Halloween is the time for tales of terror, and today I’m bringing back three pieces from the archives about royal jewelry that witnessed particularly harrowing history. Three granddaughters of Queen Victoria were the owners of these jewels, which were present for a royal wedding gone horribly wrong, a frightening shipwreck, and a jewelry heist that remains unsolved to this day. Brace yourselves—things are about to get scary!
In May 1906, Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg became Queen of Spain when she married King Alfonso XIII in a glittering ceremony in Madrid. The new queen consort sparkled in a magnificent diamond tiara during the ceremony. But a terrifying attack during the procession afterward transformed the joyful day into a nightmare scene.
Five years later, one of Queen Ena’s royal cousins also found herself in a perilous situation. Princess Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife, was the daughter of King Edward VII and the sister of King George V. On her way to an Egyptian winter holiday with her husband and daughters, the ship carrying the family foundered and began to sink—endangering the family and the royal jewels that Louise had packed in her luggage.
Almost a century later, jewels belonging to Louise’s sister, Queen Maud of Norway, found themselves in jeopardy in London. Maud’s great-grandson, King Harald V of Norway, sent several pieces of antique jewelry to Garrard to be cleaned and maintained. But while the jewels were being kept at the firm’s flagship store in London, a team of thieves plotted to capture the jewels for themselves.