23 December 2020

Ravishing Royal Ruby Tiaras

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We decked the halls with emeralds yesterday—now it's time for the royal rubies to have a turn!

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Clusters of rubies form berry designs in the Danish Ruby Parure Tiara, a classic diamond and ruby wreath. Made from jewels that originally belonged to Desiree Clary, the first Bernadotte queen of Sweden, the tiara is now worn by Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

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Prince Albert originally designed the Oriental Circlet to be set with his favorite gems, opals—but when Queen Alexandra got her hands on the piece, she replaced the opals in the tiara and its accompanying parure with bright red rubies.

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The Queen's most-worn ruby tiara is the Burmese Ruby Tiara, which she commissioned from Garrard in the 1970s. The tiara combines diamonds taken from the dismantled Nizam of Hyderabad Tiara with a valuable cache of Burmese rubies that she received as a wedding present.

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The Ruby Olive Wreath Tiara, which still pops up at court functions in Denmark on Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, uses rubies to represent olives. The stylized sparkler has long roots in the Greek royal family, starting with Queen Olga.

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Queen Silvia of Sweden is the current wearer of the King Edward VII Ruby Tiara. The unusual sparkler was a wedding gift from Edward VII to his niece, Princess Margaret of Connaught, when she married into the Swedish royal family in 1905.

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In Madrid, Queen Sofia of Spain's jewelry box contains the Niarchos Rubies, a set that includes a diamond, ruby, and gold bandeau. The set, made by Van Cleef and Arpels, has several twins and cousins, including the unique ruby kokoshnik worn by Princess Grace at Versailles in the '70s.

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Speaking of Princess Grace, the Grimaldi vaults contain a whole lot of rubies—which makes sense, since red and white are Monaco's national colors. The most prominent ruby tiara in the collection is the Bains de Mer Tiara, one of Princess Grace's wedding gifts. It remains in the princely collection today.

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The Dutch royal vaults feature an embarrassment of rubies, including two complete ruby parures! The Mellerio Ruby Parure Tiara is the centerpiece of the first suite, which also includes an eye-catching necklace and a pair of versatile earrings, plus a bejeweled fan!

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Queen Maxima of the Netherlands can also be spotted in the Ruby Peacock Tiara, part of the family's second ruby parure. It comes with a mirrored necklace and a coordinating brooch. Fantastic!

Which royal ruby tiaras are your favorites?