10 July 2017

The Top Ten: Spanish Royal Tiaras

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In honor of the Spanish state visit to the United Kingdom this week, we're going to be featuring loads of Spanish royal jewels here on the blog. To start off, we've got a whole bunch of glittering tiaras for you to enjoy: ten of my favorite Spanish royal tiaras!

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10. The Niarchos Ruby Bandeau: One of Queen Sofia's wedding gifts was this Van Cleef and Arpels ruby set, presented to her by the shipping magnate Stavros Niarchos. The set includes a bandeau, which can be worn with either one or two strands of diamond and ruby clusters linked by diamond leaves. We last saw this tiara in public during the French state visit in 2009. (Read more about the tiara over here!)

9. Infanta Pilar's Sapphire Tiara: King Juan Carlos's sister, Infanta Pilar, owns a diamond and sapphire tiara that once belonged to her mother, the Countess of Barcelona. She wears the piece occasionally herself, and she's also loaned it out to other members of her family (including Laura Ponte, above, who wore it upside down) as a bridal tiara.

8. The Asturias Fleur-de-Lis Tiara: This diamond and pearl sparkler, made by Ansorena and now owned by Queen Letizia, has a complicated backstory surrounding its creation and acquisition. (Read much more over here!) No wonder Letizia decided to debut the tiara for the first time at a birthday party in Denmark, not a state occasion in Spain!

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7. Queen Ena's Aquamarine Tiara: This tiara has undergone several changes since it was first made for Queen Ena of Spain shortly after her wedding. We most recently saw it on one of Ena's non-Spanish royal descendants: Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg. (Much more over here!)

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6. The Cartier Loop Tiara: Although this large diamond and pearl tiara meandered away from the main line of the Spanish royal family, it's since been returned to the royal fold. Queen Sofia is the piece's most recent wearer, but we haven't seen it in public in about a decade. (More over here!)

5. The Mellerio Shell Tiara: An innovative nineteenth-century sparkler with a maritime theme, this tiara dates back to the volatile days when Spanish monarchs were ousted as often as they were inaugurated. Queen Sofia received the tiara as a wedding present, and she's owned it ever since, frequently loaning it to other ladies in the family. (Much more over here!)

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4. The Prussian Tiara: A delicate, petite kokoshnik that was originally owned by a German princess, this tiara has been worn by two generations of Spanish royal brides. Its streamlined silhouette has made it a favorite of Queen Letizia since her marriage. (Read much more over here!)

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3. The Spanish Floral Tiara: Another of Letizia's favorite tiaras is this classic diamond floral sparkler, which originally resided in the Spanish royal vaults in the nineteenth century. It was reunited with the family when Queen Sofia received it as a wedding present, and it's been one of the most frequently worn royal tiaras ever since. (Much more over here!)

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2. Queen Ena's Fleur-de-Lis Tiara: Part of the joyas de pasar collection, this tiara passes from Spanish monarch to monarch, and it is now worn by the current Spanish queen consort, Queen Letizia. It was made by Ansorena for Queen Ena in 1906, and it's since been nicknamed La Buena -- "the good one." (Much more over here!)


1. Queen Ena's Pearl and Diamond Tiara: La Buena may be the "good one," but I think the greatest tiara in the Spanish collection is the gorgeous, balanced diamond and pearl tiara that Cartier made for Queen Ena. Even better -- it's a recycled version of the wedding gift she received from her mother-in-law. Genius! (Read more over here!)

Which tiara do you hope to see Queen Letizia wear during this week's British state visit?