All month long, I’ve been sharing thrilling stories of tiaras and jewels that witnessed some truly chilling events, from shipwrecks and robberies to crashes and royal wedding disasters. Today, I’ve got a recap of the stories we’ve enjoyed so far, plus a few other tales to send Halloween chills down your spines!
When Lady Allan packed her trunks to sail from New York to the United Kingdom in the spring of 1915, she made sure to bring along her lovely diamond and pearl tiara from Cartier. Sadly, the ship that she and her daughters booked for their passage was none other than the Lusitania. When the ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Ireland, the Allans—and the tiara—found themselves in the midst of one of the most horrific maritime disasters of World War I.
Can a gemstone really bring bad luck to its wearers? The jury’s out on that particular question, but a whole lot of people believe that the Hope Diamond has cast its curse on several of its unlucky owners, including the American heiress Evalyn Walsh McLean. We traced the story of McLean’s tumultuous ownership of the diamond—and the tragedies that her family experienced during that sparkling era.
When Prince Albert of the United Kingdom died in 1861, he had already directed a jeweler to begin work on a tiara gift for his daughter, Princess Alice. The resulting piece, a magnificent strawberry leaf diadem, was worn by the princess for the rest of her life—which, coincidentally, ended on the same month and day as her father’s had. And then, the tiara experienced family disintegration and a notorious plane crash…
The Hesse Strawberry Leaf Tiara wasn’t the only jewel on board when a plane carrying the Grand Duke of Hesse and his family crashed in foggy conditions in Belgium in 1937. His mother, Grand Duchess Eleonore, had also packed a beloved personal tiara set with turquoises and moonstones, a sentimental gift from her late husband. The Crown depicted the harrowing disaster, but it left out the stories of the two tiaras that somehow survived in the wreckage.
When Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg placed this diamond tiara on her head before her wedding to the King of Spain, she could never have imagined the tragedy that both she and the jewel would witness before the day had ended. The tiara is nicknamed “the Good One” in Spain, but its first outing was anything but good.
When King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway sent one of their most important tiaras to London for cleaning and maintenance in 1995, they never could have dreamed that the jewel would be stolen in dramatic fashion from Garrard’s London headquarters.
With a storm raging all around her, and a perilous rescue from a sinking ship in her future, Princess Louise clung to her jewels like a life line. But an even more dangerous fate awaited the case of jewelry—and Louise’s beloved husband, the Duke of Fife.