16 March 2019

The Prussian Clover Coronet

Wikimedia Commons

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, so of course I needed to bring you a suitable sparkler this Saturday! Here's a closer look at the intriguing clover coronet from the former imperial family of Germany.

Augusta Victoria wears the coronet, ca. 1913 (Wikimedia Commons)

This striking clover and trefoil diadem was designed by a royal who wasn't primarily known for his interest in the aesthetics of jewels: Kaiser Wilhelm II. He commissioned the coronet, which featured shamrock and clovers, from Koch in 1906 as a twenty-fifth wedding anniversary gift for his wife, Kaiserin Augusta Victoria.

Augusta Victoria wears the tiara in a portrait by de Laszlo, ca. 1908 (Wikimedia Commons)

August Victoria (who was always called "Dona" by her family) was photographed in the piece; she also wore it in a portrait painted by Philip de László in 1908.

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After the family was exiled to the Netherlands in the aftermath of World War I, they managed to keep this piece in their collection. Above, Princess Kira of Prussia wears the coronet in April 1956 in Munich during the wedding celebrations for Archduke Ferdinand Karl of Austria and Countess Helene of Toerring-Jettenbach. In the ensuing decades, however, the tiara was altered. Parts of the tiara were removed to create two additional tiaras. In its current form, the clover coronet is often featured in various museum exhibitions.

Princess Birgitta, escorted by Prince Bertil, wears the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen Coronet for her German wedding to Johann Georg of Hohenzollern in Sigmaringen, May 1961 (Keystone Pictures USA/Alamy)

As an aside: there's a similar -- but not the same! -- coronet in the collection of another branch of the German royal family, the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringens. It was worn by Princess Birgitta of Sweden and Hohenzollern during her German marriage ceremony in 1961.