Later today, Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg will marry Nicolas Bagory in a religious ceremony at the Saint Trophyme church in Bormes-les-Mimosas in the south of France. (The couple’s civil wedding took place in Luxembourg last weekend.) While we wait to see which family tiara Alexandra might wear with her wedding gown, let’s look back at some of the gorgeous brides who have worn Luxembourgish tiaras on their wedding days.
The Nassau-Weilburg family has reigned in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg since 1890, though in the wake of World War I, the throne teetered a bit. Under pressure from the public, some of who had felt she was too pro-German during the war, the young Grand Duchess Marie-Adélaïde abdicated in favor of her younger sister. In a matter of weeks in the autumn of 1919, the new Grand Duchess Charlotte survived a referendum, granted women the right to vote, and announced her engagement to Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma.
Some Luxembourgers didn’t like that Felix had served with the Austrian army during the war, but when Charlotte confirmed that the relationship was a love match, they shrugged and moved on. The couple were wed in Luxembourg’s cathedral on November 6, 1919. Charlotte was decked out in family jewels, including the Empire Tiara, a necklace with diamond drops, and a second necklace worn as a corsage ornament.
Felix and Charlotte had six children. The eldest, Hereditary Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, married Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium in a glittering ceremony at Luxembourg’s cathedral on April 9, 1953. It was a wedding full of complicated emotions—you can read our recent deep-dive on the topic over here. For the wedding, the bride wore one of her wedding presents, the Congo Diamond Necklace Tiara, with her bridal ensemble. (That tiara has a complicated colonial history, as does the entire royal family of Belgium.)
During the official wedding portraits, Hereditary Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte changed into a second wedding gift, the Belgian Scroll Tiara, for some of the pictures.
Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Felix had four daughters—Elisabeth, Marie-Adélaïde, Marie-Gabrielle, and Alix—all of whom wore the Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara as their bridal diadem. You can see Princess Marie-Adélaïde of Luxembourg wearing the classic diamond tiara above for her wedding to Count Karl Josef Henckel von Donnersmarck in Luxembourg on April 10, 1958.
The next generation of the royal family embraced an heirloom wedding tiara. Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte’s two daughters, Princess Marie-Astrid and Princess Margaretha, both wore their mother’s bridal diadem, the Congo Diamond Necklace Tiara, for their weddings. So did Maria Teresa Mestre y Batista for her wedding to Hereditary Grand Duke Henri in Luxembourg on Valentine’s Day in 1981.
Several of Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte’s granddaughters (and granddaughters-in-law) have also worn Luxembourgish tiaras for their weddings. On December 6, 2008, Archduchess Marie-Christine of Austria (daughter of Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg and Archduke Carl Christian of Austria) wore the Nassau Floral Tiara for her wedding to Count Rodolphe of Limburg-Stirum in Belgium.
Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy wore her own family’s diamond tiara for her religious wedding to Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg on October 20, 2012, but for the pre-wedding dinner held the night before, she wore the Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara.
When Adélaïde Drapé-Frisch married Archduke Christoph of Austria (another son of Princess Marie-Astrid and Archduke Carl Christian) in France on December 29, 2012, she followed in her sister-in-law’s footsteps and wore the Nassau Floral Tiara.
On September 21, 2013, Claire Lademacher wore the Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara for her wedding to Prince Felix of Luxembourg in France.
“Something blue” for Princess Marie-Gabrielle of Nassau (daughter of Prince Jean of Luxembourg and Hélène Vestur) was the Grand Duchess Adelaide Tiara, which she borrowed from her uncle, Grand Duke Henri, for her religious wedding to Antonius Willms in Spain on September 2, 2017.
Archduchess Gabriella of Austria (youngest child of Princess Marie-Astrid and Archduke Carl Christian) also wore the Grand Duchess Adelaide Tiara for her wedding to Prince Henri of Bourbon-Parma on September 12, 2020. (And yes, they are second cousins: both are great-grandchildren of Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Felix. Henri’s grandmother was Princess Marie-Gabrielle of Luxembourg.)
Princess Maria-Anunciata of Liechtenstein (daughter of Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg and Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein) wore the Habsburg Fringe Tiara for her wedding ceremony on September 4, 2021, but for the reception, her uncle Henri loaned her the Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara.
It’s last-chance guess time: will we see Alexandra wearing a tiara today? And if so, which one? I’ll be covering the jewels from the wedding with an article published here on the website later today, so stay tuned!
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