In Defense of the Tiara – Crown Princess Mary’s Wedding Tiara

The Facts

This delicate diamond tiara was a wedding gift from Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik. It is convertible, and can be worn as a necklace. Its light and airy sparkles are a nice counterpoint to the elaborate ruby parure Mary has the use of for big occasions. Mary added the pearls in 2011, to give the tiara a bit more gravitas.

The Case for the Tiara

LiL: Its okay, but I really wish it was bigger. Even after its upgrade I wish it was bigger. Make bigger.

OC: The added pearls really fleshed out this tiara. I see this as a future-Isabella piece, rather than a future Mrs. Christian piece.

LG: I like it. It was a nice smaller option, as she also had the fabulous Ruby Parure, and I’m always in for a convertible piece.

The Case Against the Tiara

The Handbag: I am not entirely against, not at all. It’s just that I thought it was actually prettier pre-pearls. Yes, it’s beefier now, but it lost some of its delicate beauty.

Does Mary's wedding tiara tickle your fancy?

In Defense of the Tiara – Greek Emeralds

We’re taking a detour down to the Mediterranean this go around, discussing the Greek Emerald Tiara.

Yes, I picked this picture just for the necklace…

The Facts

This one goes back to Queen Olga of Greece, who brought these magnificent (and enormous) cabochon emeralds with her on her marriage to King George I in 1867. Notably, the tiara didn’t start out as a tiara; Olga wore the emeralds as separate pieces, pining them on a dress, wearing them as pendants, wearing them pinned on a kokoshnik, and so on.

Her granddaughter in law, Queen Elisabeth (born a Princess of Romania – daughter of Queen Marie), started out wearing them simply too, usually on a diamond bandeau. Eventually this kokoshnik style tiara was made, by Cartier, starring Olga’s emeralds.

The Case For the Tiara

OC: Originally, I was not a fan of this tiara because cabachons and I simply don’t get along. However, you cannot beat the color of those stones. It’s a Big Gun with color, and there aren’t many successful examples of those. I do not care for it when worn as a necklace.

The Handbag: I like it – I think it has serious presence. I am not a huge emerald fan, but these massive specimens are meant for a tiara and there they are.

The Case Against the Tiara

LiL: I’m not a fan of most emeralds to begin with and the ones from Cabochon are even worse. If I have to wear emeralds I’m going to need them faceted and sparkling in the candlelight, thank you very much. It’s also very “clunky”. No thanks.

LG: Like LIL, I’m not a fan of emeralds, so this one started off at a disadvantage. Also not every stone is suited for the cabochon shape/cut: star sapphire, ok; turquoise, maybe; rubies, sapphires and emeralds…no. Also, the design looks “heavy,” and the “E” element just puts me off.

What do you guys think?

What do you think of the Greek Emeralds?
Sweden · Tiaras

In Defense of the Tiara – The Cameo

Time for a perennial love it or hate it tiara…the Swedish Cameo Tiara. This one dates back to the coronation of Napoleon, apparently made for Josephine by the court’s jeweler Marie-Étienne Nitot.

Embed from Getty Images

Upon Josephine’s death in 1814, it seems her son, Eugene inherits the tiara. Eugene was later created Duke of Leuchtenberg by his father in law, King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria. Eugene’s eldest daughter, Josephine, married Crown Prince Oscar of Sweden, with the Cameos accompanying her to Sweden. They then take a winding trip through the Swedish Royal Family: from Josefina to her daughter Eugenie; Eugenie to her nephew Eugen (who loaned them to Crown Princess Margareta); and then Eugen to Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as a wedding present.

Two of Sibylla’s daughters wore the tiara for their weddings, as well as the current Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria.

The Case For the Tiara

LuckeyGirl: This one did take me a while to warm up to. While never actively hating it, it was one of those “oh…that tiara” ones. Until Victoria wore it on her wedding day. It was absolute perfection with her wedding gown, and became a firm favorite; I even started liking it in previously outings (except Silvia’s wedding look…still don’t like that one). The history is one of the draws, but I love the idea of a tiara with nary a diamond (yes, I love the Cut Steel too…oh, future post…).

The Handbag: I love it. It is my favorite tiara. Is it intrinsically pretty? Hmmmmm, well you have to love cameos and gold and that is a hard sell. I love it because it is history in jewelry form – come on, it dates back to Napoleon. I also love that it is distinctive, that it comes with an awesome whatever-you-call-it parure (you can tell I am not the jewelry expert around here), and that is a challenge to wear. I still maintain that the one truly successful contemporary outing was on Vickan’s head, at her wedding.

The Case Against the Tiara

LiL: DISCLAIMER: Written prior to my complete Cameo tiara awakening. You aaaall think you know where this is headed, right? Not so fast. I mean, yeah, I still don’t care for it, but…BUT. I don’t hate it anymore. That’s something, right? I think it’s all of the photoshops I’ve done of it over the years that has softened my opinion. I really love it “on” Maddie and Sofia. So yeah, not a hard pass anymore. More of a “If I have to, okay. But don’t expect me to wear it all the time.”

OC: This was a tough one for me, but overall it’s a no. Victoria SLAYED on her wedding day, and the history on this piece alone should put me in the Yes column but I just can’t. The gold and the mismatching of the cameo colors with seed pearls makes me bonkers. I only want to see it in photos of Victoria’s wedding. The parure is also generally hideous.

Now for the fun…love it or leave it?

How do you feel about the Cameo Tiara?

In Defense of the Tiara – Dutch Mellerio Ruby

Time to take a stroll through the Dutch vaults for our fun little feature. This time we’re chatting about the Dutch Ruby Cat Ears…no the Dutch Sparkly Suspension…I mean the Dutch Mellerio Ruby Tiara.

Queen Maxima wearing the Mellerio Ruby Parure.

This one goes all the way back to 1889 when King Willem III ordered it for Queen Emma from the famed Paris jeweler Mellerio dits Meller. The design is of three large scroll motifs in rubies and diamonds echoed by two smaller motifs at the sides, all connected by three levels of trembling diamond strings.

The Case For the Tiara

OC: This one took a long time to win me over. Surprisingly, the rest of the parure is what brought me in. That necklace is divine. Now that I can see that motif in the tiara, I appreciate it that much more. Don’t let it fool you…this is a big gun.

The Handbag: I love it. It’s unusual and it has, in Max, a royal who can wear the heck out of it. The best thing about it, though? That fabulous necklace that comes with it..

The Case Against the Tiara

LiL: I have to go with no. Rubies and I don’t have the best relationship as it is, and this is way too pointy for my liking. I’d be happy to snag that necklace, though.

The Case of the Meh

LG: Love the rubies, hate the suspension look of the connecting elements. The rest of the parure is divine.

What do you guys think?

How do you feel about the Dutch Mellerio?

Battle of the Tiaras – Convertible Edition

In this latest set of Defenses we’ve seen a few of the convertible tiaras out there. Now…it’s time to pick a winner!!

The contenders are:

The Dutch Pearl Button Tiara / Dutch Star Tiara

For the history and results, click here.

The Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara

For the history and results, click here.

The Musy Tiara

For the history and results, click here.

So…which wins your heart, and more importantly, your vote?

Which convertible tiara is your fave?

OT: The reader winner for Best of Victoria – Evening is…her 2010 Nobel ensemble! Runners up: Bid Red and Maddie’s Wedding. Stay tuned for the next entry, and thanks!