31 October 2017

The Daily Diadem: "The Vladimir Tiara"

As Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown, Claire Foy wears a replica of the Vladimir Tiara with pearl drops (and replicas of the Gloucester Pendant Earrings and Queen Alexandra's Wedding Necklace); compare it with the real tiara over here!

Terrifying Tales of Haunted Royal Jewels

The Hope Diamond in its temporary "Embracing Hope" diamond and platinum setting by Harry Winston, November 2010 (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Happy Halloween, magpies! Gather 'round: I've got some delightfully spooky tales of cursed royal jewels on tap for today. Are some of these pieces just unlucky -- or is there something more sinister afoot?

30 October 2017

The Daily Diadem: "Queen Adelaide's Diamond Fringe"

As Queen Victoria in The Young Victoria, Emily Blunt wears a replica of Queen Adelaide's Diamond Fringe Tiara; compare it with the original over here!

(With Halloween approaching, we're judging Hollywood's costume replicas of real royal tiaras all week. If this isn't your cup of tea, never fear: the genuine article will return to this series next week.)

Birthday Jewels: Princess Margaretha of Sweden

Princess Margaretha, ca. 1959 (Wikimedia Commons)

Tomorrow, Princess Margaretha, Mrs. Ambler -- the eldest sister of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden -- celebrates her 83rd birthday. To kick off the festivities, I've got a post full of some of the most beautiful jewels she's worn at events in Sweden and abroad. Enjoy!

29 October 2017

The Daily Diadem: Queen Marie Amelie's Sapphire Parure Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

Princess Marie Isabelle d'Orleans, Countess of Paris wears the tiara and jewels from Queen Marie Amelie's sapphire parure; see the tiara, which is now owned by the Louvre, in color over here!

Jewels in Motion: Elizabeth and Philip's Engagement (1947)

In a few weeks, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary. We'll be providing an in-depth look at the jewels surrounding their wedding festivities all month, and we're kicking things off today with a look at their official engagement announcement. The photos from the engagement may feel familiar, but when seen in motion, they take on a whole new significance and warmth. Enjoy!

28 October 2017

The Daily Diadem: Princess Francoise's Turquoise Tiara

Princess Francoise d'Orleans, Princess of Greece and Denmark wears the tiara and coordinating jewels from her diamond and turquoise parure in a portrait, ca. 1922; the set was reportedly later sold

Queen Mary's Sapphire Bandeau

Today, we're taking a closer look at one of the long-lost British tiaras that’s hopefully waiting patiently somewhere deep in the royal vaults: Queen Mary's Sapphire Bandeau.

27 October 2017

The Daily Diadem: Queen Mercedes's Pearl and Diamond Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

Princess Mercedes d'Orleans, Queen of Spain wears a pearl and diamond tiara in this detail from an 1878 portrait by Manuel Ojeda y Siles; the current status of the tiara, which Mercedes wore on her wedding day, is apparently not known

This Week in Royal Jewels: October 20-26

October 20-26, 2017

We've got some truly classic sparkle this week in a supersized version of our jewelry roundup -- don't forget to vote for your favorites in the poll below!


15. Queen Mathilde of the Belgians wears modern golden hoop earrings to speak with the artist Christo during a visit to a new exhibition of his work in Brussels on Tuesday.

26 October 2017

The Daily Diadem: Princess Margaretha's Floral Tiara

Grand Ladies Site

Princess Marie d'Orleans, Princess of Denmark wears a diamond floral tiara later owned by her daughter-in-law, Princess Margaretha; more on the tiara over here!

Jewel History: Again the Pomp and Circumstance (1937)


"Again the Pomp and Circumstance as His Majesty Opens Parliament"
(originally published in the Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 26 Oct 1937)

London, Oct. 26 -- "My Lords, pray be seated." King George [1], wearing the magnificent Imperial Crown and royal robes of scarlet over his military uniform, stands on a red-carpeted dais in front of two light-bathed, golden-crowned thrones in the House of Lords and opens his first session of parliament. He holds the hand of Queen Elizabeth [2], also crowned, in scarlet robes and covered with jewels that scintillate like stars over her beautiful gown of silver with flowing train.

25 October 2017

Maxima Sparkles in Eemland

Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands made a regional visit to Eemland on Tuesday, and Max brought multicolored gems along with her.

The Daily Diadem: The Diadem of the Stars

Wikimedia Commons

Princess Amelie d'Orleans, Queen of Portugal wears the Diadem of the Stars, part of a diamond suite of jewelry constructed for her predecessor, Queen Maria Pia; the tiara is still part of the Portuguese crown jewel collection today

Jewels of the Princess of Asturias Awards

Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

King Felipe, Queen Letizia, and Queen Sofia of Spain traveled to Oviedo this weekend for the Princess of Asturias Awards, a collection of prizes awarded annually to those who have made notable achievements in several areas, including arts, humanities, sciences, and sports.

24 October 2017

The Daily Diadem: The Aosta Knots and Stars Tiara

Grand Ladies Site

Princess Helene d'Orleans, Duchess of Aosta wears several family jewels, including the Knots and Stars Tiara and the emerald necklace; the Aosta family still owns a version of the tiara today, while the necklace is primarily worn by Princess Astrid of Belgium

Book Review: Koh-i-Noor (2017)

Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World's Most Infamous Diamond (Photo: The Court Jeweller)

I've got a treat for those of you who love royal jewelry and history today! I just finished William Dalrymple and Anita Anand's Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World's Most Infamous Diamond, which was published in September, and I'm happy to say that it's excellent.

23 October 2017

Classic Brooches for Queen Elizabeth II

Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom has been out and about quite a bit this weekend, so it's time for a brooch update! We've got a pair of classic pieces on tap for today.

The Daily Diadem: The Guise Fleur-de-Lis Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

Princess Isabelle d'Orleans, Duchess of Guise wears a tiara topped by fleur-de-lis ornaments with an intricate diamond choker necklace in a portrait from around the turn of the 20th century

On the Block: Le Grand Mazarin at Christie's


Next month, one of the most important gems from the former French crown jewel collection will be sold at Christie's in Geneva. The Grand Mazarin, an old mine brilliant-cut diamond with a pale pink color that weighs in at 19.07 carats, was owned by generations of French kings and emperors.

22 October 2017

The Daily Diadem: The Boucheron Loop Tiara

Grand Ladies Site

The Princess of Wales (previously the Duchess of York, later Queen Mary) wears the Boucheron Loop Tiara for a coronation-related portrait, ca. 1902; more on this lost sparkler over here!

Jewels in Motion: Karl and Zita's Wedding (1911)

Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday, we featured the classic tiara worn by Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma, the last Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, at her wedding in 1911. Today, I've got some fascinating newsreel footage from that wedding to share, including pictures of several tiara-clad guests. Put on your jewel detective hats, and enjoy seeing a piece of history in motion!

21 October 2017

The Daily Diadem: The Lotus Flower Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

The Duchess of York (later Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom) wears the Lotus Flower Tiara in a portrait, ca. 1925; read much more about the tiara over here!

Empress Zita's Wedding Tiara

AFP/Getty Images

In the waning days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a royal wedding united a Habsburg archduke and a Bourbon-Parma princess. It would be one of the last great imperial gatherings in Austria before the assassination of the family's heir led to the outbreak of World War I. Today, we're looking at the tiara worn at the center of it all: the bridal diadem of Zita of Bourbon-Parma.

20 October 2017

The Daily Diadem: The Iveagh Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

The Princess of Wales (later Queen Mary, previously the Duchess of York) wears the Iveagh Tiara in a portrait, ca. 1905; read more about this classic tiara over here!

This Week in Royal Jewels: October 13-19

October 13-19, 2017

It's been a quieter week for royal jewels, but we've still got some sparkle to enjoy! Don't forget to vote for your favorites in the poll below!


10. Queen Rania of Jordan wore a lovely pair of hoop earrings that resembled crescent moons for a meeting with Australia's Governor General in Amman on Wednesday.

19 October 2017

The Daily Diadem: The Teck Crescent Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

Queen Elizabeth of Canada (previously Duchess of York) wears the Teck Crescent Tiara for a dinner at Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, May 1939; learn about the tiara's story over here!

Royal Jewel Rewind: Luxembourg Royal Wedding (Part 2)

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Our celebration of the royal wedding of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie of Luxembourg, which was held five years ago tomorrow, continues with more royal jewels! If you missed part one, you can catch up over here!

Royal Jewel Rewind: Luxembourg Royal Wedding (Part 1)

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Five years ago tomorrow, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg married his Belgian fiancee, Countess Stephanie de Lannoy, at the Cathedral of our Lady of Luxembourg. Royals from around the world attended the ceremony, and today, we've got a two-part flashback to all of the sparkle. Enjoy, and stop back here later today for part two!

18 October 2017

Royal Jewel Rewind: Pre-Wedding Gala in Luxembourg (Part 4)

Guy Wolff/Grand-Ducal Court of Luxembourg via Getty Images

Here it is: our final flashback post on the glittering pre-wedding gala held for Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg and Countess Stephanie de Lannoy! This post features all of the non-reigning royals who sparkled at the gala. If you missed any of the three earlier posts, you can read part one here, part two here, and part three here!

Royal Jewel Rewind: Pre-Wedding Gala in Luxembourg (Part 3)

Guy Wolff/Grand-Ducal Court of Luxembourg via Getty Images

Our survey of the royal jewels worn at the grand pre-wedding gala in Luxembourg five years ago this week continues with even more royal glitter! If you missed either of the previous parts, you can read part one here and part two here!

The Daily Diadem: The County of Surrey Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

The Duchess of Cornwall and York (later Queen Mary) wears the County of Surrey Tiara in a portrait taken in Ottawa during the 1901 royal tour of Canada; learn much more about the history of the tiara over here!

Royal Jewel Rewind: Pre-Wedding Gala in Luxembourg (Part 2)

Guy Wolff/Grand-Ducal Court of Luxembourg via Getty Images

Time for the second installment of our look back at the glittering pre-wedding gala held in Luxembourg five years ago! If you missed our first post, check it out here. Otherwise, get ready for some royal glitter!

Royal Jewel Rewind: Pre-Wedding Gala in Luxembourg (Part 1)

Guy Wolff/Grand-Ducal Court of Luxembourg via Getty Images

Five years ago this week, one of the last great royal weddings of a generation took place in Luxembourg. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, the last eligible heir in Europe, married his Belgian-born fiancee, Countess Stephanie de Lannoy. But before their big cathedral wedding, they hosted a grand gala for their guests. Here's the first (of four!) posts for the day looking back at the astonishing jewels worn for the occasion.

17 October 2017

Camilla Sparkles at the Royal Academy of Arts

Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Royal Academy of Arts in London on Monday to help launch the RA250 Friends membership scheme, and she brought some major glitter along with her.

The Daily Diadem: The Cartier Halo Tiara

London Express/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, formerly Duchess of York, wears the Cartier Halo Tiara in a portrait used on commemorative stamps for her 1937 coronation; read more about this tiara's history over here!

Jewel History: The Intended Marriage of Her Majesty (1839)

Queen Victoria in an engraving, ca. 1838 (Grand Ladies Site)

"The Intended Marriage of Her Majesty"
(originally appeared in the Observer, 25 Nov 1839)

London, Sunday, November 24 -- Since the year 1761, when, on the 8th of July, King George III announced at a meeting of his Privy Council his intended marriage with the Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz [1], no meeting of that distinguished and important body has excited so much of public interest as that which was held yesterday at Buckingham Palace, and at which Her Majesty [2] signified her intention to contract a marriage with His Royal Highness Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. For some days, rumours as to the object of the meeting of the Privy Council had been publicly circulated [3], and, in consequence, before twelve o'clock, numbers of well-dressed persons, among whom were a large number of females, began congregating themselves in St. James's Park, in the vicinity of the palace.

16 October 2017

Women's Royal Naval Service Celebration Jewels

Alastair Grant - WPA Pool/Getty Images

On Thursday, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom visited the Army and Navy Club in London for a reception to celebrate the Women's Royal Naval Service 100 Project. Here's a look at the jewels worn for the occasion.

The Daily Diadem: The York Diamond Tiara

Image licensed to The Court Jeweller; DO NOT REPRODUCE.

Sarah, Duchess of York wears her diamond wedding tiara for a banquet given by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia at Claridge's in London, March 1987; the tiara, a gift from the Queen and Prince Philip, remained Sarah's personal property after her divorce

Paddington Pink Jewels for Kate

Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Duchess of Cambridge made a surprise appearance with the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry this morning at a Charities Forum event held at Paddington Station in London. Here's a look at what she wore for the event, which was sponsored by the makers of the new Paddington 2 film.

Unique Royal Engagement Rings

Niels Henrik Dam/Getty Images, Chris Jackson/Getty Images, Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Engagement rumors keep buzzing louder and louder around Prince Harry and his American-born girlfriend, Meghan Markle. We recently surveyed some of Britain's royal engagement ring, in case Harry is looking for a bit of familial inspiration on the jewel front. But since his relationship is a bit more unconventional in royal terms, perhaps he'd also like to present his future wife with a more unusual engagement ring? Here's a roundup of some of the more unique rings presented to mark royal engagements.

15 October 2017

The Daily Diadem: Queen Amelie's Emerald Tiara

Grand Ladies Site

Queen Amelie of Portugal wears her suite of emerald jewels, including a striking tiara, in a portrait photograph taken in the early years of her marriage; the tiara and necklace were last seen in public in the 1960s, and its current whereabouts are apparently unknown

Jewels in Motion: Jubilee Tiaras in Brunei


Last weekend, a glittering Golden Jubilee celebration took place in Brunei, honoring the fifty-year reign of Hassanal Bolkiah, the 29th Sultan of Brunei. The festivities included a banquet with lots of tiaras, and I've got a whole post's worth of them glittering -- in motion! -- for you today. 

Three notes! First: many of these GIFs contain flash photography. Second: don't take this post as an endorsement of the politics of some of the rulers and regions shown. (That should really go for many posts on the blog, really.) And finally, because I know I'll get asked -- I don't have any more information, provenance or otherwise, on the individual tiaras than I'm sharing in the post.

14 October 2017

The Daily Diadem: The Dutch Sapphire Parure Tiara

Robin Utrecht-Pool/Getty Images

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands wears a slightly smaller version of the family's grand sapphire tiara at the inauguration of her husband, King Willem-Alexander, April 2013; read all about this fascinating tiara over here!

Empress Farah's Floral Tiara

Wikimedia Commons

This week, our exploration of tiaras from imperial families arrives in Iran, where the Pahlavi family reigned from 1925 until 1979. Today's floral tiara was worn by the country's last empress, Farah Pahlavi.

13 October 2017

The Daily Diadem: The Braganza Floral Necklace Tiara

Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Dona Isabel, Duchess of Braganza wears a diamond floral necklace set on a tiara frame at a state banquet for the Spanish royals in Guimaraes, November 2016

This Week in Royal Jewels: October 6-12

October 6-12, 2017

Get ready for an extra sparkly week of royal jewels! Don't forget to vote for your favorites in the poll below! (Also: please note that this post features some GIFs that include flash photography.)


10. For her wedding to Philip of Serbia, son of Crown Prince Alexander, Danica Marinkovic wore a demi-parure of diamond and emerald jewels, plus scattered pearls in her hair. (Much more over here!)