Yugoslavian Diamond Kokoshnik Tiara

This glittering Diamond Kokoshnik Tiara was worn by a series of women that spent their lives in exile. Princess Nicholas of Greece spent parts of her life exiled from Russia and Greece due to politics. Her daughter, Princess Paul of Yugoslavia, was exiled with her husband after the Allies took-over Yugoslavia during WWII. Her daughter-in-law, Princess Maria-Pia, was exiled from her native Italy at an early age. The diamond-set motif is filled with filigree motifs and diamond clusters, as well as detachable diamond clusters. We are using the name: Yugoslavian Diamond Kokoshnik Tiara, because there is no known name of this peace, and because it was worn mostly by Princess Paul of Yugoslavia.


The Diamond Kokoshnik Tiara was a wedding gift to Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia from her mother, the infamous Grand Duchess Vladimir, in 1902. Grand Duchess Elena, afterwards known was Princess Nicholas of Greece wore the tiara on numerous occasions throughout her early married life. Despite being a beautiful and wealthy Grand Duchess, Elena found herself without suitors because of her temper. She was reputedly engaged to Prince Max of Baden and Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (whose assassination caused WWI), before getting married to Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, third son of the Greek King. During the inter-war years the couple and their three daughters, Princess Olga, later Princess Paul of Yugoslavia, Princess Elisabeth, later Countess of Toerring-Jettenbach, and Princess Marina, later Duchess of Kent, found themselves frequently exiled from Greece because of political instability. After the Russian Revolution, she was also unable to enter her native Russia. After Prince Nicholas died in 1938, and the the exile of the Greek Royal Family during WWII, she was able to settle permanently in Greece until her death in 1957.


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When Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark married Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, cousin to the Yugoslavian King, in 1923 she received the Diamond Kokoshnik Tiara as a wedding gift from her mother, Princess Nicholas. She wore the tiara on many occasions during the Inter-war years, when Prince and Princess Paul represented the Yugoslavian King at international royal events. When his cousin was assassinated, Prince Paul became regent for the young King Peter II, until he was deposed and sent into exile by the Allies during WWII, for keeping Yugoslavia neutral. After the war, the communist government abolished the monarchy, and the royal family were prohibited from returning to Yugoslavia, and had all their property confiscated. However, with their numerous ties to other royal families, Princess Paul continued to wear the tiara at glittering occasions well into the 1960s, often without the diamond drops (which might have been sold). She died in Paris in 1993.


For the wedding of King Baudoin of Belgium in 1960, Princess Paul loaned the tiara to her daughter-in-law, Princess Maria Pia (the first cousin of the groom). Daughter of the last King of Italy and and his consort, the glamorous Queen Marie-Jose, Princess Maria Pia of Savoy was sent into exile with her mother and siblings in 1946, when the Italian Monarchy was abolished. She married Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, son of Prince and Princess Paul in 1955. The couple had two sets of twins, including Prince Dimitri (the famous jewelry designer), before divorcing in 1967. Princess Maria Pia remarried to Prince Micheal of Bourbon-Parma in 2003, and currently lives in Paris.

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The current location and owner of this tiara is unknown, while another of Princess Paul’s tiaras was worn by Princess Barbra of Liechtenstein, second wife of Prince Alexander, the Diamond Kokoshnik Tiara hasn’t been publicly seen since the 1960s. If the tiara is still in the family, it would have been inherited by Prince Dimitri, as head of the branch of Yugoslavian Royal family, after the death of his father, earlier this year.

For more information, check out:

Tiara Mania

Royal Magzin

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