THE FLORAL TIARA
This tiara is made of diamonds set in gold and silver in floral and vegetable motifs, and is the personal propriety of Her Majesty. It was a wedding gift from the Spanish people to Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark on the occasion of her wedding to Prince Juan Carlos of Spain. Despite being one of their favorite diadems not much was known of its origins besides the fact that it was acquired in Madrid’s Aldao Jewellery Firm in 1962.
After the Princess of Asturias wore it to Queen Beatrix’s dinner on April 29, 2013 the Royal Household explained that this tiara had already belonged to the Royal Family long before 1962. King Alfonso XII commissioned this tiara to the British jewellers J.P. Collins in 1879 as a gift for his betrothed Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria-Teschen. Since then the piece left the family and in the 20th century ended in Aldao, where Franco would buy it as a wedding gift. The central flower is adapted to be used as a brooch.
It is believed that Princess Sophia used this gift for the first time at her pre-wedding ball as a necklace although the quality of the pictures is not good:
Doña Sofía would not wear the gift in a tiara frame until 1979 during a Sate Visit to Sweden. It has become one of her favorite diadems since then.
The Queen has frequently shared the tiara with her daughters and daughter-in-law, the Infanta Cristina chose it for her wedding. Her sister Doña Elena, however, only used it before her wedding in 1995, when she received a tiara from the groom’s family:
The floral tiara is one of the favorites of the Princess of Asturias:
May 14, 1962. Athens.
Wedding of Prince Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sophia of Greece and 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.
State Dinner at the Royal Palace, 2009.
Infantas of Spain→ CARLOTA
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.
The Bavarian Royal Family has put up for auction this piece with a central fleur-de-lys motif set en tremblant to a tiara composed of foliate and lanceolated motifs, set with cushion-shaped, circular-cut and rose diamonds. The tiara entered the family through the Infanta Paz, who received the present from her mother Queen Isabel II on the occasion of her marriage to Prince Ludwig Ferdinand in 1883.