Check it out, everybody -- it's Máxima's very first Tiara Alert! Back in 2001, she was just Miss Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti, but in a few months, she would marry Prince Willem-Alexander and become a Dutch princess.
Here Máxima showed us the first example of what would become her tiara M.O. -- she's taking pieces from the Dutch collection and wearing them in interesting and new ways. This tiara is actually the base of the family's Antique Pearl Tiara. In its full form, this tiara has seven absolutely massive pearls atop its spikes.
The tiara comes by its "antique pearl" name honestly. While the tiara itself was made around the turn of the last century for Queen Beatrix's grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina, the pearls themselves date from the 1600s. The full tiara might have been a bit extravagant to be worn by a royal fiancée, but the ever-resourceful tiara experimenter Máx has, of course, worn the complete piece several times since.
Laurentien was just a newlywed princess at Haakon and Mette-Marit's wedding: she and Prince Constantijn, Queen Beatrix's youngest son, married in May of the same year. But she's looking quite regal here, wearing the Dutch Ears of Wheat Tiara.
The Ears of Wheat is a tiara with some pretty serious history behind it. It was originally owned in the eighteenth century by Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna of Russia, who became Queen of Württemberg when she married William I of Württemberg. Catherine was apparently quite the royal dish -- William divorced his wife so that he could marry her, and when she was young, Napoleon Bonaparte also apparently tried to woo her.
Catherine left the Ears to her daughter, Sophie, who married the Prince of Orange and later became Queen of The Netherlands. The tiara has been in the family ever since, and is worn most frequently today by Princess Margriet (all four of her daughters-in-law wore it to their weddings, too).
The tiara is actually made up of eight individual ears of wheat that can be worn in various combinations. It looks to me here like Laurentien's wearing the full eight. It's also an especially nice tiara to wear to a wedding, because ears of wheat represent fertility. No wonder Haakon and Mette-Marit were able to produce two adorable Norwegian royal children!
Here's a new princess for us! This is Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg, who is married to Grand Duke Henri's brother, Prince Guillaume (that's him on the right). Sibilla is super gorgeous, and noble to boot: she's descended from Italian, German, Spanish, and Dutch royalty. Not too shabby!
Her tiara here is a Diamond Art Deco Tiara. Sibilla seems to be the only person who wears it these days, though I believe that it's a Luxembourg family piece rather than something Sibilla inherited from her family. Anyone know any more about this gorgeous sparkler?
Hey, everyone, it's the brand-new Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg! This was one of the first major royal events that Henri and Maria Teresa attended after Grand Duke Jean's abdication, and I think they both look fab. (Shame about the text over MT's face, but what can you do.)
This unusual tiara is one of my favorites in the Luxembourg collection: I don't know if it has a formal name, but I always call it the Pearl and Diamond Choker Tiara. It's one of the few convertible tiaras that I actually like! The pearl spikes are removable, and the woven diamond bandeau becomes a choker necklace (I like it much better as a tiara than a choker, though). I'm not sure what the provenance is, but I think it's gorgeous!
Philippe and Mathilde aren't the loudest or the most glamorous crown princely couple in Europe, but I have to say, they always look like they're really in love, don't they? Here they are at their wedding in December 1999, looking lovey-dovey as usual!
Mathilde wore Queen Elisabeth's Diamond Bandeau Tiara for her big day. The art deco tiara was made in the early twentieth century for Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians, often called "The Red Queen" because of her communist sympathies. Elisabeth married the future King Albert I of the Belgians in 1900; she is the grandmother of the current king, Albert II, and the great-grandmother of Prince Philippe. Bandeau tiaras sometimes look a little strange when worn today, as they were usually worn low over the forehead in the '20s and '30s, but I quite like this one with a wedding veil.
Mathilde hasn't worn the bandeau tiara since her wedding day -- it was on loan from her new mother-in-law, Queen Paola. The tiara collection of the Belgian royal family is quite small, as many tiaras have been bequeathed to daughters who married into other royal houses, and Princess Lilian, the second queen of Leopold III, sold several tiaras as well. Perhaps it's time for the Belgians to start combing estate sales for some brand-new antique bling?
The blushing bride at this royal wedding was Marie-Chantal Miller, one of the famous "Miller Sisters." She and Pavlos were introduced by Alexander Papamarkou, a longtime associate of the Greek royals. They dated for a few years before their engagement around Christmas of 1994, and during this ceremony, Pavlos became the first of King Constantine's children to marry.
Overall, M-C was clearly channelling Grace Kelly, with the high-necked lace Valentino dress, but somehow it doesn't work as well as Grace's did. For one, the antique lace of the veil, IMO, clashes a little with the lace used in the dress.
The tiara, though, is just perfect -- it's the Greek Antique Corsage Tiara, given by Queen Ingrid to Anne-Marie on her 18th birthday. I love diamonds on a bride!
PHOTO CREDITS: Getty Images
The bride at this royal wedding started off the day as Miss Sarah Ferguson, with a Victorian-esque crown of flowers atop her head rather than a fancy tiara.
She ended the day as HRH The Duchess of York, wearing the York Wedding Tiara, which had been hidden under the flowers all along. They were removed when the couple disappeared momentarily to sign the wedding registry; when she reappeared, legally married and royal, she was wearing the tiara.
This was a brand-new tiara, purchased from Garrard's by the Queen and Prince Philip as a wedding gift for their new daughter-in-law. Sarah kept the tiara after her divorce, and it hasn't been seen since then; if we see it again in public, it would likely be on either Beatrice or Eugenie.
I like the tiara itself, although the top point is a little too tall for my taste -- I just wish she would have worn it through the entire wedding service. I like the idea of a visual transition from commoner to royalty, but I just thought the flowers were too heavy. Thoughts?
Ah, Princess Anne's tiara/veil combination -- the tiara, of course, is Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara, the same one worn by Queen Elizabeth when she married Prince Philip in 1947. It's a good sparkler, but it sort of gets lost in all of Anne's 1970s/1170s hair, doesn't it? I never could quite figure out whether this wedding wanted to be totally groovy or totally medieval...
How's this for a beautiful royal bride? Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark became the Queen of Greece when she married her cousin (several times over), King Constantine II. Since she was a Danish royal bride and descendant of Queen Ingrid, she wore the Danish wedding tiara: the Khedive of Egypt Cartier Tiara.
The heirloom tiara was also worn by Anne-Marie's two sisters at their weddings, and by Anne-Marie's daughter, Alexia, and Benedikte's daughter, Alexandra, at theirs. (Should Benedikte's daughter Nathalie have, as planned, a religious wedding, it seems likely that she'll wear it, too. Also: did you all hear that Nathalie had her son and named him Konstantin? Seems like a nod to her uncle, doesn't it?)
It's through Anne-Marie that this tiara has moved from Danish to Greek hands -- Ingrid gave the tiara to Anne-Marie. Some have questioned the decision to send the Danish wedding tiara out of Denmark, but it's one more reminder that many of these tiaras, though they appear on the world stage, are ultimately personal property.
Walking here with King Frederik and Queen Ingrid of Denmark is one of the queens at the Greek wedding who is still a queen today: Queen Sirikit of Thailand, wife of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Sirikit has one of the biggest jewel boxes around, and she has many tiaras that look very similar to one another, so much so that I'm ultimately guessing a little about this tiara's identity. Based on the black-and-white photo, I think this is Sirikit's Diamond Tiara. Love the way this one cascades down the sides of her head. Beautiful!