 February 2017

Letizia Debuts La Buena!


The long wait is over, magpies: at tonight's gala dinner for the President and First Lady of Argentina, Letizia officially took the tiara of Spain's queens out for its inaugural spin!

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Queen Letizia wore "La Buena" -- the diamond fleur-de-lis tiara made a century ago for her husband's great-grandmother, Queen Ena of Spain. The tiara was made by Ansorena; its design prominently includes the fleur-de-lis symbol of Spain's reigning family, the House of Borbon. King Alfonso XIII gave the tiara to his new bride as a wedding present.

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The tiara is one of the joyas de pasar, a collection of jewels designated by Queen Ena in her will for the use of Spanish queens. Letizia wore three pieces from the collection at tonight's dinner: the fleur-de-lis tiara, the diamond earrings, and the matching diamond bracelets. (Read more on the joyas de pasar in this post!)

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Letizia received the joyas de pasar when her father-in-law abdicated in 2014. We last saw the jewels in public on Queen Sofia at a state banquet for the President of Mexico just before the abdication.

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Here's a better view of the earrings. Letizia is also wearing the central element of her own pearl and diamond fleur-de-lis tiara as a brooch.


And here's a closer look at one of the diamond bracelets.

Grand Ladies Site

La Buena is an absolutely humongous tiara, but its base is adjustable. Queen Ena, who wore the tiara at her disastrous royal wedding in 1906, often wore the piece in a more closed form. In the photos above, Ena wears the more compact version in 1906, and the more open version in 1922. (In the 1922 photo, Ena also wears the earrings that Letizia wore tonight.)


In photos from tonight's gala, you can see that the base of the tiara does not quite meet at the front -- probably a result of adjustments made so that it would better fit Letizia's head.

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Such an exciting jewelry debut! What do you think of Letizia's first attempt to wear Spain's mightiest tiara?