Today’s stunning diamond tiara was worn for official portraits, controversial state visits, and events by three illustrious princesses from Russia, Greece, Yugoslavia, and Liechtenstein, who wore this piece throughout the 20th century, but it was eventually sold. As always, click on the underlined / highlighted links to get to the post about a person / tiara / or event.
Made in 1907 by Basset for Boucheron for Princess Maria Pavlovna Abamelik-Lazarev, this glittering diamond tiara features diamond swags cultivating into large diamonds over a diamond base. An additional diamond riviere was added later. Frequently confused with the famous Grand Duchess Vladimir, also named Maria Pavlovna, Princess Maria Pavlovna Abamelik-Lazarev was the daughter of industrialist Prince Pavel Pavlovich Demidov of San Donato and wife of archaeologist Prince Semyon Semyonovich Abamelik-Lazarev. Childless, she gave her Boucheron Tiara to her nephew, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, probably after the death of her husband in 1916. Princess Abamelik-Lazarev died in 1955.
In 1923, Prince Paul married Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark, granddaughter of Grand Duchess Vladimir, sister of the Duchess of Kent, and cousin to Queen Helen of Romania, three Kings of Greece, and the Duke of Edinburgh. In 1934, after the assassination of King Alexander, Prince Paul became the regent of Yugoslavia for his cousin, King Peter. Princess Olga wore her Boucheron Tiara to many official events as the ‘First Lady’ of Yugoslavia (Dowager Queen Marie retired into seclusion), including a controversial visit to Nazi Germany, and for a series of famous portraits by Cecil Beaton after a State Visit to Britain. After allying Yugoslavia with Nazi Germany during WWII, Prince Paul was deposed and sent into exile by the Allies. The couple and their three children 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, including the pre-wedding gala of her eldest son, Prince Alexander, to Princess Maria Pia of Italy. Princess Olga died in 1997.
The Boucheron Tiara was inherited by Prince Alexander, though the tiara had been worn by his second wife, Princess Barbara of Liechtenstein, for many years beforehand. Sometime in the 2000s, Prince Alexander and Princess Barbara sold the tiara to the Albion Art Institute, reportedly to purchase a home for their son, Prince Dushan. The Boucheron Tiara can be regularly seen at exhibits.
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