Other Royals · Spain · Tiaras

Duchess of Calabria Sapphire Parure

Princess Alicia Maria Teresa Francesca Luisa Pia Anna Valeria of Bourbon-Parma was born in 1917 and became a member of the Spanish royalty through her marriage to Infante Alfonso of Spain, Prince of the Two Sicilies, Duke of Calabria. She is the current king’s paternal half-great aunt through marriage.

Married in 1936, the now-Infanta of Spain received several gifts of jewelry, many from Chaumet.

The tiara is quite large and features sapphires surrounded by diamonds in a sweeping pattern with a rounded top edge. It is said that the bracelet can be worn as a bandeau, but this writer hasn’t had any luck securing a photo and is not-so-secretly hoping one of our community members has an example to share.


I find it interesting that the tiara is very curvy and feminine, yet the major brooch is much more angular and almost doesn’t match, save for the use of diamonds and sapphires. The second, smaller brooch does have a curvier look to it, but I’ve not seen a photo of the second brooch being worn.


As with many other jewelry sets over time, this parure was auctioned off in 1982 and hasn’t been seen in action since.

What do you think of this parure? Which piece is your favorite? Who of our current royals would you like to see wearing any of these pieces?

Arbitrary Apparel Appreciation · Other Royals

Arbitrary Apparel Appreciation—Russian Winter Glory

Put simply, this bit of silvery goodness just took my breath away.

What other gowns have you seen in your travels that inspired wintery goodness for you?

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We are reallllllly stretching our ROYGBIV category now with this week’s entry in our series, but by popular request, I present Stripes! For me, stripes are much like gold. Very easy to look garish, but also the potential to look absolutely spectacular. Let’s get started!


Victoria has worn this striped Dolce & Gabbana dress several times and I love it more each time I see it. These photos are from her dad’s 70th birthday party and display excellent family matching without being over the top.

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Silvia wore this gown to the Nobels in the early 1990s. It’s…a lot.


Maxima wore this Mary Katrantzou dress to a children’s concert in 2016 and I think she nailed it. It’s not a “pretty” dress per se, but I think she carries it off quite well. Not everyone can wear Katrantzou, much less wear it well.

Mabel looking fresh as a daisy out and about in New York.


Eugenie getting her casual stripes on back in 2018 in this cute & figure flattering sundress. Shield your eyes from the shoes.

Catherine tried out a bit of Missoni when visiting Belfast earlier this year.

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Diana looked quite smart in this pinstripe suit worn to a Centrepoint Christmas function.

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I loved this dress Mathilde wore back in 2018. All the angles really work for her sometimes difficult to dress figure.


Martha Louise wore this interesting gown to Mary & Frederik’s wedding. I don’t love this dress, but can appreciate the details.

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Sonja turned super agent while visiting Canada .

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Rania wore this fun skirt when visiting Spain in 2015.

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Some of Mozah’s finest looks fit into this category.


This fun gown was for the 2000 Rose Ball and Caroline looks great!

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Tatiana in one of her more subdued outfits at a recent National Day. Love the styling here with the black beret and shoes.


I love the understated difficulty of this striped skirt. It’s really quite intricate but looks like a simple closet staple from afar.

YASSSSSS GURL. Get it, Bene.

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Look at this snazzy lady suit Sofia wore last year!

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Letizia stunned in this striped cocktail dress worn when Argentina came to visit in 2017.

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What do you think of these striped selections? Show me your favorites in the comments!

Next week we’ll do Florals!

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Welcome to this Thursday’s edition of ROYGBIV. Today we’ll be looking at gold entries. For me, gold clothing is hit or miss. It can either be so incredibly gaudy or really classy. Here’s hoping I picked some entries that please your eyes! If you’d like to look back on our lengthy ROYGBIV series, just search for it using the tag feature on the sidebar.

This one is a doozy. Depending on where you are in the world, get yourself set up with a snack, a cup of coffee or tea, or an evening cocktail and let’s get started!


Oh Betty. You slay me sometimes. Somehow this design manages to make the more senior lady look positively svelte!

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And we’ve got this gorgeous gold beading a few decades prior to appreciate.


OK, I admit this gold entry barely makes it into our category as it was pre-royal days, but this Edith Head creation from To Catch A Thief must be posted. Click the caption to read a great article with more snapshots and design sheets. The sculptural details pull me in on this one.


Alexia rocking the gold sequins here in a tasteful way.

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Her Royal Highness Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark celebrated her 53rd anniversary this past Wednesday and we wish her the best year yet! . Princess Alexia was born to King Constantine II of The Hellenes and Anne-Marie of Denmark, Queen of The Hellenes, in 1965. Between her own birth and the birth on 20 May 1967 of her brother Pavlos, Princess Alexia was heir presumptive to the throne of the Hellenes, then an extant monarchy. Greece's order of succession to the throne was determined by male-preference primogeniture, similar to the succession laws of Spain, rather than Salic law, prevalent in much of the continent, which precluded the succession of women. Educated, like her brothers, at the Hellenic College in London, she then went to the Froebel College of the Roehampton Institute, a division of the University of Surrey, in 1985 and took a BA in History and Education in 1988. In 1989, she achieved a Post Graduate Certificate of Education and became a primary school teacher in the inner city area of Southwark in London between 1989 and 1992. Before moving to Barcelona where she became a teacher of children with developmental disabilities. #greece #princessalexia #alexiaofgreece #greekroyalfamily #hellenicroyalfamily #greekroyals #royalbirthday #europeanroyals #monarchy #princessofgreece #greekroyals #greekroyalty #royals #royalty

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Marie Chantal SLAYED in this crusty gold Elie Saab for the 2012 Luxembourg wedding.

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Paola wearing the heck out of this high neck look.


Sirikit representing! Let’s also appreciate that bold lip.


The gorgeous Lalla Salma…


Look at this delicious vision, so proud at her son’s 2004 wedding! Check out the last photo in the slideshow to see her golden gown from the pre-wedding gala.

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You didn’t think I would do the gold category and not include THE gold dress, did you??

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Benedikte shines in this lovely gown from a few decades back. I don’t often see a resemblance between Bene and Daisy, but I see it here, for sure.

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Princess Benedikte of Denmark was born as the second child of King Frederick IX of Denmark and Ingrid of Sweden. Princess Benedikte has two sisters, Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Queen Anne Marie of Greece. Princess Benedikte can speak Danish, English and German. Her Royal Highness married to Richard, 6th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein- Berleburg. The couple was very happy and they had 3 children. You can notice that Princess Benedikte has good relations with her sisters. #birthday #royalbirthday #princess #denmark #danishroyals #queen #king #prince #danishroyalfamily #royalfamily #royal #royalty #royaltyfamily #royaljewels #royaljewellery #tiara #crownprincessmary #crownprince #crownprincess

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Marie looks fabulous in this gold applique.


Auntie Astrid rocking the gown here with delicate pink floral accents. I almost feel like the necklace is too heavy, but hey, it’s Astrid. She does as she does.

Here’s Sonja back in the sixties!


Maria Theresa wore this fab creation to Guilliame and Stephanie’s 2012 civil ceremony. Chef’s kiss!

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Making her debut in today’s category is Desiree, sister to the King. I thought she carried this bevy of sequins off quite nicely, as I would expect any woman from Sweden to do! I especially like the neckline and that she wore the Cut Steel tiara. Nice touch.

Sister-in-law Silvia looks great here in 2015.

And here is Victoria, in one of my favorite Jenny Packham gowns of all time. Stunning.


Maxima knocked me out at Prinsjesdag 2013 in this golden creation. I cannot wait to see it again.

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I mean, come on. Look at this lovely lady. You can see what those stairs look like now if you review our recent post on the Huis ten Bosch renovations.

And with my beloved Oma, I leave the gold category to you!

What say you about this gorgeous gold entries? What would you like to see worn again? Would you like another royal to try one of these entries? Show us your favorites in the comments!

Next week we will do Stripes and then wrap up our series with Florals. Feel free to post your blergh/sparkleblergh choices here as well!

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ROYGBIV–Black, White, & Black and White jewelry

It’s Thursday and it’s time for our combo platter of black, white, and black & white jewelry! If you’d like a refresher on all of our ROYGBIV categories, please search for ROYGBIV in the Search the Handbag featured on the right side of your screen. Let’s get to work!


Marie Antoinette’s pearl pendant is just WOW. I love how the pearl is an irregular shape.

And this stunning tiara from Charles X is so symbolic. I can only hope that somehow Felipe has managed to get his hands on this piece for the next sovereign from the House of Bourbon with these amazing fleurs-de-lys. It’d be a great 18th birthday gift for Leonor, no?

And a pearl favorite, the Murat tiara. Another gorgeous piece sold by Sotheby’s in 2012. You can read more about this piece at Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor.


Fawzia of Egypt had this absolutely jawdropping tiara and necklace set from Van Cleef & Arpels. Both pieces are double deckers, of sorts. All the more sparkle, I say!


The collections of the Nizams of Hyderabad give us a look at this whopper of a diamond necklace. Look through the photos to see the hinges on the back.


The duchy of Roxburghe had many, many pretty things to see, but this particular piece always catches my eye.

Plus they had this really fun Valkyrie! I would wear this in a heartbeat.

From the same island, we have my favorite brooch, possibly ever in the Jardine Star.

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🇬🇧 Jardine Star Brooch 🇬🇧 Oggi la Regina ha indossato una delle sue spille preferite, la Jardine Star Brooch, per il quarto giorno del Royal Ascot. Questa spilla fu donata ad Elisabetta II da Lady Jardine nel 1981. La spilla a stella in diamanti risale alla fine del XIX secolo 💎👑💎 Today the Queen wore one of her favourite brooches, the Jardine Star Brooch, for the 4th day of Royal Ascot. This brooch was gifted to Elizabeth II by Lady Jardine in 1981. The diamond star brooch dates back to the end of the 19th century 🇬🇧 @theroyalfamily (if you want to make your eyes shine 😍💎 swipe left ⬅️ for more photos) #ascot #royalascot #thequeen #queenelizabeth #diamond #jewels #brooch #brooches #royaljewels #instaroyals #britishroyalfamily #royalfamily #royal #royalty #royals #britishroyals #britishroyalty #britishroyal #britishstyle #britishmonarchy #uk #unitedkingdom #dnaroyalsjewels

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And last, but not least, a bit of mourning jewelry from Victoria. You can learn more here at Art of Mourning.


Maxima’s costume jewelry includes these earrings and brooch that I think are solid entries into the non-mourning black jewelry division. The brooch is especially solid.

I am very fond of the Dutch Laurel Wreath tiara. It’s a really solid and I think very underrated tiara, and I hope we see it again on the Princess of Orange when she comes of age.

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In ancient Greece, victorious athletes were crowned with wreaths of laurel leaves. Laurel wreaths have been Western cultural symbols of victory for centuries since, so it shouldn't be surprising that the wealthy and powerful have often commissioned their own diamond versions of laurel wreaths. The style is still so associated with ancient Greece that, in French, these tiaras are often called bandeaux à la grecque.The laurel wreath tiara is one of the oldest pieces in the Dutch collection, but there are two competing theories about its arrival in the family’s vaults. One posits that the tiara originally belonged to Princess Louise of Orange-Nassau, the sister of King Willem I of the Netherlands. The other theory suggests that the tiara was made in the early nineteenth century but purchased by the Dutch royals much later. According to this narrative of the tiara's history, it was acquired in the 1950s by Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard and given to Princess Beatrix to celebrate her eighteenth birthday. Whether it was newly purchased or dug out of the depths of the family’s collection, Beatrix did indeed receive the tiara as a birthday gift, and she wore it regularly as a young princess. She also shared the tiara with two of her sisters, Princess Margriet and Princess Christina.In recent years, however, the focus has been on the Dutch brides who have worn the tiara. Laurentien Brinkhorst wore the diadem at her wedding to Beatrix’s son, Prince Constantijn, in 2001. And Princess Irene's daughter, Princess Carolina of Bourbon-Parma, wore it at her 2012 wedding to Albert Brenninkmeijer. #dutchroyaljewels #tiara #diadem #diamonds #diamond #wreaths #leaves #greekstyle #bandeaux #dutch #royals #foundation #vault #historical #jewels #jewelry #queen #queenmaxima #beatrix

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Sweden & Norway

A mourning tiara from a lady of many names Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp, who was queen of both countries for different amounts of times.


I end on one of my favorite notes. The Ocean Foam is simply sublime. Gimme.

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#dnaroyalsarchive 🇲🇨 Diamond Foam Tiara 🇲🇨 Questa tiara di diamanti è stata realizzata nel 2011 dal gioielliere Lorenz Bäumer di Parigi per la Principessa Charlene di Monaco. Comprende quasi 60 carati di diamanti in una montatura in oro bianco. La tiara può essere smontata per diventare una spilla grande o piccola. La Principessa Charlene l'ha ricevuta come regalo di nozze dal marito, il Principe Alberto II. L’ha indossata per la prima volta alla cena di gala del suo matrimonio 💎👑💎 This diamond tiara was made by jeweler Lorenz Bäumer of Paris for Princess Charlene of Monaco in 2011. It includes almost 60 carats of diamonds in a white gold setting. The tiara can disassemble to become a large or small brooch. Princess Charlene received it as a wedding gift from her husband, Prince Albert II. She wore it for the first time at gala dinner of her wedding 🇲🇨 @hshprincesscharlene @lorenzbaumer (if you want to make your eyes shine 😍💎 swipe left ⬅️ for more photos) #charlenedemonaco #charlenewittstock #princesscharleneofmonaco #princesscharlene #diamond #diamonds #tiara #royaltiara #royaljewels #jewels #lorenzbaumer #grimaldi #grimaldifamily #houseofgrimaldi #monegasqueprincelyfamily #monacoroyalfamily #monegasqueroyals #monacoroyals #instaroyals #royal #royals #royalty #principautedemonaco #monaco #montecarlo #dnaroyals

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What say you about these pieces? Do you have other favorites? Were you able to find more examples of non-mourning black jewels? Show us your favorites in the comments!

Programming note: Next week we will explore Silver & Gray clothing. Start your research engines!