30 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: The Prussian Tiara

Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Queen Letizia of Spain (then the Princess of Asturias) wears the Prussian Tiara during a gala dinner in honor of the Czech President Vaclav Klaus in Madrid, September 2004

Jewels in Motion: Queen Maxima's Inauguration Jewels


Four years ago today, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands became the nation's king when his mother, Princess Beatrix, abdicated in his favor. At his inauguration ceremony, the new Queen Maxima was a magpie's dream in diamonds and sapphires. You can read all about the history of her jewels in our previous post, but today, I think it's time to enjoy them glittering in motion!

29 April 2017

Maxima Sparkles for Willem-Alexander's 50th Birthday


King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands celebrated his 50th birthday on Friday evening with a special birthday party in Amsterdam. One hundred fifty Dutch citizens who are also 50 years old were invited to a dinner at the Royal Palace.

The Daily Diadem: The Prussian Meander Kokoshnik

Grand Ladies Site

Crown Princess Cecilie of Prussia, German Crown Princess (born Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin) wears the Prussian Meander Kokoshnik in a portrait by Caspar Ritter, ca. 1908; the tiara is still owned by the family today

Princess Anne's Festoon Tiara

Princess Anne's Festoon Tiara (SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images)

The British royal family has an incredible wide array of jewels. Beyond the pieces owned and worn by the reigning queen, many of the other Windsor women have impressive jewelry collections of their own. Today's tiara is one of several owned by the Princess Royal: her diamond festoon tiara.

28 April 2017

No Crowns at Parliament in June


June is typically one of the sparkliest royal months in the United Kingdom, with Trooping the Colour, Garter Day, and Royal Ascot coming back-to-back. But this year, the recently-called elections will be changing a few things -- and not for the better where royal jewels are concerned!

The Daily Diadem: The Connaught Fringe Tiara

Grand Ladies Site

The Duchess of Connaught (born Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia) wears her diamond fringe tiara in an official portrait; the tiara, which was a wedding gift from Queen Victoria, was later inherited by her daughter, Lady Patricia Ramsay

This Week in Royal Jewels: April 21-27

April 21-27, 2017

We've got some interesting, colorful pieces in this week's jewelry roundup -- don't forget to vote for your favorites in the poll below!


10. Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands wore an ultra-modern, sculptural pair of earrings for the World Press Photo Awards ceremony in Amsterdam on Saturday.

27 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: Queen Sophie's Diamond Tiara

Grand Ladies Site

Queen Sophie of the Hellenes (born Princess Sophie of Prussia) wears her grand diamond tiara in a portrait; read more about this piece's intriguing history over here

Royal Jewel Rewind: King Willem-Alexander's 40th Birthday Party (Part 3)


Our celebration of King Willem-Alexander's 50th birthday continues with another flashback to his 40th birthday party. This time we're looking at the jewels worn by the foreign royals who attended the big birthday bash. (Missed the first two parts? Visit them here and here!)

Royal Jewel Rewind: King Willem-Alexander's 40th Birthday Party (Part 2)


Time for the second installment of our look back at the jewels worn to the 40th birthday party of the Prince of Orange, who is now King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. (If you missed the previous part, head back over here!)

Royal Jewel Rewind: King Willem-Alexander's 40th Birthday Party (Part 1)

Michel Porro/Getty Images

Congratulations to King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, who celebrates his 50th birthday today! To mark the milestone, we're hopping in our bejeweled time machine for a visit to his 40th birthday party. This is part one of our flashback; stay tuned throughout the day for even more royal guests!

26 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: Princess Margaret's Fleur-de-Lis Tiara

Grand Ladies Site

Princess Margaret, Landgravine of Hesse (born Princess Margaret of Prussia) wears a fleur-de-lis tiara in a portrait, ca. 1910s. Much of her jewelry was stolen during World War II, and many of the gemstones that were returned had been removed from their settings

Crown Princess Victoria Sparkles in Blue

Michael Campanella/Getty Images

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden attended the Royal Patriotic Society's annual event at Riddarhuset on Tuesday, and she brought along a suite of sparkling jewels for the occasion.

25 April 2017

Maxima Makes a Statement in Berlin


Queen Maxima of the Netherlands made a trip to Germany to attend the W20 women's empowerment summit on Tuesday. She arrived alongside Stephanie Bschorr, President of the Association of German Women Entrepreneurs, and Mona Kueppers, President of the National Council of German Women's Organizations.

The Daily Diadem: Princess Marianne's Pearl Poire Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

Duchess Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (born Princess Alexandrine of Prussia) wears the Pearl Poire Tiara that belonged to her mother, Princess Marianne of the Netherlands; read more about this tiara and its more famous twin over here!

Jewel History: On Going to Court (1900)

The Princess of Wales, later Queen Alexandra, ca. 1887 (Wikimedia Commons)

"On Going to Court"
(originally appeared in the Pittsburgh Press, 9 Apr 1900)

Going to court costs money. A married woman's costume and accessories often come to $500 or very much more, and a girl's generally costs $250 [1]. A court train is of great length; it must rest on the ground to the extent of three yards and a half, and is often six yards long from end to end by three yards wide. It used invariably to be made of the richest velvet, brocade, or satin; but last year a fashion was started in favor of gauze trains. Plumes worn on the head are compulsory; three white feathers for a married woman and two for a girl. In deep mourning black feathers are used. White tulle veils or lace lappets must be worn with the white feathers, and black with the black plumes. The bodice must be low, with short sleeves. Formerly this rule was rigidly enforced, but of late years many women have the bodice cut square and some venture upon elbow sleeves. In cases of serious ill-health, the Queen [2] allows a high gown to be worn, but a special permit has to be obtained beforehand from the Lord Chamberlain.

A diamond tiara should be worn, and, of course, necklace, earrings, brooches, etc., while many people wear unique ornaments, such as a diamond girdle, jeweled shoulder-straps, or a multitude of stars fastened on their gowns and train. Long white gloves are obligatory, or black gloves for deep mourning. Tan, light gray, etc., are inadmissible. A girl's presentation gown is invariably white, as is that of a young married woman; indeed, in these days of eternal youth, many mothers and grandmothers don pure white for their court costumes.

24 April 2017

The Daily Diadem: The Brunswick Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

Princess Viktoria Luise of Hanover, Duchess of Brunswick (born Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia) wears the Brunswick Tiara in a portrait, ca. 1918

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.