Battle of the Tiaras – Big Gun Edition

Following up on last week’s discussion on the Luxembourg Empire Tiara, we’re going all in on the big guns! Let’s see which of these comes out on top.

The Bragança  Tiara

This is the biggest gun, and one of the oldest, in the Swedish vault. Originally owned by Empress Amélie  of Brazil (hence one name for this one – The Brazilian Tiara), it was then inherited by her sister Queen Josephine of Sweden upon Amélie’s death in 1873. While the sharing from the Swedish vaults is legendary (although not as widespread as the Dutch), this one is reserved solely for the Queen.

The Stuart Tiara

The name for this tiara comes from the Stuart Diamond which is the centerpiece of this tiara. The stone originally belonged to King William III and Queen Mary of England. The diamond is a massive, rose cut, pear shaped 39.75 carat wonder, and it has a pale blue-greenish tint to it. Upon King William’s death in 1702 the stone returned to the Netherlands. Since then it has been worn as a brooch, a pendant, and ultimately as the main stone of the Stuart Tiara, which was created in 1897 for Queen Wilhelmina’s inauguration. This was a favorite of Wilhelmina’s daughter, Queen Juliana, but was not worn by Queen Beatrix. Luckily for us, Queen Maxima seems to have taken a shine to it.

Queen Sophie’s Diamond Tiara

The Greek entry for this battle is Queen Sophie’s Diamond Tiara. Princess Sophie of Prussia received this tiara as a wedding present upon her marriage to Crown Prince Constantine of Greece in 1889. It is thought to have been a gift from one of her many royal relatives (being a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, there were quite a few), with most guessing her mother, Empress Friedrich, or her brother, Kaiser Wilhelm II. Upon Sophie’s death in 1932, the tiara was next worn by Queen Friederike, born Princess of Hanover, her daughter in law. When Friederike passed away in 1981, the tiara disappeared from view, with many thinking it had been sold during exile. Marie Chantal surprised us all when she wore this piece to Queen Margrethe’s Ruby Jubilee in 2012.

Which of these Big Guns is your favorite?

In Defense of the Tiara – Khedive Tiara

Next up in our series is one of the most famous wedding tiaras in the world: The Khedive of Egypt Tiara.

Another story that is well known to most royal watchers; this one starts it’s royal journey in Sweden. Gifted to Princess Margaret of Connaught (granddaughter of Queen Victoria) by the Khedive of Egypt, upon her wedding to Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden. Why a present from the Khedive? Gustaf Adolf and Margaret met, and were engaged in Egypt!

Sadly, Margaret did not live to become Queen of Sweden, and the tiara passed to her daughter Ingrid upon her death. When Ingrid married Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark in 1935, she brought her mother’s tiara with her. Ingrid was quite generous with the tiara, loaning it to both Princess Margaretha of Denmark (sister of Crown Princess Martha of Norway and Queen Astrid of Belgium) and to Princess Margaretha of Sweden (her niece).

It’s most well known as the bridal tiara of the Danish and Greek Royal families. It was first used as a bridal tiara by Princess Anne Marie of Denmark upon her marriage to King Constantine II of Greece. It has also been worn by all the other royal women descended from Queen Ingrid on their wedding days: Margrethe, Benedikte, Alexia, Alexandra and Nathalie. We’ll see if Theodora continues this tradition with her wedding next year.

See the other post from today for photos of the brides with the various iterations of the Khedive.

The Case for the Tiara

LG: I love this one, always have; although I don’t like the base AM added, but that’s a quibble. It can read a bit one-dimensional in photos, but seems to come to life when it’s worn. Hopefully Theodora carries on the tradition, and this tiara makes it’s way back home to Denmark one day.

The Handbag: Oh, I wish I had a definitive yes or no for you but I vacillate so much on this. In that top photo above, it’s glorious. It looks great on Anne Marie at her wedding, all nestled down in her hair. It did not win my heart when Nathalie wore it in 2011 – that new frame makes it float oddly above the wearer’s heads. However, I am giving out points for history and continuity, and this makes it fall in the win column.

OC: Symmetry plus history plus bridal tradition plus universal awesomeness of diamonds? SO TWEE! Who am I kidding?? Not a thing wrong with this piece or the way it is traditionally used. LiL makes an excellent point below, though.

The Case against the Tiara

LiL: I wish I could put my finger on the exact reason I don’t care for this tiara. Is it because of all of the swirlies? Maybe. I think my main reason is it’s one dimensional look. It looks “flat”. No depth to it at all. Like it’s made out of tinfoil.

Ok guys, what do you think?

How do you feel about the Khedive Tiara?
94 votes