Today’s tiara belongs to the famous German Princely family of Thurn und Taxis. Made in the later half of the 19th century, the Thurn und Taxis Emerald Tiara has been worn by three generations of women from the extremely wealthy Thurn und Taxis princely family, including one of my idols Gloria, Princess of Thurn und Taxis
Made by Hancocks, a London jeweler, and included in a display of jewels at the 1855 Paris Exhibition, the Tiara features a diamond scroll design with pear-shaped cabochon emeralds. The accompanying parure features earrings and a necklace.
The Tiara was first photographed on Margaretha, Princess of Thurn und Taxis nee Archduchess of Austria, who was the consort of the 8th Prince. The couple were married for over 60 years and had eight children. Margaretha wore the tiara and parure for an official portrait and the wedding of her daughter Princess Helene von Thurn und Taxis to Prince Friedrich of Saxony on 16 June, 1923.
The next person to be pictured in the Thurn und Taxis Emerald Tiara was Gloria, Princess of Thurn und Taxis nee Countess von Schönburg-Glauchau, consort of the 11th Prince, and granddaughter-in-law of Margaretha. Married to a man over 30 years her senior, Princess Gloria and her husband spent the 80s as a socialite with lavish spending, parties, and edgy fashion, which earned her the name “Princess TNT.” After being widowed in 1990, and faced with debts over $500 million, she became an astute businesswoman, selling castles, jewellry and cars to protect the family fortune for her son. Gloria wore the Emerald Tiara a few times during her “Punk Princess” heydays, it evaded the auction block, and was worn also by her to events during her widowhood, most recently during a Vanity Fair photoshoot.
The Thurn und Taxis Emerald Tiara has also been worn by Princess Gloria’s daughter Princess Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis, a style editor for Vogue. She wore it during a photoshoot for Vanity Fair in 2015, when she paired the emerald tiara with some of her mother’s gowns and a jeweled choker. Princess Gloria described it as: “the girls loved to get into my wardrobe and pick out my wonderful Christian Lacroix dresses. And they were able to play with the jewelry that normally stays at the vault!”
For more information, check out:
Princess Gloria and Princess Elisabeth at the Albanian Royal Wedding