Moving on up!

Today, Emperor Akihito will abdicate his position and Crown Prince Naruhito will become the new Emperor of Japan. Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony will be held in October , and I’m sure we’ll have some coverage of that. For now we are going to concentrate on one of my fave things…tiaras!

Crown Princess Masako has not been in the public eye as much as some of our other Crown Princesses, but she pops up every now and again for certain events. We can only hope that she is receiving the treatment she needs.

Since her marriage, Masako has had two tiaras available to her: The Pearl Sunburst Tiara and the Scroll Tiara that are usually worn by Crown Princesses.

The Pearl Sunburst Tiara, with matching necklace
The Crown Princess Scroll Tiara, with matching necklace

Once Naruhito becomes Emperor and Masako his Empress Consort, she will (we believe) have access to the vault, and the tiaras of the Empress. Empress Michiko stopped wearing tiaras some years ago, but we can hope that Masako will bring some of these beauties out of the vault!

The Meiji Scroll Tiara
The Imperial Chrysanthemum Tiara
Princess Chichibu’s Honeysuckle Tiara

As there hasn’t been an abdication in Japan in over two hundred years, we are not sure how everything is going to shake out. But we are here for the sparkles…so which of the above would you like to see Masako wear first?


Battle of the Tiaras – Hanging Pearls

On to our next round of tiara fun…we’ve had fun defending tiaras, or not defending them, but now we’re going to put some famous tiaras up against each other.

We’re going to start with a good one: hanging pearls. Let’s see which of these beauties takes the crown!

Queen Mary’s / Cambridge Lover’s Knot

Queen Mary had this tiara made, inspired by one owned by her aunt, Grand Duchess Augusta of Mecklenburg-Strelitz’s. It originally had pearl toppers above the lover’s knots, but those were later removed. Queen Elizabeth inherited this tiara upon Mary’s death in 1953. It was later gifted to Diana, Princess of Wales, upon her marriage to Prince Charles. On their divorce, the tiara returned to the vault, to be loaned again to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

The Danish Pearl Poire Tiara

The Pearl Poire tiara first came to Denmark in the vaults of Princess Louise of Sweden, who married the future King Frederik VIII in 1869. The tiara was inherited by Louise upon the death of her mother, Queen Louise of Sweden, who inherited it from her mother, Princess Louise of the Netherlands. It became part of a married parure with a necklace and earrings which were a present from the Khedive of Egypt. The married parure has been worn by all Danish Queens since Louise: Alexandrine, Ingrid and Margrethe II.

The Cartier Pearl Drop Tiara

This Monégasque  tiara was made by Cartier as a wedding present for Princess Charlotte of Monaco, from her husband Count Pierre de Polignac. Charlotte was the grandmother of Prince Rainier. Princess Charlotte wore the tiara to a pre-wedding event for Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly. We’re not sure if Princess Grace ever wore this tiara, although there is a painting of her maybe wearing it… The tiara was then passed on to Princess Caroline, who has been wearing it ever since.

Which hanging pearl tiara is your favorite?

Random Royal Stuff – Victoria’s Sapphire Coronet

The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, part of the Victoria and Albert Museum re-opened on April 11, and it included this gorgeous tiara!

The Sapphire Coronet, which was designed by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria, was commissioned (most likely) from Joseph Kitching in 1842. This is one of the few tiaras that Queen Victoria still wore during her long widowhood. 

Both Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary seemed to pass over this small tiara for larger sparklers from the vault, and in 1922 Queen Mary presented this tiara, along with a matching parure, to her only daughter, Princess Mary upon her marriage to Henry, Viscount Lascelles. 

The tiara then wound it’s way through the Harewood family, worn by both Patricia, Countess of Harewood (Mary’s daughter in law) and Andrea Lascelles (granddaughter in law).

Department for Culture, Media & Sport

The path after that seems a bit murkier, see Order of Splendor’s post on the tiara, but it eventually ended up with the V&A.

This one has always been a favorite of mine; hello…sapphires!!! What do you guys think? A worthy addition to the V&A?


Royal Rock Retrospective–The Habsburg Fringe

The Habsburg Fringe is a spectacular piece set in gold and silver in the late 1800s by A.E. Köchert.

Google images

It’s an impressive show of diamond power and has been worn by quite a few ladies of the Liechtenstein royal family. You can read more about it at The Court Jeweller or Luxarazzi.

I also found this history lesson on YouTube, which seems to be a translation and completely narrated by a computer voice. It’s got some great photos in it, so if you have a few spare minutes you might like to watch.

Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria (hence the Habsburg name) was thought to have been given the tiara on the occasion of her wedding.


Daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Amalie of Liechtenstein was the next owner, but photos of her wearing the tiara are scarce. We then move on to Elizabeth Amalie’s daughter in law, Georgina.

Georgina on a 1960 postage stamp.

The current wearer is Hereditary Princess Sophie. She doesn’t wear it very often and I’m glad whenever we can get a glimpse of it.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Where does this piece stand on your Fringe dance card?


Royal Rock Retrospective

Let’s take a look at another lovely piece of jewelry used throughout generations, this time the Lotus Flower (sometimes known as the Papyrus) Tiara in the British Royal Family.

Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, wore this tiara low and slow in the fashion of her time.

Google images

Her daughter, the Princess Margaret, wore this piece in the fashion of her time which has carried through to modern times.

Margaret, wearing 75% of her orders, Google images.

Margaret’s daughter-in-law Serena wore this piece on her wedding day to David.

The current Countess of Snowdon, Google images.

Lastly, we have seen this tiara most recently on Catherine. A lovely surprise to see when debuted at an incoming state visit from China.

The Duchess of Cambridge, Google images.

For me, this tiara has a nice balance of design and size. It’s a significant piece without overpowering any of her wearers.

Yes, tiaras are girls.