Today’s tiara, Queen Elizabeth of Belgium’s Diamond Scroll Tiara, was made by Cartier in Paris in 1910. The hundreds of diamonds are set in platinum and the scroll motif gives the hefty tiara a very romantic feel.
The scroll tiara was purchased by Queen Elizabeth of Belgium (1876-1965) and inherited by her son King Leopold III of Belgium. However, today the tiara is back in the ownership of Cartier.
Tomorrow (Saturday, April 17, 2021) is Prince Philip’s funeral. May he rest in eternal peace.
You might spot Prince Philip’s personal standard on his coffin. If you do, here is what each section stands for: The three lions and ten hearts are borrowed from the Danish coat of arms. Before his marriage, Philip was Prince of Greece and Denmark. On the upper right is the white cross with blue background borrowed from the Greek flag to represent his birth land. On the lower left, the black and white stripes represent the Mountbatten family. Last but not least, the castle represents the city of Edinburgh, which was his title (Duke of Edinburgh).
If you’d like to watch the funeral, below are a few links via YouTube that I hope will work for you.
Queen Soraya of Afghanistan (1899-1968), Afghanistan’s first Queen Consort, is photographed in her Diamond Star Tiara. Today Soraya is remembered for being a progressive royal. She was a vocal proponent of gender equality.
Sadly, the Afghan Civil War (1928-1929) drove Soraya and her husband, King Amanullah, into exile. They settled in Rome.
I do not have any additional information on this tiara. My guess is that it was made in the early 1920s. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any further details on Soraya’s tiara.
The Duchess of Roxburghe‘s tiara, made by Cartier in the 1930s, features a modern, geometric design. The tiara is set throughout with sparkling circular-cut diamonds. The top is mounted with a series of larger collet-set diamonds. It’s a gorgeous tiara! Made almost 100 years ago, it is still very much a wearable tiara.
The Duchess of Roxburghe’s convertible diamond tiara is composed of fleurs de lys and scroll motifs. Made in the late 19th century, the scrolls hold twenty pear-shaped diamonds. The tiara sits on a bandeau encrusted with cushion-shaped and rose cut diamonds. As the name (named by yours truly) suggests, the tiara is convertible! It can be worn as a bandeau and/or a necklace.
But who was the Duchess of Roxburghe?
The Duchess was born in 1915 as Mary Evelyn Hungerford Crewe-Milnes. Her father was British diplomat Robert Crewe-Milnes, 1st Marquess of Crewe. Named after her godmother, Queen Mary, it is no surprise that Mary became the owner of this spectacular diamond tiara. Her childhood must have been quite colorful because Mary’s parents often entertained Queen Mary and King George V. Plus, their neighbors were Lord and Lady Curzon!
Mary herself went on to play a role in the coronation of King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth. She was one of the aristocratic ladies holding the new queen’s canopy during the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
In 1935, Mary married George Victor Robert John Innes-Ker, 9th Duke of Roxburghe. But it was not to be a happy marriage. It ended in divorce in 1953, though not without some drama. Before the divorce was final, she simply refused to vacate her husband’s ancestral home, Floors Castle. Mary did eventually leave the castle, about six weeks later, and moved into a lovely flat in London, where she lived a happy and peaceful life until her death in 2014. As there were no children, Sotheby’s was tasked with auctioning off her estate.
In the spirit of the late Duchess, I hope the new owner wears this tiara often!
At my other blog about books and writing, I introduced a series called Trinket Tuesday. It’s where I used to write about royal (and non-royal) jewelry. It’s the series that inspired me to create The Royal Archivist! I’ve moved most of those posts and images over here, but I’ve also decided to bring back Trinket Tuesday. (Let me know if you have any special requests!)
Today’s royal trinket is one of sentimental value. A gold ring with a turquoise surrounded by ten diamonds was given to Mary, Duchess of York by George, Duke of York to commemorate the first anniversary of their engagement day. The inside of the ring is inscribed May 3rd 1894. Very romantic!
In memory of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, let’s take a look at a photograph that marked the engagement to his beloved wife, Elizabeth.
The photograph above commemorates the official engagement announcement for HRH Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. Their engagement was announced on July 19, 1947 at Buckingham Palace.
You can’t see it clearly, but Elizabeth is wearing her new engagement ring. Her diamond ring was designed by Prince Philip and made using diamonds from a tiara that belonged to his mother, Princess Alice.
Speaking of Romanovs, Rebecca Bettarini will be wearing a Chaumet tiara for her wedding to Grand Duke George on October 1, 2021. Rebecca picked a tiara that mimics the shape of a kokoshnik, the traditional headdress for Russian women. It will look beautiful on her.
A 19th century English painting by Edward Matthew Ward depicts the investiture of Emperor Napoleon III. The Emperor was bestowed with the Order of the Garter on April 16, 1855.
At Queen Victoria’s invitation, Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie arrived in England on April 16, 1855 for an official state visit. They arrived at the port in Dover on their royal yacht Pélican where they were met by Prince Albert. The French Imperial Couple spent three days at Windsor and three days at Buckingham Palace in London. Some of the events included a state dinner at Windsor, a visit to the opera in London and a military review.
As part of the state visit, Napoleon III received the Order of the Garter. As depicted in the painting, the investiture took place in the Throne Room at Windsor Castle. You can spot Queen Victoria bestowing the Order on Napoleon III. The painting boasts a number of fine details of this event because Queen Victoria allowed the painter to observe the investiture. Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting are looking on behind her. Prince Albert, adorned in his own Garter robes, is standing right behind Napoleon III. On the far right you can spot a seated Eugénie wearing her Pearl and Diamond Tiara. Next to her is a young Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) and right behind her chair stands a young Princess Royal (later Empress Friedrich).
The Order of the Garter
In 1348, King Edward III was so enchanted by the mythical tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table that he set up his own group of knights, called the Order of the Garter. Today the Order is the oldest and highest Order of Chivalry that can be bestowed upon a British citizen.
Napoleon III reigned until his defeat during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. He was imprisoned for a short time at Schloss Wilhelmshöhe in Kassel, Germany. After his release, he and Eugénie took refuge in England. Napoleon III died in 1873; Eugénie died in 1920. Their only child, Louis-Napoléon, was killed at age 23 in 1879 while fighting in the Anglo-Zulu War.
I hope you enjoyed reading this snapshot. I have a few more up my sleeve. Stay tuned!
The Luxembourg Empire Diamond Tiara is massive! Fit for a very regal woman, indeed. The tiara, mounted in white gold, is completely bedecked in diamonds of every size. Unfortunately, I don’t have much information on the tiara’s history. According to Prince Michael of Greece, this grand tiara entered the grand ducal family of Luxembourg through Russian Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mikhailovna (granddaughter of jewelry connoisseur Maria Feodorovna) upon her marriage to Prince Adolphe of Nassau, the future Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Sadly, Grand Duchess Elizabeth passed away in 1845, just one year after her marriage. Prince Adolphe remarried in 1851 to Princess Adelheid-Marie of Anhalt-Dessau. Presumably the tiara was worn by his new wife and their descendants. However, this provenance may not be accurate as other sources believe the tiara entered the family many, many years earlier. I tend to side with other sources that the tiara is older than we think and that it entered the family long before Grand Duchess Elizabeth married Prince Adolphe.
Regardless of how this tiara entered the family, it can’t be denied that it is a grand tiara. So grand that it appears to be reserved for the use of the Grand Duchess. You may have already seen it worn by the current Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, Maria Teresa.
If you know the provenance or have any information you’d like to share, please let me know in the comments!