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Today, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark celebrates her 81st birthday. To help mark the milestone, we’ve got something fun: a rundown of the royal tiaras she’s worn over the years. Get ready for a whole lot of Danish royal jewel sparkle!
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This delicate diamond drop tiara originally belonged to Queen Alexandrine of Denmark. It was later given to Queen Margrethe II, her granddaughter, as an eighteenth-birthday present in April 1958. She wore the tiara for years before passing it along to her daughter-in-law, Alexandra. Although Countess Alexandra is no longer a royal princess, she still retains the tiara — and will likely earmark it for the use of her own daughters-in-law one day in the future.
This diamond sparkler was Queen Margrethe’s wedding tiara, worn for her marriage to Prince Henrik in 1967. The diamond scroll tiara, made by Cartier, was Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden’s wedding gift from Khedive Abbas II of Egypt. The gift was especially sentimental, because Margareta and her husband, the future King Gustaf VI Adolf, had fallen in love in Cairo. The lovely jewel was able to be worn as a traditional tiara, or taken off the frame and worn as a corsage ornament. When Margaret died, the tiara was inherited by her only daughter, Queen Ingrid of Denmark. All three of Ingrid’s daughters, as well as three of her granddaughters, have worn the tiara on their wedding days. When Ingrid died in 2000, the tiara was bequeathed to her youngest daughter, the former Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.
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This detailed diamond floral tiara originally belonged to Princess Dagmar of Denmark, a sister of King Christian X (and King Haakon VII of Norway). The tiara was later passed on to Queen Margrethe II, who wore it for years before offering it as a long-term loan to her daughter-in-law, Princess Marie, in 2008. Since then, it has been Marie’s primary tiara, worn for all sorts of gala occasions.
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Arguably the grandest tiara in Margrethe’s repertoire, the emerald tiara is a part of the Danish crown jewels. It was given to Queen Caroline Amalie as an anniversary present by her husband, King Christian VII. But it’s even older than its 1840 creation date: Weisshaupt used emeralds that had belonged Queen Sophie Magdalena and Princess Charlotte, who both lived in Denmark during the eighteenth century. The tiara’s “crown jewel” distinction means several things: Margrethe does not own it, but has the right to use it whenever she wants; it can’t be taken out of the country; and only queens regnant and consort are allowed to wear it. Margrethe is only the latest in a long line of Danish queens to wear the piece: it’s been used by every single Danish queen since it was made.
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Margrethe has also been wearing this pearl and diamond tiara, which is a part of a “married” parure of pearl and diamond jewelry, since the beginning of her reign. When Princess Louise of Prussia married Prince Frederik of the Netherlands in 1825, her father, King Friedrich Wilhelm III, gave her this tiara. Her daughter, Louise, took the tiara with when she married the King of Sweden; and then her daughter, also named Louise, took it with her when she married the King of Denmark. When Queen Louise died in 1926, she placed the tiara in the Danish Royal Property Trust, which means that it belongs to the currently-reigning monarch, not to any individual. Margrethe began wearing the suite after she became queen in January 1972.
Margrethe loves modern jewelry, and this piece, designed specifically for her, certainly fits the bill. The ornament was made in 1976 by Arje Griegst. Made of gold, the headpiece attaches to the back of the wearer’s head via a small comb, and then spreads golden poppies and small bejeweled insects across the hair toward the forehead. Certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but definitely avant-garde.
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In 2000, Margrethe inherited this versatile tiara from the collection of her late mother, Queen Ingrid. The diamond tiara actually breaks into three pieces, which can be worn together or separately in various configurations. King Frederik IX bought it at auction for Queen Ingrid in 1963. He purchased it from Lauritz Melchior, a famous Danish-American opera singer, but an (unsubstantiated) rumor has it that the tiara originally belonged to Frederik’s Russian-born grandmother, Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna (mother of Queen Alexandrine).
Margrethe’s inheritance from Queen Ingrid also included this diamond tiara, which features palmette motifs arranged to echo heart shapes. The piece was a wedding gift in 1856 from the King of Prussia to his daughter, Princess Louise, who was marrying Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden. Their daughter, Victoria, took the tiara with her to Sweden when she married King Gustav V; their granddaughter, Queen Ingrid of Denmark, eventually inherited the piece. Margrethe has owned the tiara since 2000.
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Yet another tiara that Margrethe inherited in 2000 from Queen Ingrid, this tiara playfully incorporates the Queen’s nickname, Daisy, into its design. (“Marguerite” is a French word for daisy.) Because of this, most think that the turquoise and diamond bandeau was one of the pieces that Ingrid received from her own mother, Crown Princess Margareta, who was also nicknamed “Daisy.” Margrethe loves turquoises—here’s a look at her extensive collection of turquoise pieces.
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The newest addition to Margrethe’s tiara collection is this piece, made by Nicolai Appel in 2012 using melted-down gold coins from Greenland. It was Greenland’s gift to Margrethe to mark her ruby jubilee, and the floral tiara also includes small rubies and diamonds scattered among its golden flowers.
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