09 November 2020

Diamond Tiara Tournament: Meiji vs Baumer Aigrette


Will it be the classic Japanese sparkler or the modern Monegasque aigrette?

KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images, Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

The Meiji Tiara vs. The Baumer Aigrette

KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images

This classic diamond tiara was the first important Western-style diadem worn by the Empresses of Japan. Since the late nineteenth century, all Japanese empresses have worn the tiara, which has a set of interchangeable round and star diamond toppers. Today, the tiara is worn by Empress Masako.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Prince Albert II of Monaco commissioned this all-diamond aigrette for his new wife, Princess Charlene, in 2011. The tiara's creator, Lorenz Bäumer, took his inspiration from Charlene's aquatic prowess and the principality's maritime location, creating an aigrette that resembles the spray rising off of a cresting wave. Charlene has worn the aigrette only once so far in public: at her wedding reception, held after her religious wedding ceremony.