This weekend in Bückeburg, a descendant of German princes married his musician fiancee—and there was a major tiara involved! Here’s all the details on the sparkling diadem from the Schaumburg-Lippe princely wedding.
On Saturday, October 9, Prince Alexander of Schaumburg-Lippe, 62, married his Iranian fiancée, Mahkameh Navabi, 40, in Bückeburg. The marriage is Prince Alexander’s third. The couple shares a love of music: Mahkameh is a concert pianist, while Alexander is a jazz pianist who also occasionally gives concerts. The two have been in a relationship for five years. They’re pictured together above attending the wedding of Prince Ernst August of Hanover and Ekaterina Malysheva in Hannover in 2017.
Prince Alexander (pictured above in 2006) is the current head of the House of Schaumburg-Lippe. His family ruled over the small principality of Schaumburg-Lippe in northern Germany until 1918. (The family lost their titles and lands at the end of World War I.) The family seat is Schloss Bückeburg, where Alexander lives today.
Prince Alexander announced his engagement to Mahkameh (pictured above in 2016) in January 2020. They were married in a small civil ceremony at Schloss Bückeburg in September 2020.
For the religious wedding ceremony, which was held at the Stadtkirche in Bückeburg, Mahkameh wore a dazzling family heirloom. This diamond palmette tiara has been in the Schaumburg-Lippe family vaults for years. Its design dates it to the end of the nineteenth century. You’ll note major similarities to another tiara from the same era, the Devonshire Diadem. Marlene Koenig notes that the tiara was worn by Prince Alexander’s mother, Eva-Benita von Tiele-Winckler, at her wedding to his father, Prince Philipp-Ernst, in 1955.
The tiara has actually been worn by all three of Prince Alexander’s wives at their weddings. In August 1993, Princess Marie Luise of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (who goes by the name Lilly) wore the diamond palmette tiara for their wedding at the Stadtkirche. They were married for almost a decade, divorcing in 2002, and have one son, Hereditary Prince Heinrich Donatus of Schaumburg-Lippe. (Lilly, who has since also remarried, remains close to her ex-husband and his new wife. She was a witness at the civil wedding last September, and she was a bridesmaid at the religious ceremony this weekend.)
In June 2007, Prince Alexander married his second wife, lawyer Nadja Anna Zsoeks. The religious wedding also took place at the Stadtkirche in Bückeburg, and Nadja also wore the diamond palmette tiara. The couple had two daughters, Princess Felipa and Princess Philomena, before divorcing in 2018.
And on Saturday, Mahkameh also wore the diamond tiara for her wedding to Prince Alexander in Bückeburg, pairing the antique jewel with modern pearl and diamond earrings. Best wishes to the couple—here’s hoping the third time is indeed the charm.
Huge thanks to my friend Netty Leistra, who was present in Bückeburg for the wedding festivities, for generously allowing me to share three of her photographs from the wedding here at The Court Jeweller. She’s a fantastic royal expert whose work can be found on her website, Netty Royal. Be sure to check there soon for more coverage of the wedding celebrations!