Next up in our series of “Farewell Fotoshops” to close out our time here at The Handbag we have The Danish Ruby Tiara, yet another piece of royal jewelry that can trace it’s lineage back to Napoleon Bonaparte. When coronated as “Emperor of the French” in 1804, he wanted to ensure that the ceremony would be the grandest event possible. In order to make this happen, Napoleon gave money to his marshals so that they could buy their wives the “proper” amount of jewels for the occasion. One of his marshals was a man by the name of Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, who bought a ruby and diamond floral wreath tiara and its accompanying parure for his wife, Désirée. Although it couldn’t have been foreseen at the time, within the next 15 years this couple would become King Carl XIV Johan and Queen Desideria of Sweden and Norway.
In its original version, this tiara was more like a small wreath of flowers rather than the proper tiara we know today. In the first of the tiara’s modifications, Queen Ingrid took the two brooches that were part of the initial parure and added them to the tiara in 1947, giving it much more substance and turning it into a proper diadem that still had a lovely wreath-like structure from the random placement of the leaves. Crown Princess Mary again modified the tiara in 2010, by rearranging and “compacting” the leaves, and having it set on a new frame which was customized to her head shape. This change allows her to wear it upright more easily, eliminating the headband effect. The design changes also allowed for a new ring and hairpins to be created out of the leftover pieces.
This tiara had always been an afterthought for me until the day I happened to come across it “in action” in a video. MY GOODNESS the sparkle and shine, and it is now a firm favorite. I think it would sparkle and shine on all of these ladies as well!