11 March 2017

The Ligne Aquamarine Tiara

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Our celebration of March's birthstone, the aquamarine, continues with a tiara that comes to us courtesy of the Belgian noble house of Ligne. The Ligne family have held their titles for centuries, but this tiara is a thoroughly modern addition to the extended family’s jewel collection.




The Château de Belœil, home to the Prince of Ligne (Wikimedia Commons)

As far as European aristocratic families go, the Ligne family is particularly well connected. They've married into numerous royal and imperial families, forging alliances with the Habsburgs of Austria and the Nassaus of Luxembourg. Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie of Luxembourg is a great-granddaughter of the 10th Prince of Ligne. One Ligne princess, Yolande, even married the son of Group Captain Peter Townsend (who famously almost married Princess Margaret in the 1950s). The main branch of the family lives at the Château de Belœil, a grand castle in Hainaut.


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The groom at this wedding, Prince Edouard de Ligne de La Trémoïlle, is from a junior line of the family. When he married Italian actress Isabella Orsini in 2009, this diamond and aquamarine tiara was made for the occasion.


Mark Renders/Getty Images

The sparkler, which was created by Holemans, features a large central aquamarine bookended by smaller aquamarines. And, because this is a Ligne tiara after all, the piece also incorporates diamond script “Ls” as a major feature of the design. Isabella also wore aquamarine earrings to coordinate with the diadem.


Mark Renders/Getty Images

Although we're focusing on the tiara in this post, it's worth mentioning that the Ligne-Orsini wedding has garnered more attention in recent years for the bridal gown than the tiara. Isabella’s gown shares remarkable similarities with the wedding dress worn two years later by the Duchess of Cambridge. Both dresses were apparently inspired by Grace Kelly’s famous wedding gown.