In a little over a week, royals from across Scandinavia will finally gather in Copenhagen to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Ahead of the celebrations, we’ll be chatting lots about Danish royal jewels—and we’re kicking things off with another peek inside the fantastic royal jewelry exhibition currently open in one of the Queen’s palaces.
So many of our lovely readers have been lucky enough to visit “The Queen’s Jewellery Box,” the Golden Jubilee jewelry exhibition at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen—and have been kind enough to share some of their experiences with us! Today, a lovely reader named Johanna has offered to share some of her photographs of the exhibition with all of us. We’re focusing in on the tiaras from the show—many of which we may see in action during the jubilee celebrations!
All of the tiaras in the exhibition are within the control of Queen Margrethe, but the question of who they belong to is sometimes more complicated. Take, for example, the Pearl Poiré Tiara. One of the grandest diadems in the Danish royal vaults, the nineteenth-century tiara is generally reserved for the use of the reigning queen or the queen consort. But it doesn’t really belong to them. The tiara is part of the Danish Royal Property Trust, created by Queen Lovisa, which means that it stays with the main line of the monarchy and can’t be sold, gifted, or bequeathed away from the family. Queen Margrethe has been the primary wearer of the piece since she ascended to the throne in 1972.
However, most of the tiaras are indeed Margrethe’s personal property. Some of the pieces were commissioned by her, while others were inherited from her royal parents. This piece, the Baden Palmette Tiara, falls into the latter category. Queen Margrethe inherited the jewel from her mother, Queen Ingrid, in 2000. The tiara, which features floral and palmette motifs in its design, originally belonged to Ingrid’s great-grandmother, Grand Duchess Luise of Baden.
This unusual three-part ornament, the Danish Floral Aigrette, was also a legacy from Queen Ingrid. The piece can be worn as a traditional wreath tiara or broken into three separate sections and worn in various configurations. King Frederik IX acquired it for his wife, Queen Ingrid, in the 1960s; it had previously belonged to a Danish-American opera singer. It has become one of Queen Margrethe’s favorite pieces, as she loves to experiment with various placement of the sections in her hair. Johanna was surprised at the size of the aigrette pieces, describing them as larger than she had expected.
This unique modern jewel, the Naasut Tiara, was a gift to Queen Margrethe to celebrate her Ruby Jubilee in January 2012. The jewel was presented to her by the people of Greenland. It was made by Nicolai Appel using rubies, diamonds, and gold from melted-down Greenlandic coins. Margrethe loves modern jewelry, and this tiara is no exception. Johanna tells me that the tiara is “beautiful in real life,” adding, “The goldsmith’s work is amazing and there are plenty of small details.”
There’s also another even more modern hair ornament/tiara in Margrethe’s jewelry box. In 1976, Arje Griegst made the Golden Poppies for her collection. The unusual jewel fastens to the back of Margrethe’s hair with a comb, and the poppies then cascade over her hair toward the front of her head. There are also tiny bejeweled insects scattered throughout the ornament. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea—Johanna admitted to me that the ornament is “strange,” even in person—but one of the things I like most about Margrethe is her confidence in wearing what she likes, even if it’s not to everyone’s taste.
Queen Margrethe has loaned some of her tiaras to other members of the family, including Princess Dagmar’s Floral Tiara, which is on long-term loan to her daughter-in-law, Princess Marie. As the tiara’s name suggests, it originally belonged to Margrethe’s great-aunt, Princess Dagmar. Marie wore the tiara on her wedding day in 2008, and she’s worn it as her primary tiara ever since.
Queen Margrethe has also on occasion loaned her Turquoise Daisy Bandeau to other family members, including her niece, Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark. The tiara is another piece that arrived in Denmark with Queen Ingrid. It originally belonged to Ingrid’s mother, Princess Margaret of Connaught, for whom Queen Margrethe was named. Earlier this year, Margrethe gave turquoise earrings that coordinate with the tiara to Crown Princess Mary. Could the bandeau also be earmarked as a gift for another member of the family—maybe Princess Isabella?
Please join me in sending a huge thanks to Johanna for sharing her pictures of and thoughts about the exhibition with all of us! If you’re going to be in Copenhagen soon, you still have time to view the exhibition, which runs through October 23. But I’d imagine that several of the pieces currently on display will be removed so they can be worn for the Golden Jubilee, either for the gala theater performance on September 10 or the gala dinner on September 11. Which tiaras are you hoping to see make an appearance at those events?