Okay, straight away, I know what many of you are probably thinking: there’s a “Princess Kelly” in Europe? The answer is yes, and today we’ve got a look at one of her appearances in an heirloom turquoise tiara from her husband’s family collection.
Princess Kelly is the wife of Hereditary Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He’s the son of Prince Andreas, the Head of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. It’s the same German royal family that produced numerous nineteenth-century European monarchs, including Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of the United Kingdom, King Leopold I of Belgium, King Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, and Kings Pedro V and Luis I of Portugal.
Hubertus is a direct descendant of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Victoria and Albert’s second son, Alfred, inherited the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha dukedom from his childless uncle, Ernst II, in 1893. When Alfred’s son died before him, the dukedom passed to a nephew (the son of Prince Leopold, Victoria and Albert’s youngest son). Along with nearly every other German royal family, the S-C-Gs lost their throne at the end of World War I. But thanks to an advantageous royal marriage, they remain close cousins of one reigning royal family today. Princess Sibylla, the daughter of the last reigning duke, married Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden in 1932. Their son, King Carl XVI Gustaf, is the reigning monarch in Sweden.
Hereditary Prince Hubertus will one day inherit the headship of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, but he also has a career of his own as a lawyer. In 2009, he married Kelly Rondestvedt, an American businesswoman who has worked for various financial firms. In 2013, Hubertus and Kelly were guests at the wedding of his cousin, Princess Madeleine of Sweden, in Stockholm. They joined the other guests in wearing white-tie attire, including jewels and decorations. Both donned the distinctive green and purple sash of the Ducal Saxe-Coburg-Gotha House Order, a revival of an old family order spearheaded by Prince Andreas a few years earlier.
The wedding also gave Kelly the opportunity to wear a lovely antique jewel from the family collection. The Coburg Turquoise Tiara, which is set with turquoises and diamonds, is part of a parure that originally belonged to Victoria Adelheid of Schleswig-Holstein, Prince Hubertus’s great-grandmother. The set also includes at least a few other pieces, notably a necklace and a brooch, but Kelly let the tiara take center stage here. She sensibly wore just a small pair of earrings with the jewel to avoid pulling focus from the tiara.
Kelly’s blue gown, her green and purple order sash, and her diamond and turquoise tiara made for an ultra-colorful wedding guest ensemble in Stockholm in 2013. It’s lovely to see that the family has been able to hang on to one of their tiaras. Let’s hope we get to see this one come out of the vaults for another family event some time in the future.