In Defense of the Tiara – Greek Emeralds

We’re taking a detour down to the Mediterranean this go around, discussing the Greek Emerald Tiara.

Yes, I picked this picture just for the necklace…

The Facts

This one goes back to Queen Olga of Greece, who brought these magnificent (and enormous) cabochon emeralds with her on her marriage to King George I in 1867. Notably, the tiara didn’t start out as a tiara; Olga wore the emeralds as separate pieces, pining them on a dress, wearing them as pendants, wearing them pinned on a kokoshnik, and so on.

Her granddaughter in law, Queen Elisabeth (born a Princess of Romania – daughter of Queen Marie), started out wearing them simply too, usually on a diamond bandeau. Eventually this kokoshnik style tiara was made, by Cartier, starring Olga’s emeralds.

The Case For the Tiara

OC: Originally, I was not a fan of this tiara because cabachons and I simply don’t get along. However, you cannot beat the color of those stones. It’s a Big Gun with color, and there aren’t many successful examples of those. I do not care for it when worn as a necklace.

The Handbag: I like it – I think it has serious presence. I am not a huge emerald fan, but these massive specimens are meant for a tiara and there they are.

The Case Against the Tiara

LiL: I’m not a fan of most emeralds to begin with and the ones from Cabochon are even worse. If I have to wear emeralds I’m going to need them faceted and sparkling in the candlelight, thank you very much. It’s also very “clunky”. No thanks.

LG: Like LIL, I’m not a fan of emeralds, so this one started off at a disadvantage. Also not every stone is suited for the cabochon shape/cut: star sapphire, ok; turquoise, maybe; rubies, sapphires and emeralds…no. Also, the design looks “heavy,” and the “E” element just puts me off.

What do you guys think?

What do you think of the Greek Emeralds?

Spam a Man – King Constantine is 80

It will be a quiet celebration for King Constantine, all things considered. Let’s take a look back, ten years, to a livelier time.

For his 70th birthday, Pavlos put on a party for dad, and it was quite a shindig. As we have noticed, the Greeks are connected, most particularly to the British royals. Everyone turned out for his party, it seems.

Betty and Phil were there, and I am entranced by Betty’s dress. Add in the bling and escort and HerMaj didn’t do too badly for herself.

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You knew these two would bring the party, right?

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Classic princess sighting!

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Sofia brought her own handsome friend.

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Anne did as Anne does.

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You must get out your microscope to find Princess Michael’s necklace ; ). Nice dress, though – I love a good red.

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As for the family, red again was the order of the day, and I will say it suits them.

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The most glamorous, and by many accounts, the nicest couple in royaldom made a stunning entrance.

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Finally, the birthday boy himself and his lovely, lovely wife.

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Spam away, my friends. Don’t contain yourself to the party. Constantine has had a long and varied life. Celebrate!

Britain · Greece · Norway

Bitty Bits and Bobs

Yes, it’s Bits and Bobs, back again in a little bitty fashion. This temporary name also fits our love of cheesy alliteration around here. There still isn’t a great deal of exciting royal news, but let’s soldier on with what we have.

The Week in Getty Images

Two of the Benelux royals represent in orange, one in crazy pants, the Spains were out everywhere, and the Chelsea Garden Show went on in a virtual fashion. See it all here.

Other Voices Other Blogs

  • The Royal Hats blog has continued valiantly on in the face of an Ascot free year. I have to thank her for showing me the way to the Milliner’s Guild Instagram Challenge, where people are re-creating their favorite Ascot looks. Also, here is a great look back, suggested by ardent royalist Mitten Mary.
  • Mary From the Start is up to 2012. They featured Margrethe’s 40th Jubilee celebrations and I have no memory of this gold lame jacket.

Two Weddings that Weren’t

I can’t tell you how depressing it was to type out that header. Both of these weddings would have been barn burners for royal watching. It seems the couples have come to terms with the situation, and I hope they are planning something spectacular for royal watchers in the future.

Theodora Greece promises a celebration in Greece once it’s safe. We’ve talked about the enormous social capital of the Greek royals, and how they are close to everyone. You know that when this wedding does come off, it will be a bonanza of royal sightings.

Princess Beatrice had already planned a smaller, more intimate wedding, but I am sure there would have been plenty to talk about between tiaras and dress designers and immediate family guests. Oh, well, next year will be big.

Happy Birthday

Jetsun Pema celebrated her 30th birthday and, generous as she is, gave us a present. Look at the gorgeous photos of the new family configuration, including the bébé. The name will be made public in the next few days.

The Brits Being Veddy British

I am quite relieved to see that the coronavirus isolation hasn’t taken any of the zip out of HerMaj. Here she is with her favorite animals, doing her favorite activity.

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Charles loved his grandmother. This is very sweet.

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“We decided each movement should reflect an important aspect of her character. The smile, the love and the sense of duty which remained deep right to the very end.” . 🎧 The Prince speaks of the special piano concerto that he commissioned in memory of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. . ⬅️ The piece will be played in full this evening during the second of two special programmes on @ClassicFM. Tonight’s programme will be presented solely by The Prince of Wales, who will highlight the great importance of classical music, particularly during this difficult time. His Royal Highness will add to last night’s programme with more of his favourite classical pieces, of which two were recorded by The Duchess of Cornwall’s musical patronages, @nyo_gb and @lcoorchestra. . 📻 Tune in to Classic FM from 8pm or follow the link in our bio.

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Let’s End with a Classic Princess

Isn’t this a lovely photo of a lovely young girl? Behold Princess Astrid at the time of her re-unification with her family, post World War II.

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21. mai var det 75 år siden Prinsesse Astrid og Prinsesse Ragnhild møtte sin bestefar, Kong Haakon, igjen etter fem års fravær. – Det ble et hjertelig møte med bestefar. Han synes nok vi var blitt store, for vi var jo bare småpiker da vi måtte forlate far og ham i 1940, forteller Prinsesse Astrid, fru Ferner. Prinsessene reiste fra USA med fly til Skottland, og deretter med tog til London. – Mens vi ventet i Skottland, torde vi ikke å spørre om annet enn et glass vann. Vi hadde hørt at det var knapt med mat i Storbritannia – så da ville ikke vi spørre om mat, forteller Prinsessen. Prins Harald kom med neste fly. På stasjonen i London ble prinsessene møtt av Kong Haakons sjåfør og kjørt rett til stedet der Kong Haakon og Kronprinsesse Märtha oppholdt seg. Kronprins Olav hadde allerede reist hjem til Norge. Prinsesse Astrid forteller at Prins Harald og Kong Haakon raskt fant tonen. – De to første dagene snakket de engelsk med hverandre. Harald skjønte forståelig nok ikke hva bestefar sa. Han snakket jo avslepent dansk. Kronprinsesse Märtha og barna bodde sammen med Kong Haakon i påvente av at alle fem skulle reise sammen hjem til et fritt Norge den 7. juni 1945. Foto 1946: A. B. Wilse / @dekongeligesamlinger #kongehuset #prinsesseastrid #frigjøring #hjemkomst #dekongeligesamlinger

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What did I miss?

Comments Below

Britain · Greece

Pop Quiz – Five Degrees of Royal Bridesmaids

Thank you to our community member Mitten Mary for this post!

Answers have now been added.

I’ve been playing a game I call “Five Degrees of Royal Bridesmaids.” Fill in the blanks for us!

  • Zara Phillips was bridesmaid for Sarah Chatto.
  • Sarah was bridesmaid for Princess Anne.
  • Princess Anne was bridesmaid for Princess Alexandra.
  • Alexandra was bridesmaid for Princess Elizabeth.
  • Princess Elizabeth was bridesmaid for Princess Marina.

For extra credit, follow the dots here:

  • Princess Irene of Greece was a bridesmaid for both Princess Anne-Marie and Princess Sofia.
  • Princess Anne-Marie was a bridesmaid for Princess Sofia.

Since everyone is just rolling with these, here is more extra credit (this is also posted in the comments).

These five royals met their spouses at a wedding.

a. Princess Beatrix met her spouse-to-be at a wedding in the summer of 1964.
b.Princess Benedikte met her beloved at the wedding of the person mentioned in question A.
c. Prince Juan Carlos and Princess Sofia were a royal match through and through . Although these two met earlier, their romance was solidified at a wedding in 1961, in Great Britain.
d.Prince Carl Gustaf and Princess Sybilla met at a London wedding in 1931, the wedding of their first and second cousins.
e.In 1884, Princess Beatrice and Prince Henry of Battenberg met at the wedding of her niece, and the rest was history.

Toss your own five degrees in the comments (along with the answers!)

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Generations photos

I really enjoy looking at generations photos, which is loosely defined for our purposes as a photo of royals in a direct line of relation. Let’s explore a few today. I’ve made an attempt at listing family members in order from oldest to youngest in the captions.


Mary and Charles
Victoria, Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, Elizabeth II, Charles, William, George
Alexandra, George, Mary, and baby George Lascelles



The Prince of Piedmont, Helene, Margherita, and Duchess of Genoa


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Frederick IX, Margrethe II, and Crown Prince Frederik


Carl XVI Gustaf, Victoria, and Estelle
Gustaf V, Gustaf VI Adolf, Prince Gustaf Adolf, Carl XVI Gustaf


Viktoria Luise, Duchess of Brunswick, Fredericka, and Sophia


Wilhelmina, Juliana, and Beatrix


Albert II, Philippe, and Elisabeth


Juan Carlos I, Felipe VI, and Leonor

And now for a smidge of fun…what royal houses are represented in this photo showing generations? How many heirs do you see?

Share your favorite generations photos in the comments and tell us who they represent!