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.
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!
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?
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.
The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, part of the Victoria and Albert Museum re-opened on April 11, and it included this gorgeous tiara!
To @V_and_A for a look at Queen Victoria’s sparkling sapphire and diamond coronet, designed for her by Prince Albert in 1840, the year of their marriage. It is the centrepiece of the refurbished William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, which reopens tomorrow. #vamjewellerypic.twitter.com/s4l75GibMv
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).
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?
The Habsburg Fringe is a spectacular piece set in gold and silver in the late 1800s by A.E. Köchert.
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.
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.