Many of us are trying to be careful and selective about our holiday gatherings this season, but today, let’s indulge in a little bejeweled fantasy, shall we? Picture it: you’ve been invited to attend a white-tie Christmas Ball, and it’s time to choose a tiara to wear. What better time than this to don one of the gorgeous wreath tiaras from Europe’s royal collections? Here are some ideas to help you dream up the perfect jewelry ensemble.
The little grand duchy of Luxembourg boasts a rather incredible collection of tiaras, but few are as beautiful as the Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara. This diamond sparkler, which dates to the nineteenth century, is designed to look like a trailing garland of vines, leaves, and berries. No wonder that almost every princess in the country has worn it at least once! It’s also been a beloved bridal tiara for many members of the family, including Princess Claire of Luxembourg (pictured above), who wore it for her royal wedding to Prince Felix back in 2013.
One of the most gorgeous tiaras worn by Queen Mathilde of the Belgians, this diamond laurel wreath tiara was one of her gifts when she married the Duke of Brabant (now King Philippe) in December 1999. A group of Belgian aristocrats gave her the tiara, which was made in England in 1912. The clever royal jewel can also be removed from its frame and worn as a necklace. Even in the years since Mathilde became Belgium’s queen consort, giving her access to even grander jewels, she has continued to wear the beautiful laurel wreath tiara often for gala occasions.
Three Swedish royal princesses have owned and worn this lovely laurel wreath tiara, which was made by Boucheron. Queen Sofia of Sweden gave the tiara to her new granddaughter-in-law, Princess Margaret of Connaught, as a wedding present in 1905. She loved to wear the piece in its necklace setting. Later, the tiara was worn beautifully by Margaret’s daughter-in-law, Princess Lilian. When she passed away in 2013, she bequeathed the tiara to her great-niece, Crown Princess Victoria (pictured above), who has been sparkling in the tiara ever since.
When Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands turned 18, she received a sparkling birthday present: this classic diamond laurel wreath tiara. She wore it often for her earliest gala appearances, and has also frequently loaned the tiara to her sisters. It’s also been worn as a wedding tiara by two Dutch royal brides: Princess Laurentien, who wore it for her wedding to Prince Constantijn in 2001, and Princess Carolina of Bourbon-Parma (pictured above), who wore it to marry Albert Brenninkmeijer in 2012.
If you’re choosing a tiara for a Christmas gala, surely one decorated with gems in a lovely shade of holiday red would be a perfect choice. Look no further than the Ruby Olive Wreath Tiara owned and worn by the former royal family of Greece. The tiara was originally owned by Queen Olga of the Hellenes, and then passed through the family (including stops in Britain and Yugoslavia) before ending up with King Paul and Queen Friederike. It’s been worn since 1964 by Queen Anne-Marie (pictured above), the Danish princess who married King Constantine II.
If I were choosing a tiara for a Christmas ball, I can’t think of a more perfect selection than the grand ruby and diamond wreath tiara from the Danish Ruby Parure. The tiara’s got it all! An impeccable provenance (made of hair ornaments worn at Napoleon’s imperial coronation), an impressive history (worn by generations of Swedish and Danish royal women), and the perfect Christmas wreath shape. Its diamond leaves and ruby berries would sparkle beautifully for any white-tie holiday occasion.
Okay, it’s your turn! Which tiara, wreath or otherwise, would you wear to a grand Christmas ball? And what gown or ensemble would you wear with it?