For our next face-off we’re going with tiaras that were gifted to the brides by their new in-laws. These can either be from the vaults, as today’s is, or newly purchased. Let’s jump in!
This one entered the Danish vault around the turn of the last century courtesy of Queen Alexandrine. We’re not sure of the exact provenance, some saying it was made in Paris around 1912, others saying it was Alexandrine’s own 18th birthday tiara, but there’s no solid evidence either way.
What we do know is that when Queen Alexandrine passed away in 1952 this tiara was inherited by her son, King Frederik IX. Six years later Frederik presented the tiara to Princess Margrethe as her 18th birthday tiara.
As usually happens, after King Frederik’s death and Margrethe’s accession this tiara was chosen less and less as the new Queen had access to the entire jewelry vault. But it was given new life in 1995, when Prince Joachim married Alexandra Manley. Alexandra wore this tiara on her wedding day, and for all tiara events afterward, as it was her only tiara.
The Case for the Tiara
OC: I like this piece on craftsmanship alone. In another community I had mentioned I thought it looked like water droplets on spider webs and I imagine it’s difficult to achieve that using rocks. I appreciate its symmetry.
The Handbag: I love this. No one can tell me it isn’t a beautiful, twinkly thing. I think it must be nestled in the hair, and when Alex was a princess she obliged us by doing so, often. It cannot be perched. That ruins it.
The Case against the Tiara
LiL: Not a fan. I mean, it’s okaaaay, but there are others out there that do a much better job of looking like water droplets on spider webs.
LG: It’s pretty enough, but once I read “water drops on spider webs” I was done… Any tiara described as looking like spider webs is no tiara for me. Although, Alexandra wears it extremely well.
Luxembourg’s National Day (Journée de la Fête Nationale) brings together the senior members of the family to celebrate the Grand Duke’s official birthday. There are several events, one of which is a ceremony at the Philharmonie Luxembourg. For the occasion, Maria Teresa wore a lovely Lanvin Embroidered Silk Neoprene dress, while Stephanie and Alexandra wore pastel shades. Alexandra apparently raided her mother’s closet for her blue suit; there were sightings of MT in something very similar in 2003 . Stephanie is wearing a Sophie Habsburg design, a new designer to me, and one that I think “gets Steph”. Bonus Henri and other gents in morning suits, my personal favorite type of semi-formal men’s dress.
The entire family participated in various events both leading up to and on the day itself. Stephanie wore yellow Natan for a visit to Esch-sur-Alzette, at the start of the official celebrations, and MT wore a rich Etro Floral evening jacket (that I covet!) to a torchlight tribute and fireworks display. The small glimpse we have of Alexandra’s jacket intrigues me as well. It has been described as this Etro Ikat-Print.
In the evening, the Grand Duke and Duchess hosted a reception attended by all their children other than Prince Felix. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Prince Louis, Princess Alexandra and Prince Sebastien all gussied up and came out to celebrate. Tiaras were on tap: the Luxembourg Turquoise for Alexandra, the Belgian Scroll on Maria Teresa, and Stephanie in the Nassau Floral with one of the Nassau Rose brooches. Stephanie’s long red column of a dress is terrifically flattering, and the black is a sophisticated choice for Maria Teresa. Alexandra’s evening gown is a remade gown from her mother.
To round out a thoroughly British week here at the Handbag, lets discuss another of Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite tiaras – Queen Alexandra’s Diamond Kokoshnik Tiara.
This tiara was created for Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII and daughter-in-law of Queen Victoria, in 1888 for Edward and Alexandra’s 25th anniversary. It was designed at Alex’s request after a tiara of her sister’s, Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia (born Princess Dagmar of Denmark, and mother of the future Nicholas II). The tiara was a gift of The Ladies of Society, a collection of the 365 peeresses of the realm.
The tiara was created by Garrard, and was made of 61 platinum bars containing 488 diamonds, the largest two weighing in at 3.25 carats each. Upon Alex’s death in 1928, the tiara passed to Queen Mary, and then to Elizabeth II upon Mary’s passing in 1953.
The Case for the Tiara
The Handbag: It’s a wall of diamonds. A WALL OF DIAMONDS THAT YOU WEAR ON YOUR HEAD. I rest my case.
The Case against the Tiara
LG: While I appreciate a straight up wall of diamonds on someone’s head, the bars of this one remind me of popsicle sticks on a good day, and tongue depressors on a bad one.
LiL: I have to agree with LG. This is just too clunky/chunky/ ice-lolly-sticky for me. Zero personality.
It’s that glittery, glitzy night, when the stylish and cool royal adjacents of Monaco sweep in and host the Bal de la Rose. This is the charity event of the year. It was established in 1954, and the proceeds have benefited the Princess Grace Foundation since 1964. Every year there is a theme, and this one was “La Dolce Vita”.
Heaven of Marie’s Closet has been on the case identifying these gowns, practically as soon as the women walked into the room. Princess Caroline is in Chanel, from the Spring 2019 collection. Tatiana Casiraghi is wearing a Giambattista Valli gown and Princess Alexandra is in Sandra Mansour. La BB swept in wearing custom Dior and carrying Dior clutch. No word yet on Charlotte’s gown.
Princess Alexandra is my favorite, but that might be because a) I love color, and b) she is very un-Monaco like in her cheerful and grinning demeanor.