24 June 2017

The Chaumet Emerald Tiara

Grand Duchess Charlotte wears the Chaumet Emerald Tiara, ca. 1920

Not all royal families have a tiara in their collections that’s fit for a superhero, but I think Wonder Woman could borrow the Art Deco-style emerald tiara from Luxembourg in a heartbeat. (I assume superheros attend more white-tie events than we mere mortals do, of course. Can you tell I saw the new Wonder Woman film this week?)

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

The tiara, which was made by Chaumet, is a quintessential Art Deco piece. Its intricate diamond scroll work is interrupted by an absolutely enormous cabochon emerald at the center of the tiara, which is anchored by a large square-cut diamond. From afar, it takes on a rather solid appearance, but up close, you can see how complicated the design actually is.

Charlotte wears the tiara in a portrait, ca. 1921 (Wartenberg Trust)

The first Luxembourg royal pictured in the tiara was Grand Duchess Charlotte, the grandmother of the current grand duke; it’s possible that the piece was a gift to Charlotte from her husband, Prince Félix. Charlotte sometimes supplemented the base of the tiara with extra diamonds, making the piece slightly taller. Charlotte’s daughter-in-law, Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte, was also photographed in the tiara.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

But the current grand duchess, Maria Teresa, is the one who has gotten the most use out of the tiara. She wears the piece regularly at events both in Luxembourg and abroad and, I assume, while she’s secretly saving the world.