May 14, 1962. Athens.
Wedding of Prince Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark.
THE NINE KINGS AT WINDSOR. “So gorgeous was the spectacle on the May morning of 1910 when nine kings rode in the funeral of Edward VII of England that the crowd, waiting in hushed and black-clad awe, could not keep back gasps of admiration. In scarlet and blue and green and purple, three by three the sovereigns rode through the palace gates, with plumed helmets, gold braid, crimson sashes, and jeweled orders flashing in the sun. After them came five heirs apparent, forty more imperial or royal highnesses, seven queens—four dowager and three regent—and a scattering of special ambassadors from uncrowned countries. Together they represented seventy nations in the greatest assemblage of royalty and rank ever gathered in one place and, of its kind, the last. The muffled tongue of Big Ben tolled nine by the clock as the cortege left the palace, but on history’s clock it was sunset, and the sun of the old world was setting in a dying blaze of splendor never to be seen again.” The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman(left to right) King Haakon VII of Norway, King Ferdinand of Bulgaria, King Manuel of Portugal, Kaiser Wilhelm II of the German Empire, King George I of The Hellenes (Greece) and King Albert I of the Belgians (Belgium). (seated, left to right) King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King-Emperor George V of the Great Britain, and King Frederick VIII of Denmark.
King Paul and Queen Frederica of the Hellenes with their three children, from left to right: Prince Constantine, Princess Irene and Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark.
Princess Sophia (later Queen Sofía of Spain), Crown Prince Constantine (later King Constantine II) and Princess Irene of Greece wearing the Greek national costumes (1947; Psychiko, Greece).
This tiara, probably best known for being the wedding tiara of both Queen Sofía and the Princess of Asturias, is one of the most used pieces of their collection. It is known as the Prussian (due to its origins) or the Hellenic tiara (for the classical Greek design)
The diadem was a wedding present for Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia from her father, Kaiser Wilhelm II. It was made by the Imperial jeweller Koch, in platinum and diamonds.
In 1912 Princess Viktoria Luise met Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover in Berlin, and a year later married him wearing her father’s present.
Ernest Augustus III, who would become the last reigning Monarch of the House of Hanover as the Duke of Bunrswick, and Viktoria Luise of Prussia, the Duchess of Brunswick, had five children. Their only daughter, Princess Frederika of Hanover, received the Prussian tiara from her mother, and took it with her to Athens when she married in 1938 the Hereditary Prince of Greece.
The Crown Prince and Princess had a daughter just ten months after their wedding, Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark, the current owner of the tiara, maternal granddaughter of the original owner, Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia. Queen Frederica lent the tiara to her first daughter for some of her first tiara events, like her coming out ball and her official picture:
In September of 1961 the King of Greece announced her engagement to the Spanish Prince Juan Carlos. In 1962, Princess Sophia married Prince Juan Carlos of Spain in Athens, wearing the Prussian tiara. And through the now Princess Sofía of Spain, the diadem became part of the Spanish collection.
The Queen has worn this tiara frequently, although she lends it to her daughters and after the marriage of the Prince of Asturias his wife has been practically the only member who was worn it.
The Prussian can be considered an starter tiara, it was a present for a young Princess of Prussia, it was used by a young Princess of Hanover and it was the first tiara a young Princess Sophia of Denmark used in public. The first time the Infanta Cristina attended a State dinner in the Royal Palace, she used this tiara. It is, of course, the first tiara the Princess of Asturias wore.
Since her first tiara event (her wedding) the Princess of Asturias has worn this tiara more times than any of the other two she has used.
Princess Frederika of Greece with her mother the Duchess of Brunswick and her first daughter Princess Sophia in 1938.
Princess Sofia of Spain with her mother Queen Frederica and her newborn daughter the Infanta Elena in 1963.
Friedricke of Greece with mother, Viktoria Luise, duchess of Brunswick and little Pss Sofia, later Queen of Spain.