Today in Athens, the world will witness something it hasn’t seen in quite a while: the wedding of a member of Greek’s former royal family, taking place in the city’s Metropolitan Cathedral. Ahead of today’s festivities, I’ve got a look at some royal wedding jewels worn over the years by members of the family. (This isn’t a comprehensive list, but rather a survey of a range of jewels.) Fingers crossed we get to add another tiara to the list today!
We’ll start a little over a century ago, with the grand nuptials of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark (the son of King George I of the Hellenes) and Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia at Tsarskoye Selo near St. Petersburg. The couple married in August 1902, in a ceremony attended by the Russian emperor and empress and the Greek king and queen. Elena, who used the title of “Princess Nicholas” after her marriage, wore the incredible diamond jewels of Romanov imperial brides: the nuptial crown and tiara, the grand necklace, the cherry earrings, the bracelet, and the cloak clasp. (Read more about the jewels here!)
In October 1903, Prince Nicholas’s younger brother, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, married Princess Alice of Battenberg in Darmstadt. The couple had met a year earlier at the coronation of her great-uncle and his aunt, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom. For the wedding, Alice was decked out in diamond stars, including her mother’s diamond star tiara. (The tiara, sadly, was later lost in Russia during the revolution.)
Another son of King George I and Queen Olga, Prince George of Greece and Denmark, married Princess Marie Bonaparte in November 1907. The two had a civil ceremony in Paris, followed by a religious wedding in Athens. Marie’s impressive wedding trousseau included the superb Bonaparte Olive Wreath Tiara.
Prince Christopher of Greece and Denmark, the youngest son of King George I and Queen Olga, married the American heiress Nancy Stewart Worthington Leeds in Switzerland in February 1920. The couple had been engaged for six years. Nancy, who was known as Princess Anastasia after the wedding, wore a diamond bandeau, plus a diamond necklace and a gorgeous diamond bow brooch, for the ceremony.
After a failed engagement to King Frederik IX of Denmark (!), Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark (daughter of Prince and Princess Nicholas) married Prince Paul of Yugoslavia in Belgrade in October 1923. The Duke of York—later King George VI of the United Kingdom—was best man at the ceremony. Olga wore a stunning diamond lattice tiara with her bridal veil, plus a classic diamond rivere necklace.
Princess Olga’s sister, Princess Elizabeth of Greece and Denmark, also wore a classic diamond riviere necklace with her wedding ensemble. In January 1934, she married Count Karl Theodor of Törring-Jettenbach, a nephew of Queen Elisabeth of Belgium. She wore her mother’s diamond fringe tiara with her bridal veil.
Less than a year later, in November 1934, Prince and Princess Nicholas’s youngest daughter, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, married into the British royal family. She wed Prince George, Duke of Kent (son of King George V and Queen Mary) at Westminster Abbey. She also borrowed her mother’s diamond fringe tiara for her wedding, and wore a diamond riviere as well. (She received her own diamond fringe tiara as a wedding gift.)
In January 1938, Crown Prince Paul of Greece (son of King Constantine I and Queen Sophie of the Hellenes) married Princess Friederike of Hanover, his first cousin once removed, at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Athens. She wore Queen Sophie’s Diamond Tiara, plus the teeny Hanoverian Nuptial Crown, for the ceremony. (Much more on the wedding over here!)
The following year, in July 1939, Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark (younger sister of Crown Prince Paul) married Prince Aimone, Duke of Aosta in Florence. She wore her own modern diamond fringe tiara for the ceremony.
King Paul and Queen Friederike’s children were the next Greek royals to marry in Athens. Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark married Infante Juan Carlos of Spain in May 1962. (You know them better as King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain.) She wore the Prussian Tiara for both the Catholic and Orthodox wedding ceremonies.
A few months after King Paul’s death in 1964, his son and heir, King Constantine II of the Hellenes, found his queen consort. He married Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark (daughter of King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid) at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Athens in September 1964. She borrowed the Khedive of Egypt Tiara from her mother for the ceremony, starting a family tradition that has continued for two generations. (More on the wedding here!)
In February 1965, the Royal Palace in Athens was the venue for the wedding of Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark (son of Prince Christopher and his second wife, Princess Françoise of Orléans) and the Greek artist Marina Karella. Marina wore a diamond floral tiara for the ceremony.
The Greek monarchy was officially abolished by referendum in 1974, after the family had already been living for several years in exile. In July 1995, King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie’s eldest son, Crown Prince Pavlos, married Marie-Chantal Miller in a Greek Orthodox ceremony at London’s St. Sophia Cathedral. Marie-Chantal borrowed the Antique Corsage Tiara, a Danish royal heirloom, from her mother-in-law for the wedding ceremony. (More on the wedding here!)
Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark, the elder daughter of King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie, married Spanish architect Carlos Morales Quintana at the same cathedral in London in July 1999. She followed family tradition and wore the Khedive of Egypt Tiara, just as her mother had before her. The tiara has been worn as a bridal diadem by all female descendants of Queen Ingrid of Denmark. (More on the wedding here!)
The most recent Greek royal wedding took place on the island of Spetses in August 2010. Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark, the second son of King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie, married Tatiana Blatnik in the Church of St. Nicholas on the island. Like her sister-in-law, Marie-Chantal, Tatiana also borrowed the Antique Corsage Tiara for her wedding ceremony. (More on the wedding here!)
Today in Athens, King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie’s youngest son, Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark, will marry Nina Flohr in a grand religious ceremony at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Athens. Here’s hoping we see a tiara on the bride! (I’m betting on the Antique Corsage.) Be sure to check back here for updates over the weekend!
UPDATE: Nina Flohr (pictured with her father, Thomas) has indeed borrowed the Antique Corsage Tiara for her wedding to Prince Philippos! You’ll have to pardon the quality, as this is a quick screencapture. Look for more coverage of today’s wedding in Sunday’s post here at TCJ! (I’ve added a few quick bejeweled updates on my Twitter account in the meantime!)