Greece · Tiaras

Royal Rock Retrospective—The Greek Ruby Parure

The Greek royal family is in possession of a solid ruby parure. It came into the family via the country’s first queen, Olga. She was from Russia originally, and the pigeon blood rubies are thought to have been purchased from Russia. Olga’s husband King George had the stones set in a classic Greek style of a wreath tiara, along with the other portions of the set.

The Beau Monde

After Olga passed, the set was inherited by her son Nicholas who himself had married another Russian Grand Duchess, Elena.

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#SundayStyle [Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna, wearing the Pigeon Blood Ruby and Diamond Olive Wreath Tiara. The tiara’s first wearer was Queen Olga of Greece, who herself was also a Russian grand duchess by birth. The rubies in the tiara and the rest of the parure are said to have been been purchased by King George I of the Hellenes for Olga. When Olga died in 1926, she left the rubies to her son Nicholas, whose wife Elena wears the parure here. The rubies went to Yugoslavia with Elena’s daughter Olga, though made their way back to Greece when they were sold to King Paul of Greece in the late 1940s] #greatjewelrycollectors #fdnotebook #notevenlondononasundayisasboringasaroomfullofromanovs

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Elena and Nicholas’s daughter Princess Olga of Yugoslavia borrowed the set in her role of first lady of Yugoslavia.

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Their other daughter Princess Marina of Kent borrowed the set to wear to the opening of Parliament in 1937.


The parure really wasn’t seen again until Queen Frederica and her impressive hair came on the scene.

During their 1963 state visit to England, amidst protests, Frederica wore the parure to a banquet and it can be seen in action here at 1:01. I love the sweeping music and style of these old British Pathé films.

YouTube-British Pathé

Frederica then passed the parure to Princess Anne Marie of Denmark and she has worn it quite frequently.

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What do you think of the Greek Ruby Parure?

Show us a photo of your favorite appearance in the comments!

Britain · Greece · Jordan · Netherlands · Norway

Hofdame Bits and Bobs

February is already upon us. In my neck of the woods it’s a consistent cold and gray season, but here’s hoping the royals bring a little sunshine into your life.

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All the royal news you missed the week of January 27.


King Harald is back, and looking healthy!


Two handsome men represent in the Light Dragoons.


There is some speculation that Sophie will be busier now that the British royals are shuffling duties around. She has been highly visible in the last few weeks, so let’s take a look. Here she stepped out the next generation event at the London Stock exchange.

At the University of Surrey, Sophie opened up a cancer center named in honor of Dr. Kate Granger, who died of the disease.

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👩🏽‍⚕️🏥👨‍⚕️ ‘We all know from our own personal experiences that the way medical professionals treat those in their care can make all the difference to their wellbeing and outlook; simple gestures of kindness and compassion along with an introduction make patients feel unique, valued and respected.’ Chris Pointon (widower of Dr Kate Granger) spoke of his wife’s legacy as The Countess of Wessex opened a new facility named after her at the University of Surrey. Dr Granger, an NHS doctor who spearheaded the #hellomynameis campaign encouraging healthcare staff to establish a personal connection with patients to support better health outcomes and interactions. The new facility is home to the prestigious School of Health Sciences, which is at the forefront of educating the next generation of nurses, midwives, physicians’ associates and paramedics in the United Kingdom. 📸: David Hartley

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While in Sierre Leone, Sophie repeated her ARoss Girl green dress (Kate also wore a similar dress, shown at the link).


Anne-Marie and Theodora were recently seen attending Celia Krithiatori’s fashion show. Word is the Greek designer has been chosen by Theodora to design her wedding gown. If you are like me, that wedding had completely fallen off your radar. I am glad to put it back on. Here is a link to the designer’s wedding gown collection for 2019. It appears we are in for a dramatic time!

The Netherlands

We haven’t focused on them much lately, but many members of the The House of Orange have been working. Let’s do a Deep Dive on the Dutch, shall we?

Margriet visited the Military Rehabilitation Center (Aardenburg) in Doorn, Netherlands, and sport that she is, tossed a few balls around.

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She slowed down to open the Beukenstein care and nursing home in Driebergen-Rijsenburg. Additional photos of the wonderful dress are at New My Royals.

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Beukenstein in Driebergen-Rijsenburg is een van de eerste verpleeghuizen in Nederland dat in de jaren zeventig de deuren opende. Vandaag opent Prinses Margriet het vernieuwde pand van het verpleeghuis. Ouderen met een zorgindicatie, bijvoorbeeld dementie, kunnen in een van de woningen van Beukenstein terecht. Kleinschaligheid en persoonlijke zorg staan daarbij voorop, zodat de bewoners zich veilig en vertrouwd voelen in hun omgeving. Na de symbolische opening krijgt de Prinses een rondleiding. Ook spreekt zij met bewoners en medewerkers over hun ervaringen in het nieuwe pand en over de zorg die het verpleeghuis biedt. #prinses #Princess #Koninklijk Huis #RoyalHouse #Margriet #verpleeghuis #Beukenstein #zorgindicatie #dementie 📸Victor Schutijser

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I feel we should drop by and check out some relatively recent “Looks of Laurentien”. We featured one last week, but she is always interesting, if not always conventional. I don’t think we focused on her during the Prince Claus Award ceremony in December, but her ruby (well, orange) slippers and earrings are deserving of a deep dive.

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LIteracy is one of Laurentien’s pet causes, and in that vein she opened an event supporting those with reading disabilities at the Amsterdam Public Library. I like the colorful scarf against the stark black pantsuit, which from these photos looks like it fits like a dream.

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Prinses Laurentien is bij de boekpresentatie van ‘Knokken voor je boeken’ ter gelegenheid van het 125-jarig bestaan van de Vereniging Onbeperkt Lezen (VOL). Na het in ontvangst nemen van het eerste boek opent de Prinses de gelijknamige fototentoonstelling in de Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (OBA). In ‘Knokken voor je boeken’ vertellen 22 mensen met een leesbeperking hoe zij lezen met gebruik van vingers, of door te luisteren naar een gesproken boek en wat lezen voor hen betekent. Tien van deze mensen worden uitgelicht met hun portret in de fototentoonstelling. Met het boek en de fototentoonstelling in de bibliotheek vraagt VOL aandacht voor mensen met een leesbeperking en de mogelijkheden om op andere manieren te kunnen (blijven) lezen. De tentoonstelling is te zien van 30 januari tot en met 24 februari op de 1e etage van de @obamsterdam. #lezen #leesbeperking #boek #fototentoonstelling #VOL #PrinsesLaurentien #prinses #Princess #Amsterdam #OBA 📸Patrick van Katwijk en RVD

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What did I miss?

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In Defense of the Dress – Marie-Chantal in Alexander McQueen

Welcome back to the Defense of the Dress. It’s a new year, and lots of new dresses are just waiting to be defended. Let’s get down to it.

The Facts

The Duchess of Cambridge is NOT the only royal to wear McQueen, thankyouverymuch. Marie-Chantal of Greece, who is, granted, more royal-adjacent than royal, has also worn the designer. In 2015, she appeared at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in this silk printed McQueen, which features a high waistline and strategic cut outs. This dress provoked some very strong reactions among the Hofdames, but we kept in mind the adjacent part of royal-adjacent, and adjusted our judging spectacles accordingly.

Close-ups of the styling and earrings can be found on New My Royals.

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The Case for the Dress

The Handbag: OK, I am going to preface this by saying I placed it in context. It’s worn by a woman who is not part of a current monarchy to an event where she is more celebrity than royal. In that context, I think it’s a good compromise. She was going for 1930s Hollywood, and although it doesn’t reach that level of polish, it’s somewhat stylish, somewhat daring, and flattering.

The Case Against The Dress

LiL: I could honestly go either way, but I’ll take the against for one glaring reason. The bodice doesn’t fit properly. When you have that much money, there’s no excuse for poor tailoring.

Can you defend this dress?
Belgium · Denmark · Greece · Japan · Jordan · Luxembourg · Monaco · Spain · Sweden

Quick Quiz – Tiaras, Heirs and Descendants Answers

We keep saying that it’s our Community that provides the backbone to this blog. In an often fact-free royal internet world, the people who comment here are the exception. You proved it by acing the Tiaras, Heirs and Descendants quiz.

Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Royaling – Our Swedish Handbaggers are royal experts. Mrs. Diamond correctly named all the tiaras, heirs and descendants of Queen Victoria in the photo. Extra extra credit to her for Gunilla Bernadotte’s tiara identification.

Extra Credit – Triple Duchess named all of the above, and all the descendants of Christian IX. Bravo to her for “knowing her royal stuff”!

Fun Fact – Of the European royals in the photo, only the Dutch royal family and the Monaco princely families do not have descendants from either Victoria or Christian.

  • Tiaras 
    • Sonja of Norway: Emerald
    • Mette-Marit of Norway: Pearl (small version)
    • Christina of Sweden: Six Button
    • Letitia of Spain: Mellerio Floral
    • Beatrix of the Netherlands: Mellerio Ruby (suspension bridge)
    • Desirée of Sweden: Napoleonic Amethysts
    • Paola of Belgium: Queen Elisabeth’s Art Deco Bandeau
    • Birgitta of Sweden: Nine Prong
    • Margaretha of Sweden: Aquamarine Kokoshnik
    • Madeleine of Sweden: Connaught Forget-Me-Not
    • Gunilla Bernadotte: Lily-of-the-Valley Diamond and Pearl Tiara
    • Victoria: Cameo
    • Benedikte of Denmark: Berleburg Fringe
    • Rania of Jordan: Boucheron Bracelet
    • Silvia: Braganca
    • Mary of Denmark: Ruby Parure
    • Anne-Marie of Greece and Denmark: Ruby Olive Wreath
    • Marie-Thérèse of Luxembourg: Empire
    • Máxima of the Netherlands: Diamond Bandeau
    • Margrethe of Denmark: Pearl Poire tiara
    • Mathilde of Belgium: Laurel Wreath
    • Sofia of Spain: Mellerio Shell
  • Heirs
    • Victoria, Haakon, Frederik, Felipe, Naruhito, Guillaume, Willem-Alexander, Philippe (Bonus second-in-line heirs: Catharina-Amalia, Ingrid Alexandra, and Christian)
  • Descendants of Victoria
    • Sweden: Carl Gustaf and his sisters Margaretha, Desirée, Birgitta, and Christina, Victoria, Madeleine, Carl Philip, and Carl Johan Bernadotte
    • Denmark: Margrethe, Frederik, Christian, Anne-Marie, and Benedikte
    • Norway: Harald, Haakon, Ingrid Alexandra
    • Spain: Sofia, Felipe
    • Greece: Konstantin
  • Descendants of Christian IX
    • Denmark: Margrethe, Frederik, Christian, Anne-Marie, and Benedikte
    • Belgium: Philippe, Albert
    • Norway: Harald, Haakon, Ingrid Alexandra
    • Spain: Sofia, Felipe
    • Greece: Konstantin
    • Luxembourg: Henri
  • Descendants of both Christian IX and Victoria
    • Denmark: Margrethe, Frederik, Christian, Anne-Marie, and Benedikte
    • Norway: Harald, Haakon, Ingrid Alexandra
    • Spain: Sofia, Felipe
    • Greece: Konstantin

Thanks for playing. Yes, it hurt our brains a little bit, too! Any corrections or changes are welcome.


Random Royaling – Nikolaos and Tatiana

Note: Getty embeds have not been playing well with WordPress tagging for the past few days, so we are going to rely on Twitter and Instagram embeds for this post. Fingers crossed it’s all sorted out by next week, folks!

Yes, Nikolaos and Tatiana *are* beautiful, but they are both also dedicated to bringing beauty into our lives in other ways. Nikolaos’ photographs were recently displayed at the “Aegean Desert” exhibition. I enjoy seeing both the photos and the bond between Nikolaos and his father here. There is obvious pride and love between the two. On the sartorial side, Tatiana’s royal lady pants are @goals for me.

Tatiana attended a fashion show that featured the designs of Mary Kantrantzou. It was held in Greece at the Temple of Poseidon, a beautiful space, and also benefited a children’s cancer charity. A triple win, there. I find myself wanting to see some of Kantrantzou’s designs here on Princess Mary, and I’d like to see the astronomy gown on the celestial carpet from the Netherlands, worn by anyone feeling adventurous.

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A quiet moment after the most breathtaking, moving show at The Temple of Poseidon last week in Athens. Calling it a fashion show doesn’t do it justice. It was unique- poignant, powerful & beautiful- highlighting not only the beauty of Greece and the talent of @marykatrantzou but the life-saving work of @elpida_association- celebrating 30 years of working with children with cancer. At the end of the show, the children, survivors of cancer, walked down the runway to a standing ovation. There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience… even writing this now, I am again moved to tears … thank you @marykatrantzou @elpida_association for putting together a show and a celebration of life- of the past, the present and hope for the future. I feel blessed to have witnessed this and grateful to be part of Elpida’s legacy with an amazing group of women @elpidayouth. #sounio #elpida #hope #grateful #blessed #beauty #speechless

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Photo courtesy of Greek Times
© Yannis Vlamos (Astronomy Gown)

More on the show from Vogue.

Hope these two inspired all of you toward a beautiful weekend! Let us know how you feel about the events below.