I’d love to have the real thing but this will do for now! My ring is sterling silver and under $20 on Amazon - you can find it in my royal gift guide post (link in bio) 💍 Also don’t forget to enter the Royal Bundle giveaway! Details are in the blog post 👑
Our beautiful Victorian pearl bangle was a gift from Queen Alexandra in 1877 when she was the Princess of Wales. The front is set with pearls and the inside has a silk lined glazed locket compartment and is engraved with ‘Given by H.R.H. The Princess of Wales, 26th April 1877.’
It's Tuesday so that means it's time for another edition of #TiaraTuesday . Today's tiara isn't officially even a tiara at all. It's really more of a crown but is referred to as the George IV State Diadem. Of course you recognize it - the Queen wears it to every State Opening of Parliament and has since the start of her reign. She also wore it on the way to Westminster Abbey for her coronation. It's been on stamps, in portraits and has its own place on display in the Queen's Gallery at when she's not wearing it. *
Interestingly enough, even though every Queen and Queen Consort (side note - a Queen Consort is the wife of the King and while she holds the same social status and rank as the King, she does not rule. Those with the title of Queen or Queen Regent rule on their own right.) from Queen Adelaide, the wife of William IV, onwards, has worn the diadem, the piece was actually created for..... a man. King George IV to be exact. *
He had it made for his own coronation in 1821 at a cost of £8,216 (roughly £640,000 today) and RENTED the diamonds used in the diadem (for £800), something unheard of at the time, although there is no mention that the stones were ever returned to the jeweler, so it sounds like more of a "gift" to us. Queen Victoria had the stones replaced with stones from the royal collection during her reign (of course she did), making the crown what we know it to be today. *
The frame is both gold and silver and measures 3.0” tall and 7.5” in diameter. But let's talk about those diamonds! There are 1,333 diamonds weighing a total of 320 carats 😲, which includes a FOUR CARAT yellow diamond in the front cross. At the base there are two strings of pearls, which initially had 86 pearls in the upper string and 94 in the lower but it was reduced to 81 and 88 in 1902 (thanks, Vicky). The crown is made up of four bouquets of roses, thistles and shamrocks, the floral symbols of England, Scotland and Ireland respectively, alternating with four crosses around the top of its base.
While not truly a tiara, we couldn't just leave it out. Love it? Hate it? Would you wear it to Target on Saturdays while running errands? We know our answer. ;-)
👑 It was March 1791, life was becoming dangerous for King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, and they began preparing their escape from France. The Queen spent an entire evening wrapping all of her most precious jewels in cotton and placing them in a wooden chest. The following morning they were shipped to her sister Marie Christine in Brussels, who in turn, forwarded them to her nephew Emperor Francis II in Vienna. After the King and Queens' imprisonment and their subsequent meeting with the guillotine, their only surviving child, the Duchess of Angouleme, was released from prison and exiled from France. When she finally arrived in Austria in 1796, she took over the jewels, but died childless, and the jewels were left to her niece Princess Louise Duchess of Parma - that’s how they ended up in the Bourbon-Parma hands, where they have been until now.
Some pieces are Marie Antoinette originals, such as the diamond and exceptionally large natural pearl pendant, the star lot of the Sotheby’s Geneva Sale on Wednesday, and the natural pearl necklace, which can be admired in paintings, and which Marie Antoinette not only wore around her neck, but also in her hair.
Other pieces are jewels that were created for Princess Louise, which integrated diamonds once belonging to Marie Antoinette, like the diamond demi parure (suite), or the spectacular diamond girandole earrings which were made for Princess Maria Teresa of Savoy.
Particularly fabulous (in my own humble plebeian opinion) are 2 very personal items: the monogrammed MA ring that has a strand of Marie Antoinette’s hair woven into it, and an enamel and seed pearl pocket watch, extraordinary because she would have worn it all the time on her belt, carrying it around and looking at it several times a day, to check if it was macaroon time.