Infanta Alicia, Duchess of Calabria, a niece of Empress Zita of Austria, aunt of King Juan Carlos of Spain & the oldest member of the Spanish Royal Family died earlier this week aged 99. In her honour, we will feature one of her grandest tiaras, the Chaumet Calabria Sapphire Tiara.
Given as a wedding gift from Infante Alfonso, Duke of Calabria to his bride, Princess Alicia of Bourbon-Parma, in 1936, the Tiara, featuring large sapphires set in an art deco frame, and parure were exhibited along with the rest of the wedding gifts at Chaumet. A drawing of the jewels shows that the bracelet can also be worn as a bandeau. Other gifts included a Ruby Parure and a Pearl and Diamond Tiara.
Infanta Alicia, Duchess of Calabria was pictured in her Chaumet Sapphire Tiara and its parure a couple of times in the 1950s, especially for portraits taken in her husband’s role as Head of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, and Infanta Pilar’s 18th Debutante Ball. The Infanta also wore pieces of the Parure at the Wedding of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia in 1962, after wearing the entire Parure at the Wedding Ball.
Infanta Alicia’s daughter-in-law and successor, Princess Anne of Orleans, never wore the Chaumet Calabria Sapphire Tiara (the picture above is photoshopped), and the Parure was given to the Infanta’s daughter Princess Inés María of Bourbon-Two Sicilies by the time of the Duke’s death in 1964. The Art Deco Chaumet Calabria Sapphire Tiara and its parure was auctioned off at Christies Geneva in 1982. (RJWMB) Though images of the tiara are frequently seen on the internet, there is no information about its current whereabouts.
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