February is a month for celebrating love, so it’s no surprise that lots of royal brides throughout history have been married during the month. Today, ahead of tomorrow’s Valentine celebrations, we’ve got a look at the royal wedding tiaras and jewels worn by a selection of February royal brides.
Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom & Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
February 10, 1840
Queen Victoria married her beloved Prince Albert at the Chapel Royal in St. James’s Palace in London. The wedding helped set a permanent trend for white wedding gowns. Victoria accessorized with a wreath of orange blossoms, the Turkish Diamond Necklace and Earrings, and Prince Albert’s Brooch. Albert gave her the diamond and sapphire cluster brooch on the day before the wedding, and she treasured it so much that she designated it as an heirloom of the crown.
Grand Duke Mikhail Mikhailovich of Russia & Countess Sophie of Merenberg
February 26, 1891
The royal wedding between Grand Duke Mikhail and Countess Sophie wasn’t a traditional celebration. It was a morganatic (or unequal) marriage that was not sanctioned by his family, and the ceremony was held in secret in Italy. His mother was so shocked that it reportedly contributed to her death shortly afterward. But the wedding also had a very sparkling legacy: Mikhail gave his bride this diamond, ruby, and gold kokoshnik tiara, made by Bolin in St. Petersburg. It remained with their descendants for several generations.
Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands & Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
February 7, 1901
This glittering royal wedding, held in The Hague, was celebrated in its time as a love match reminiscent of Victoria and Albert. Queen Wilhelmina was the monarch of the Netherlands, and Duke Henry was part of the well-connected Mecklenburg-Schwerin family. For the wedding, Wilhelmina wore a smaller setting of the enormous Stuart Tiara, decorating the diadem with flowers. If only the marriage had been as jubilant as the wedding day—the couple had one daughter, Queen Juliana, but were largely unhappy together.
Prince Alexander of Teck & Princess Alice of Albany
February 10, 1904
Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Alice of Albany, married her German royal groom on Victoria and Albert’s 64th wedding anniversary. Prince Alexander was a brother of Queen Mary, linking the two royal families even closer together. The wedding was held at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, and Alice wore a tiara that had belonged to her late mother-in-law, the Duchess of Teck. The Teck Ears of Wheat Tiara would go on to be worn as a bridal diadem by several of their descendants as well.
Princess Patricia of Connaught & Commander Alexander Ramsay
February 27, 1919
Westminster Abbey hosted the wedding between Princess Patricia, another granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and naval commander the Hon. Alexander Ramsay, the son of a Scottish aristocrat. The marriage was a love match. Patricia gave up her title and royal status to marry Ramsay, taking on the title of Lady Patricia Ramsay. Even so, she remained a vital part of the extended royal family. Patricia decided not to wear a tiara for her wedding, and she also did not carry a bouquet. Instead, she wore a simple white and silver lace wedding gown, with myrtle and heather on the bodice, plus a wreath of myrtle securing her heirloom lace veil. She also added a single long strand of pearls to the ensemble.
Prince Christopher of Greece and Denmark & Nancy Leeds
February 1, 1920
After a six-year courtship, Prince Christopher of Greece and Denmark, son of King George I and Queen Olga of the Hellenes, married his American heiress fiancée, Nancy Stewart Leeds, in a Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony in Vevey, Switzerland. The new bride was decked in diamonds, including a bandeau style tiara and a fantastic diamond bow corsage ornament. Nancy was given a new name and title, Princess Anastasia of Greece and Denmark, shortly after the wedding. Sadly, she was diagnosed with cancer soon after their marriage, and she passed away only three years later.
Princess Mary of the United Kingdom & Viscount Lascelles
February 28, 1922
The only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary, Princess Mary, married Lord Lascelles in a grand ceremony at Westminster Abbey in 1922. Just as Queen Victoria had, Mary secured her wedding veil with a wreath of orange blossoms. She also wore a single strand of pearls. Seven years later, the couple became Earl and Countess of Harewood, and in 1932, her father gave her the title of Princess Royal.
Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark & Marina Karella
February 7, 1965
Prince Michael, son of Prince Christopher of Greece and Denmark and his second wife, Princess Françoise of Orléans, married the Greek artist Marina Karella at the Royal Palace in Athens. Theirs was a morganatic (or unequal) marriage, permitted by King Constantine after Michael renounced his claims to the throne. For the wedding, Marina wore a chic wedding gown and a dramatic lace veil, secured by a diamond floral tiara. (See a closer view of the tiara here.)
Princess Benedikte of Denmark & Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
February 3, 1968
Princess Benedikte, the second daughter of King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid of Denmark, married her Swedish-German aristocratic fiancé, Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, in a family ceremony at Fredensborg Palace. She became the third family bride to wear the Khedive of Egypt Tiara, borrowed from her mother for the occasion. Since then, both of her daughters have also worn the jewel as a bridal diadem.
Hereditary Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg & Maria Teresa Mestre y Batista
February 14, 1981
The religious wedding ceremony of the present Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg was a Valentine’s Day celebration in 1981. For the ceremony, Maria Teresa borrowed the Congo Diamond Necklace Tiara from her mother-in-law, Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte. It was the same tiara that Joséphine-Charlotte had worn for her wedding almost three decades earlier. Maria Teresa also wore a new pair of diamond earrings, a gift from her parents. These have been worn by two of her daughters-in-law for their weddings as well.
Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg & Archduke Carl Christian of Austria
February 6, 1982
A year after the last Luxembourgish royal wedding, Princess Marie-Astrid also wore the Congo Diamond Necklace Tiara for her wedding to Carl Christian of Austria, a grandson of the last Austro-Hungarian emperor. She paired the tiara with pearls for the occasion. Two months later, her younger sister, Princess Margaretha, also wore the tiara for her wedding to Prince Nikolaos of Liechtenstein.
Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands & Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti
February 2, 2002
We’ve recently discussed the 20th wedding anniversary of the King and Queen of the Netherlands, who were married in Amsterdam in February 2002. With her Valentino wedding gown, Máxima wore diamonds, including a new setting of a classic Dutch royal tiara. The Dutch Star Tiara combines the base of the Pearl Button Tiara with a set of diamond stars that belonged to Queen Emma.
Andrea Casiraghi & Tatiana Santo Domingo
February 1, 2014
The religious wedding ceremony that united Andrea Casiraghi, son of Princess Caroline of Monaco, and heiress Tatiana Santo Domingo was held in snowy Gstaad. While the wedding was private, the public caught glimpses of Tatiana wearing a spectacular diamond fringe tiara as she arrived for the ceremony. There’s been much speculation about whether this tiara is the one that belonged to Princess Charlotte of Monaco. (I think it’s a different jewel.)