Made for a Prussian Empress, worn by a Prussian Princess, and her Greek daughter -in-law, and currently owned by the wife of the pretender to the Austrian throne, the Emerald Laurel Wreath Tiara has a distinguished royal history.
Made of a diamond laurel wreath and cabochon emerald design, the Emerald Laurel Wreath Tiara was made in 1905, as a Silver Anniversary present from Kaiser Wilhelm of Prussia II to his consort, Empress Augusta. The tiara was passed to their only daughter, Princess Viktoria Luise, when she married Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick, of the House of Hanover, in 1913. However, Empress Augusta wasn’t pictured wearing the Laurel Wreath Tiara.
UPDATE: Princess Viktoria Luise, when Duchess of Brunswick, wore the Emerald Laurel Wreath Tiara bandeau style in a 1920s portrait with her son, Prince Welf Henreich. This remains the only time she was photographed in the piece.
In 1946, Princess Sophia of Greece and Hesse, widow of Prince Christoph of Hesse, married Prince George William of Hanover. She was loaned the Emerald Laurel Wreath Tiara from her mother-in-law, Princess Viktoria Luise, for events in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. She wore the tiara to the 1953 Coronation of her sister-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II, wife of her brother, Prince Phillip. Princess Sophia also wore the Emerald Laurel Wreath Tiara at Greek royal events in the 1960s, attending as a Princess of Greece, as well as the sister-in-law of the Greek Queen, born Princess Frederica of Hanover. The Emerald Laurel Wreath Tiara was sold in the 1980s, after the death of Princess Viktoria Luise.
The tiara was bought in the 1990s by Baron von Thyssen-Bornemisza for his daughter, Francesca, who is married to Archduke Karl von Habsburg, pretender to the Austrian throne. Archduchess Francesca wore the Emerald Laurel Wreath Tiara at the 2004 wedding of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. She also wore it as necklace to the 2008 Philharmoniker Ball in Vienna, where she allowed her friend, philanthropist Gery Keszler, to try on the piece. It is still owned by Archduchess Francesca von Habsburg, who is currently separated from her husband.
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