Of all the royal jewelry collections in Europe, it may come as a surprise that the tiny grand duchy of Luxembourg boasts one of the most extensive jewelry vaults of all. Today, we’ve got a closer look at an appearance by the country’s hereditary grand duchess in the family’s antique suite of turquoise and diamond jewels.
Dressed in full gala attire, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie of Luxembourg joined the rest of the grand ducal family at the National Day celebrations in June 2018. Stephanie chose a long white gown with a subtle floral pattern for the occasion. With the gown, she wore the sash and star of her highest Luxembourgish order, the Order of Civil and Military Merit of Adolph of Nassau.
For the National Day gala, Stephanie dipped into the family vaults and selected an antique parure of diamond and turquoise jewels. The set includes a tiara, which reportedly dates to the 1830s, two different necklaces, and a modern pair of earrings made in 2006 to coordinate with the other jewels. If the tiara looks a little unusually shaped, I think there’s a good reason for that: I’ve speculated in the past that the jewel was originally a hair comb, made as part of a parure that included a much larger turquoise and diamond tiara.
For this National Day appearance, Stephanie wore the larger of the two turquoise and diamond necklaces. The necklace features several designs popular in the first half of the nineteenth century, including diamond anthemions and a girandole-style central pendant section.
These turquoises weren’t worn in public for many years, and there’s a good reason for that. The jewels had fallen into a state of disrepair. In 2006, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa brought the suite out of the vaults and entrusted the jewels to the care of Muriel Prieur, one of the curators of the grand ducal collection, to be restored. Perhaps Maria Teresa could take another trip into the vaults and look in dusty corners to see if there’s a larger tiara from the set just waiting to be worn?