Beatrix’s daughter-in-law, then-Princess Máxima, also wore her wedding tiara to this celebration. This particular sparkler combines the base of one tiara (the Pearl Button Tiara) with five of the family’s antique diamond stars. She has pinned another diamond star to the sash of the Order of the Netherlands Lion. Even more exciting, she has added an additional brooch to her gown: this is part of Sophie of Württemberg’s diamond stomacher, which she inherited from her Romanov mother, Grand Duchess Ekaterina Pavlovna. The stomacher includes several pink diamonds sourced from Brazil.
Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands also attended the wedding with her fellow Dutch royals. She wore the pearl setting of the tiara from the family’s emerald parure, along with a three-strand pearl necklace that belonged to Queen Emma and the sash of the Order of the House of Orange.
Queen Paola of the Belgians managed to pull off a tiara two-fer at this wedding. Perched atop her head is the diamond art deco bandeau that her husband, King Albert II, inherited from his grandmother, Queen Elisabeth. Around her neck is the meander segment of the Nine Provinces Tiara, a diadem reserved for Belgian queens. It was made in 1926 for Queen Astrid; the full version features a set of diamond arches atop the meander element. Paola’s also wearing the sash of the Order of the Elephant. (This photo also helps to illustrate the difference between the sash of the order worn by women and the larger one worn by men.)
Still a princess in 2004, the Duchess of Brabant (now Queen Mathilde) wore the laurel wreath tiara that she received as a wedding present in 1999. She’s also wearing a pair of white and yellow diamond earrings that were a gift from her husband, Philippe, as well as the sash of the Order of Leopold.
As usual, Princess Astrid of Belgium wore a tiara that comes from the collection of her husband’s mother, Princess Margherita of Savoy, Archduchess of Austria-Este. This diamond floral tiara has been in the collection of the Savoys for nearly a century, but Astrid wears it pretty much exclusively these days. Like her sister-in-law, she’s also wearing the sash of the Order of Leopold.
Rounding out the trio of Belgian princesses attending the wedding was Princess Claire, the wife of Prince Laurent. She wore her small diamond wedding tiara (a gift from her parents-in-law) with a pair of pearl pendant earrings (also worn on her wedding day — these were apparently a gift from Queen Paola’s family, the Ruffo di Calabrias). Intriguingly, she’s not wearing an order sash. I’ve not been able to figure out precisely when Claire received the Order of Leopold, but I’d be very surprised if she hadn’t received it on her wedding day (in 2003). Strange!
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg did wear an order sash: she’s a knight of the Order of the Elephant. To coordinate with the pale blue sash, she wore the tiara and earrings from the family’s aquamarine parure, made in the middle of the twentieth century for her mother-in-law, Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte. She’s also secured the sash with a piece of heirloom jewelry: one of the Nassau rose brooches, which have been with the family since the mid-nineteenth century.
The Windsors were represented at this foreign royal wedding, as per usual, by the Earl and Countess of Wessex. Sophie wore her wedding tiara (made from elements that were once a part of Queen Victoria’s regal circlet) and a diamond necklace, earrings, and brooch. In 2004, Sophie wasn’t yet a member of an order of chivalry that included a sash for her to wear. (Today you’ll see her wearing the sash of the Royal Victorian Order at white-tie events, but she didn’t receive the RVO until 2010.) But she is wearing the family order of her mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II, which is attached to a ribbon of yellow silk.
Princess Caroline of Monaco (who was already the Princess of Hanover as well in 2004) surprised royal watchers at this wedding by bringing out a tiara from the Hanoverian jewel vaults. This is the Brunswick Tiara, which is one of the tiaras that apparently really was once worn by Empress Josephine of France. In 1913, it was given to Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia on the occasion of her wedding to the Duke of Brunswick. It hadn’t been worn in public for more than two decades until Caroline donned it for this wedding. The diamond and sapphire necklace and earrings she wears are a part of a Cartier-made demi-parure from the collection of her paternal grandmother, Princess Charlotte of Monaco. For some reason, she has chosen not to wear the sash of an order, even though she had long been a member of the Order of St. Charles by this time.
There are two families that claim to be the rightful heirs of the Italian throne these days. The wife of one of them (Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy), Princess Marina of Savoy, wore a major heirloom tiara to this wedding. It’s the sparkler made by Musy for Queen Margherita of Italy in 1904. It’s incredible versatile, able to be worn in a number of configurations; Marina is wearing the complete version of the piece here. She also has the badge of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus pinned to her jacket. (Both Vittorio Emanuele and his rival, Amedeo of Savoy, claim to be the grand master of the order Marina is wearing here. It’s also worth noting that the Savoys here are a week away from the infamous confrontation at the Spanish royal wedding, which ended with Vittorio Emanuele punching Amedeo, who landed on Queen Anne-Marie of Greece. Exciting! And embarrassing!)
Another big tiara surprise came from another Italian princess. Camilla of Bourbon-Two Sicilies wore the Ancona Tiara. The antique tiara was made for a different branch of the B-2S family, but they put it up for auction in 1999. Most think that Camilla’s wealthy parents bought the tiara for their daughter, who had married Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies in 1998 — making them, of course, Charles and Camilla 2.0. She’s also wearing the sash of the Constantinian Order of St. George. (This is sort of mean, I guess, but isn’t it interesting that you can so clearly tell which royals don’t get to bust out their order sashes regularly?)
The Duchess of Braganza, wife of the pretender to the Portuguese throne, wore a small family tiara to the wedding: a diamond bandeau that belonged to the present duke’s month, Maria Francisca of Orléans-Braganza. She’s also wearing the Order of St. Isabel (which makes sense, as she is grand mistress of the order). It’s tough to see, but the red-haired woman with whom the Braganzas are chatting is Francesca von Habsburg, (estranged) wife of the current head of the House of Habsburg. Francesca is wearing the diamond and emerald bandeau that the family bought from the Hanoverian royals in the 1990s — you can just see the green stones peeking through her hair.
It’s a little difficult to see, but Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia, wife of Crown Prince Alexander, is indeed wearing a tiara — albeit a small one that disappears into her hair. The former royal family of Yugoslavia doesn’t have a lot of royal jewelry left, and many think this tiara was probably acquired for Katherine at some point after she and Alexander married. The rest of her jewelry is also rather delicate, except for the star of her order: the Order of St. Sava.
The wedding was also attended by another Balkan crown princely couple: Prince Kardam and Princess Miriam of Bulgaria. Her necklace and earrings are theatrical, surely costume jewels; the provenance of her tiara is also unknown. The Bulgarians still have a number of tiaras from their former royal collection, but this small diamond floral tiara seems to be from another source, possibly a loan. (It’s also not the same as the cobbled-together tiara that Miriam wore eight years later at the royal wedding in Luxembourg.) Sadly, this is one of the last royal occasions that Miriam and Kardam were able to attend as a couple. They were in a serious car accident in 2008, and although his recovery was promising for a time, he’s apparently been in a coma for the past four years.
Once one of the most glittering empresses in the world, Farah Pahlavi has worn simpler jewels since her exile from Iran. Her earrings were the point of focus at this wedding. Most of the extravagant jewelry she wore in Iran was the property of the state; she took only her personal jewelry with her when she left, and so we rarely see her in major jewels anymore.