30 November 2019

The Marichalar Meander Tiara

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Jewels are often sentimentally associated with relationships, but today's sparkler, the Marichalar Meander Tiara, has remained in one royal collection even after the end of the marriage it crowned.




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The diamond and platinum tiara combines two classical motifs, the laurel wreath and the meander, in a sleek kokoshnik-inspired shape. The platinum base features small circles as well. The piece was given to Infanta Elena of Spain as a wedding present by her husband, Jaime de Marichalar y Sáenz de Tejada, and her mother-in-law, the Countess of Ripalda.


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Elena and Jaime's engagement was announced in November 1994. A few months later, she wore the tiara on their wedding day in Seville in March 1995. For the ceremony at Seville Cathedral, she also wore a pair of diamond and pearl earrings loaned to her by her mother, Queen Sofia. The earrings have most recently been worn by Queen Letizia.


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After her marriage, the tiara became Elena's most-worn sparkler, often showing up at events like state dinners. In October 1999, she wore the tiara with diamonds for a reception in Madrid in honor of President Chirac of France.


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She also wore the tiara in November 2005 for an official dinner at the Royal Palace in Madrid in honor of Chinese President Hu Jintao.


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She's also worn the tiara to other royal weddings. In May 2004, she paired the tiara with rubies and diamonds for the wedding of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark in Copenhagen.


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In 2007, Elena and Jaime announced their separation, and by early 2010, the couple officially divorced. Still, Elena kept the tiara, which had been a personal gift to her. And in June 2010, she wore the tiara for the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden in Stockholm. On that occasion, she paired the tiara with a jacket inspired by a traditional matador costume.


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On that occasion, Elena (pictured here with Prince Kyril of Bulgaria) wore the tiara with a snood that matched the jacket.