Can you identify the jewels worn here by Diana, Princess of Wales in Chicago in 1996?
Archives for August 2014
In Scandinavian royal families, it’s something of a tradition for a princess to receive her first tiara as a gift on her eighteenth birthday. In Denmark, King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid gave all three of their daughters, including Queen Margrethe II, eighteenth-birthday tiaras. Today, let’s talk about the birthday gift bestowed precisely fifty years ago today on the family’s other queen: Frederik and Ingrid’s youngest daughter, Anne-Marie. (Happy Birthday, Your Majesty!)
The tiara that was given to the future Greek queen began its life as another piece of jewelry: a corsage ornament (or stomacher) that belonged to Queen Victoria of Sweden, Anne-Marie’s great-grandmother (hence the piece’s usual name).
The corsage was inherited by Victoria’s granddaughter (and Anne-Marie’s mother), Queen Ingrid, who was born a Swedish princess. Ingrid wore the piece, which is made of diamonds and pearls, as a necklace and as a brooch; it was she who had the piece mounted on a tiara frame as a gift for her daughter.
Anne-Marie received the tiara fifty years ago today, on her eighteenth birthday in 1964. But not even three weeks later, she wasn’t a Danish princess anymore — she turned eighteen on August 30 of that year and married King Constantine II of Greece in Athens on September 18.
But although as queen she had access to many of the large and historical diadems of the Greek royal family,
Anne-Marie still wore her birthday tiara fairly frequently. When her own daughters, Alexia and Theodora, grew to adulthood, they too wore their mother’s tiara at various royal events.
In recent years, the tiara has become something of a secondary wedding tiara for the family (with the Khedive tiara, of course, on reserve as the wedding tiara for all of Queen Ingrid’s female descendants).
Both of Anne-Marie’s daughters-in-law have worn this tiara on their wedding days: Marie-Chantal Miller (who wed Crown Prince Pavlos) in 1995 and, more recently, Tatiana Blatnik (who married Prince Nikolaos) in 2010. I imagine we’ll see it once more on a bride when Prince Philippos, her youngest son, eventually marries.
We’re still on hiatus from our normal weekly roundup of royal jewel news — events are due to slowly start ramping up again next week, so fingers crossed that we’ll have lots of sparkle and glitter to discuss then! In the meantime, I thought you’d all enjoy a collection of stories about royal jewels that have been making the rounds this week. Happy reading!
Dutch writer Eric Schoonhoven has posted new information about the magnificent sapphire and diamond tiara worn by Queen Máxima at her husband’s inauguration in 2013. Although the piece was often attributed to Mellerio, maker of one of the family’s ruby sets, Schoonhoven writes that gemologist George Hamel believes it was actually made by the Dutch jeweler Maison van der Stichel.
The Huffington Post ran a profile of Cécile of Hohenlohe-Langenburg this week. Cécile is a descendant of numerous royal families; her ancestors include Princess Margarita of Greece and Denmark (pictured above; one of the Duke of Edinburgh’s sisters) and Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and of Tsar Alexander II. In the interview, Cécile reminisces about her family’s ancestral jewels and her own new collection of modern rings.
Over at Luxarazzi, Sydney recently posted about the wedding tiara of one of Liechtenstein’s royal brides. She’s managed to trace the small diamond fringe tiara worn by Princess Marie on her wedding day in 1989 back to its previous royal owner: Princess Maria Luisa, a Parmese princess who married a Bulgarian tsar.
While in Brazil for the wedding of Princess Amélia of Orléans-Braganza, the Duchess of Braganza (wife of the pretender to the Portuguese throne) gave an interview in which she discusses her use of the family’s heirloom jewels. Isabel wore a grand diamond tiara from the collection of the last queen of Portugal, Amélie of Orléans, on her wedding day in 1995 and in a few official portraits; she reveals that she hasn’t worn it more often because of its size and historical importance. She also hints that some of her mother-in-law’s jewels (possibly including the diamond bandeau worn by Isabel in the picture above) will eventually be inherited by her daughter, Maria Francisca.
Posters at the Royal Jewels of the World Message Board have been speculating about the tiara that might be worn by Maria Theresia of Thurn and Taxis (pictured above with her mother, Gloria) at her wedding in September. The thread includes great pictures of the tiaras that the family still owns, along with images of the sparklers that have been sold at auction.