On January 1st, Queen Margrethe of Denmark will host the annual New Year’s Court at Christian VII’s Palace, Amalienborg. This is one of the grandest Danish Royal events of the year, and we see Queen Margrethe, Crown Princess Mary, and Princess Marie decked out in their finest. While the Danish Royal family don’t have the large jewel vaults of their British and Swedish cousins, they still have a substantial collection of twelve tiaras many with illustrious histories, and even a few examples of modern design.
The grandest Tiara in the collection, the Emerald Parure was made in 1840 by C.M. Weisshaupt using 67 emeralds and 2,650 diamonds, of which the largest 26 emeralds date from 1723. The parure, composed of a tiara, necklace, earrings, and brooch, was given to Queen Caroline Amalie as a silver wedding anniversary gift, who left it to the Danish Crown Jewels, which means that it cannot be taken outside of Denmark or be worn by anyone other than the queen. It is on display at Rosenborg Castle, where the jewels were sent in 1914 by Queen Alexandrine. The Emerald Parure has been worn by all successive Queen’s since Queen Caroline Amalie, but has only been pictured on Queen Louise, Queen Ingrid, and Queen Margrethe, who wears it for the grandest events, usually the New Year’s levee.
Made in 1825 in Berlin, the Pearl Poiré Tiara was commissioned by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia as a wedding gift to his daughter Princess Louise, who was marrying Prince Frederik of the Netherlands. It is composed of 18 drop (poiré) pearls dangling from a structure of diamond arches. It passed from mother to daughter; Princess Louise to her daughter, Queen Louise of Sweden and Norway, and then to her daughter, Queen louise of Denmark, who united the Tiara with a demi-parure of a necklace and earrings which had been a wedding present from the Khedive of Egypt, and a brooch from her grandmother, creating what Queen Margrethe calls a ‘married’ parure. Queen Louise left the parure to the Danish Royal Property Trust at her death in 1926, so it will pass from monarch to monarch without being sold. It has been worn by all Danish Queen’s since Queen Louise, who wore it at the Wedding of her son to Princess Maud of Wales later King and Queen of Norway. Queen Alexandrine wore the parure at the wedding ball of her son to Princess Ingrid of Sweden, and later lent Crown Princess Ingrid the parure for the Coronation of King George VI in 1937. Queen Ingrid also lent the Parure to Princess Margaretha for the 1953 coronation of Elizabeth II, and wore it at many important occasions such as the 2,500 year celebration of the Persian Empire. It was passed down to Queen Margrethe in 1972, who has worn it to most important foreign events and State Visits (since the Emerald Parure cannot leave Denmark) as well as the New Year’s Courts.
Made for the Coronation of Napoleon in 1804, the Ruby Parure is one the oldest set of jewels in the Danish Royal Collection. One of Napoleon’s Marshal’s, Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, bought a ruby and diamond wreath tiara and accompanying parure for his wife, Désirée Clary (Napoleon’s one time fiancée), to wear at the celebrated event. It made its way over to Sweden when Jean Baptiste and Désirée became King Carl XIV Johan and Queen Desideria of Sweden. Queen Desideria left the parure to her daughter-in-law, Queen Josephine of Sweden (grand daughter of Napoleon’s Empress Josephine), who gave it as a wedding gift to her granddaughter, the aforementioned Queen louise of Denmark. The Tiara was given as a wedding gift to her daughter-in-law, later Queen Alexandrine, who inherited the rest of the parure in 1926. Alexandrine gave it as a wedding gift to her daugher-in-law, Princess Ingrid of Sweden, who wore it at her wedding ball. Later, as Queen Ingrid, she transformed the small wreath tiara into substantial diadem by adding who brooches into the structure of the Tiara. She lent the parure to her daughter, Princess Benedikte, for a play on the life of Queen Desideria. Queen Ingrid retained heer favourite parure for the rest of her life, even after being widowed in 1972, and left it to her grandson, Crown Prince Frederik, when she died in 2000. The Ruby Parure was first worn by Crown Princess Mary at one of her pre-wedding events, and has been her main tiara ever since. She customized the Tiara 2010, and found new ways to wear the substantial parure. It is her regular pick for the most formal events, especially the New year’s levee, and official portraits.
Said to have once belonged to Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia, mother of Queen Alexandrine, the Floral Aigrette Tiara was owned by opera singer Lauritz Melchior when it was bought by King Frederik IX for Queen Ingrid in the 1960s. It is composed of three separate diamond floral sections, which can be mounted on a frame as a traditional tiara, or worn in the hair in various formats. Queen Ingrid debuted the piece at Margrethe’s wedding in 1967, and loaned it to Queen Margrethe from the 1980s, and bequeathed it to her in 2000. Queen Margrethe rarely wears the Floral Aigrette Tiara in traditional format, preferring the versatility of the tiara. She noted, “I like wearing it slightly differently from time to time, and I think my hairdresser enjoys doing it like that, too.” It is one of her favorite tiaras and was even worn to the Wedding of Crown Prince Frederik in 2004.
Made in Koch in 1856 for Princess Louise of Prussia from her father as a wedding gift when she married the future Grand Duke of Baden, the Palmette Tiara features a design of hearts created by palmette motifs. It was given to Princess Louise’s daughter, Queen Victoria of Sweden, who left it to her granddaughter, Queen Ingrid of Denmark. Queen Ingrid loaned the Tiara to her daughter, Margrethe and Bendikte, and her granddaughter, Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, before leaving it to Queen Margrethe in 2000, who uses it for less formal banquets, as well as events in Sweden, such as the Wedding of Prince Carl Phillip in 2015 and King Carl Gustav’s 70th Birthday celebrations in April.
Bought at Auction by Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik for Crown Princess Mary, the diamond Tiara made its debut at her 2004 Wedding. It is her most worn tiara, mostly because the Ruby Parure is reserved for the most formal events, and was customised with pearls in 2011, which made a more substantial diadem.
In 2015, at one of the events before Queen Margrethe’s 75th Birthday, Crown Princess Mary wore a diamond necklace, which she debuted as a tiara at a gala in March. It was then discovered that she had bought the Diamond, Ruby, and Spinel Necklace herself at Danish auction house Bruun Rasmussen in 2012. Since then, it was worn at the Mexican State Banquet in April and on the cover of Australian Vogue for her Copper Wedding Anniversary in November.
This diamond floral tiara belonged to Princess Dagmar of Denmark, daughter of King Frederik VIII and Queen Alexandrine, who bequeathed her tiara to her nephew, King Frederik IX, who in turn, gave the tiara to his daughter, Margrethe, who wore it a few times. In 2008, the tiara was worn by Princess Marie, daughter-in-law of Queen Margrethe, at her wedding. It is on permanent loan to Princess Marie, and except one as been worn to all of her Tiara appearances.
The Turquoise Daisy Bandeau is said to be a gift to Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden (known as Daisy), who left it to her daughter, Queen Ingrid, who wore the tiara in a 1928 portrait. The tiara made from a converted bracelet features small turquoise and diamond flowers with petals, often identified as daisies, and is accompanied by a couple of pairs of earrings, a few brooches, and bracelets. It was loaned by Queen (then Princess) Ingrid to her cousin, Princess Martha of Sweden (later Crown Princess of Norway), for the Wedding of Crown Prince Leopold of Belgium to Princess Astrid of Sweden, to her niece Princess Desiree of Sweden and to Madeleine Tengbom (grandmother-in-law of her daughter Princess Benedikte). The Turquoise Daisy Bandeau was passed down to Queen Margrethe (also known as Daisy, like her grandmother) in 2000. She loaned the Tiara to her niece, Princess Theodora of Greece, in 2012 during the celebrations for her 40th Jubilee. Queen Margrethe it for her restrained tiara appearances, often pairing it with her large collection of Turquoise jewels.
Queen Margrethe loves modern jewelry, and both the Golden Poppies, made by Arje Griegst in 1976, and the Naasut Tiara, made by Nicolai Appel in 2012, were designed for her.
The Midnight Tiara made of diamonds and moonstones by Charlotte Lynggaard of the Ole Lynggaard firm in 2009. It is owned by the company, but Crown Princess Mary has exclusive rights to borrow it.
The Flora Danica Tiara, made by by Anja Blinkenberg for Princess Marie, is composed of three lilies of silver, diamonds over a base of amethyst beads. Like the Midnight tiara, it is loaned to Princess Marie, who has worn it only once, and is not her personal property.
Made for Queen Alexandrine around 1912, this tiara diamonds suspended en tremblant in a delicate setting. Rarely worn by Queen Alexandrine, it was loaned to Princess Eugenie of Greece in 1935, and after her death in 1958, the Tiara was inherited by her elder son, King Frederik IX. Six years later, he gifted the Alexandrine Drop Tiara to his eldest daughter, the future Queen Margrethe, on her 18th Birthday, who wore it frequently in her years as Crown Princess. In 1995, she gifted the Tiara to her first daughter-in-law, Alexandra Manley, when she married the Queen’s younger son, Prince Joachim. As her only Tiara, the piece was worn by Princess Alexandra to all her Gala events, and because it was a gift, it remained with her after her divorce. It was most recently seen during Queen Margrethe’s Ruby Jubilee celebrations.
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