Today, Princess Caroline of Monaco celebrates her birthday, and in her honor, we’re taking a look at a fascinating jewel from her collection: her Chaumet diamond stomacher.
The nineteenth-century diamond ornament has a natural design motif, representing a bouquet of the Typha plant—known in various parts of the world as reeds, cattails, or bulrushes, among other names. Ursula at Royal Magazin writes that the jewel was made by Chaumet in the 1890s, and it has been sold at least once in a public auction (in the 1980s).
Princess Caroline has had the reed ornament in her jewelry collection for more than two decades. One of her earlier appearances in the jewel seems to be this outing at the Rose Ball in Monaco in March 1999. She highlighted the jewel by wearing it on a black Grecian-inspired gown with a one-shoulder neckline.
Ursula also notes that the stomacher was reportedly gifted to Caroline by her longtime friend, Karl Lagerfeld. Here, she poses with her estranged husband, Prince Ernst-August of Hanover, and Lagerfeld at the 1999 Rose Ball.
Princess Caroline made another high-profile appearance in the stomacher in May 2004, when she attended the wedding of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark in Copenhagen. She wore the ornament, facing downward this time, on her gown for the pre-wedding gala held at the Royal Theatre on the night before the wedding.
She continued the natural theme with her other jewels for the pre-wedding gala, wearing her diamond floral earrings and the Hanoverian Floral Tiara, an imposing antique jewel from the collection of her husband’s family.
One of Caroline’s most recent appearances in the reed ornament came in November 2010, when she wore it with another black gown for the National Day Gala at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
Here’s a better look at the stomacher from that occasion. Caroline also wore her diamond floral earrings on this particular outing. The ornament is massive, and must be difficult to wear, but leave it to Caroline to find multiple different ways to highlight the gorgeous antique piece.