25 January 2021

Diamond Tiara Tournament: Alexandra's Kokoshnik vs Floral Aigrette

Will it be the wall of diamonds or the wreath of flowers?

ARTHUR EDWARDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images, Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik vs. The Danish Floral Aigrette


This classic diamond tiara was inspired by a kokoshnik owned by Queen Alexandra's beloved sister, Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia. Alexandra received hers as a silver wedding present from a group of aristocratic women. Later worn by Queen Mary, it's graced the Queen's head since 1953, and has been a fixture at galas and state banquets during her reign.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Some believe that this incredible, flexible floral ornament originally belonged to Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia, grandmother of King Frederik IX. We know for sure, though, that in the 1960s it belonged to a famous Danish-American tenor, Lauritz Melchior. He sold it to King Frederik in 1963, and it's been sparkling on the heads of Queen Ingrid and Queen Margrethe II ever since. Queen Margrethe is especially inventive in the ways she wears the three-sectioned tiara.