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.

View this post on Instagram

#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

A post shared by FD GALLERY (@fd_gallery) on

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

Google images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

What do you think of the Greek Ruby Parure?

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