26 March 2021

The Chaumet Lacis Tiara for a Romanov Bride

Russian Imperial House


A member of the House of Romanov is getting married later this year, and the bride will be wearing a grand diamond tiara for the occasion. Here's what we know about Victoria Romanovna Bettarini and her Chaumet wedding tiara...


Russian Imperial House


George Mikhailovich Romanov, 40, who uses the title of Grand Duke of Russia, proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Rebecca Bettarini, 38, in 2020. Grand Duke George is the only son of Maria Vladimirovna Romanovna, a claimant of the headship of the House of Romanov. (She's seen by many as the most legitimate claimant to the defunct imperial throne, especially after she was recognized as head of the house by the Russian Orthodox Church in 2013.)After securing permission from his mother, the couple's engagement was officially announced on January 20, 2021. Rebecca had converted to her husband's Russian Orthodox faith in July 2020, and at that point she took on a new name, Victoria Romanovna Bettarini.


Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images


Grand Duke George has frequently been seen over the years attending European royal events alongside his mother. Above, George and Maria Vladimirovna are pictured at the wedding reception for Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco in the summer of 2011. Though the Romanovs have been without a throne for more than a century, the family still has significant ties to other European royal families. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna was a granddaughter of Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich of Russia (first cousin of the last tsar, Nicholas II) and Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (a granddaughter of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria).

Grand Duke George also descends from European royals on his paternal line. His father is Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia, a great-grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Because Kaiser Wilhelm was a grandson of Queen Victoria, George is a descendant of the British monarch on both sides of his family. Grand Duke George's godfather is also royal: King Constantine II of Greece. As Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna lives in Madrid, the family socializes with other royal relatives who live there, including King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain and members of the former royal family of Bulgaria.


Russian Imperial House


Grand Duke George's fiancée, Victoria Romanovna Bettarini, is Italian. Because her father is a diplomat, her childhood was spent all over the world, including Iraq, Venezuela, and Belgium. She speaks several languages and has written a novel. She now lives in Moscow, where she has been studying Russian. She has known her future husband since they were teenagers, and they have been a couple for the better part of a decade.


Russian Imperial House


The couple's official betrothal ceremony was held on January 24 at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, located within the walls of the Ipatiev Monastery in Kostroma. The family has announced that the wedding ceremony will take place on October 1, 2021, at Saint Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg. It will be the first wedding of a member of the Romanov family in St. Petersburg in more than a century. After their marriage, Victoria will be use the title of "Princess" and the style of "Her Serene Highness."


Chaumet


With her bridal ensemble, Victoria will wear a new tiara made by Chaumet. The Lacis Tiara is made of white gold and set with diamonds. The firm describes the tiara as having "a subtle interplay of light and transparency" which is "orchestrated by the crossing of fils couteau mountings, an iconic virtuosity of the Maison which seems to render the metal structure invisible in order to let the stones sparkle." The design of the tiara was also inspired by contemporary architectural trends.


Chaumet


In an interview with Point de Vue, Victoria revealed that Chaumet's connections to George's ancestor, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna (Grand Duchess Vladimir), was part of the inspiration for her tiara choice. She also noted that she was drawn to the tiara's kokoshnik-like shape, with its visual links to the traditional Russian tiara style. She explained, "It suits the wedding dress perfectly and reflects my own personality very well." 


Chaumet


I don't believe we know whether the Lacis Tiara was purchased by the couple or simply loaned by the jewelry firm, but either way, Victoria Romanovna will be married in it later this year. You can read the full, translated Point de Vue article on the Russian Legitimist website, and Victoria's full interview with the magazine at Royal Musings. Both also include images of the future princess selecting and wearing the tiara. (You'll spot some other recognizable Chaumet tiaras in the images, too, including one worn by Isabelle d'Orleans, Countess of Paris.)