Tiaras

In Defense of the Tiara – The Modern Fringe Tiara

Back to Sweden this week, with our featured tiara being one of the favorites of Princess Madeleine – The Modern Fringe Tiara.

Maddie is anxiously awaiting your thoughts.

The History

There’s no real history known for this one, only that Queen Silvia of Sweden began wearing it in the late 1980s. That led many to believe that it was a 10th anniversary present from King Carl Gustaf in 1986 (nicely done if so). It is usually referred to as a “private tiara,” and has actually been gifted to Maddie by her parents.

What we do know: this one is a modern take on the classic fringe, the accent diamonds that flare off the main fringe almost seem to interlock around the smaller pieces between each fringe. Added to that you’ve got some round diamonds on top of the fringes and down below on the base. This one is also a tiara/necklace convertible, and one of the few that actually makes that change quite often.

The Case for the Tiara

LG: The design is delicate, but diamond heavy. I like the similarities in the design between the larger and smaller fringe elements, as well as the diamond toppers on the larger fringes. And surprisingly for a tiara/necklace combo, this one looks good as a necklace as well.

LiL: I love it. I really do. One of my very favorite Swedish tiaras. And on Maddie? Perfection.

OC: I am here for this piece. Simply put? She’s pretty.

The Case against the Tiara

The Handbag: You know what I am going to say, right? It’s fine for a fringe that isn’t a WALL OF DIAMONDS THAT YOU WEAR ON YOUR HEAD. Actually, this isn’t a “case against” at all. Maddie looks very pretty in that photo, and the delicacy of this one is actually more pleasing to me than the Baden.

What do you think of the Modern Fringe?
Tiaras

In Defense of the Tiara – The Baden Fringe

Ok, it’s that time. I’ve taken on some of your favorite tiaras in this series (sorry, still don’t like the Girls…). It’s time to put my all time fave on the line – The Baden Fringe Tiara.

You knew I’d pick a photo with Big Red.

The History

This tiara traveled to Sweden in 1881 with the first Princess Victoria, a wedding present from her parents, Grand Duke Friedrich I and Grand Duchess Louise of Baden. Victoria married Crown Prince Gustaf on September 20 in Karlsruhe. The tiara is made up of 47 diamond rays, with smaller spikes in between the larger rays. As with most fringes, it is also designed to be worn as a necklace, which Victoria of Baden did on her wedding day, but the current Swedish ladies have kept it in tiara form.

The Case for the Tiara

LG: To me this is perfection. The diamond design of the fringes to look like rays of sunlight, to the smaller spikes in between filling up the negative space at the bottom of the diamond. The difference in height between the front and the back makes it fun for the Swedish hairdressers (who are amazing) to play with, and just how far it wraps around the head. It’s the first thing I think of when someone says “tiara.”

LiL: I’m going to hop on here with you, even though it’s not my favorite fringe tiara by a long shot. I said the other day that I like my fringes to be just this side of lethal, and this one has always reminded me of the faces drawn onto the airplanes during WWII. You know, with the teeth? All lethal looking? No?

The Handbag: It’s perfectly fine for a fringe that isn’t a WALL OF DIAMONDS THAT YOU WEAR ON YOUR HEAD.

The Case against the Tiara

OC: It’s too solid. It’s too angular. Nope. I can’t even pretend to like this tiara. I love it.

How do you feel about the Baden Fringe Tiara?

What do you guys think?

If you like Swedish fringes, stick around. We’ve got something fun coming up…

Tiaras

In Defense of the Tiara – Alex’s Kokoshnik

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.

The History

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.

OC: Unimaginative but I can’t deny the sparkle.

Well???

What do you think of Alexandra's Kokoshnik
Denmark

In Defense of the Tiara Headpiece – Daisy’s Poppies

We started this week in Denmark, so it feels right to end it there as well. Today let’s discuss one of the more interesting headpieces to reside in a royal vault: The Golden Poppies.

This headpiece was commissioned by Margrethe in 1976 from Danish artist Arje Griegst. The flowers are made from hammered gold, with moonstones, aquamarines, pearls, crystals, opals and diamonds, representing dew drops and tiny bejeweled insects (not a sentence I ever thought I’d write).

The Case For the Tiara

The Handbag: All right. Just hear me out here. First I am throwing out a bunch of qualifiers, but I do overall think this piece is interesting and could even be attractive! I don’t think this works for Daisy’s coloring and it definitely doesn’t flatter her grey hair, so we aren’t seeing it at its best. I do think on dark hair, arranged in a more concentrated fashion (maybe something along the lines of Charlene’s wedding hair), they could be both unusual and stunning. Yes, stunning.

OC: I agree with the illustrious Handbag with the Poppies. The flowers themselves are lovely, but the sturdy gold hairnet doesn’t belong on anyone. I look forward to seeing them on darker hair and love the idea of hairpins being made available to junior princesses for fancy gatherings.

LiL: This gets a yes from me. Not because of what it is today, but because of what it can possibly become. On Mary’s head.

The Case Against the Tiara

LG: I’m sorry…I just can’t with this one. I agree with my fellow Hofdames that this might be something, one day, on Mary. But that’s a very big might. For now I hope this stays tucked away in the very back corner of the vault.

What do you guys think?

What do you think of Daisy's Golden Poppies?
Spain

In Defense of the Tiara – Spain’s Sea Shells

Technically it’s the Mellerio Shell Tiara, but if you haven’t noticed we have a thing about alliteration around here…

This one dates back to 1867, and was purchased by Queen Isabella II the following year for her daughter’s wedding. The tiara floated through the Spanish Royal Family (Isabella II – Isabella, Princess of Asturias – Alfonso XIII – Mercedes, Countess of Barcelona) and was gifted to Sofia by Juan Carlos’ parents upon their wedding in 1962.

The Case For the Tiara

OC: This piece has amazing display power and I really appreciate it. It is simply not worn to its best advantage on Letizia. Sofia has some splendid appearances with it and I like the reference to water, since she was born a Greek princess.

The Handbag: I’ll say straightaway that I don’t think this works on Leti. It simply doesn’t complement her angular features. However, Sofia, with her her heart shaped face and fluffy hair, wears it well. It’s unusual and memorable rather than pretty, but I find it an asset to the Spanish collection.

The Case Against the Tiara

LiL: Hideous.

LG: I want to like it, it’s got massive hanging pearls and lots of diamonds, but it looks too cluttered to me. Maybe removing every other pearl would clean it up a bit. But as is…it’s a no.

What do you guys think?

How do you feel about the Spanish Mellerio Shell Tiara?