With King Felipe and Queen Letizia off on a State Visit to Japan tomorrow and a State Visit to the UK scheduled for June, we thought it might be a good idea to take an in depth look at all the glittering Spanish Royal Tiaras that have graced Queen Letizia’s regal head (and one that hasn’t.)
The grandest tiara in the Spanish Royal collection, the Ansorena Fleur-de-Lys Tiara, also called “La Buena,” or “The Good One”, was a wedding gift to Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg (a granddaughter of Queen Victoria) by her groom, King Alfonso XIII of Spain, in 1906. Queen Victoria Eugenie (commonly known as Ena) wore the tiara on her wedding day, and at the most glittering royal events afterwards (even after going in exile in 1931) and willing it to the “Joyas de Pasar”at her death in 1969. It was worn by her daughter-in-law, the Countess of Barcelona, and by her daughter-in-law, Queen Sofia, after the restoration of the Monarchy in 1975. Worn by Spanish Queens at the most important events, the Fleur-de-Lys Tiara was worn by Queen Letizia for the first time at the Argentine State Banquet in February.
A wedding gift from King Alfonso XII of Spain to his bride, Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria, in 1879, this diamond floral tiara, made by J.P. Collins, was sold during exile in the 1930s. In 1962, it was bought by Francisco Franco, then Spanish leader, as a wedding gift from the people of Spain to Princess Sophia of Greece, the bride of his eventual heir, Infante (now King) Juan Carlos. She wore the piece as a necklace at her wedding ball, and has worn it as a tiara at multiple events throughout her husband’s reign. Queen Sofia also loaned the Tiara to Infanta Elena and Infanta Cristina (who wore it at her Wedding), and in recent years has loaned the Tiara to her daughter-in-law, Queen Letizia. This tiara was a favorite for Queen Sofia, and is fast becoming a favourite for Queen Letizia too.
Given by Kaiser WIlhelm II to his only daughter, Princess Victoria Luise, as a wedding gift in 1913, this Koch tiara is composed of Greek keys, columns, and laurel leaves was given as a wedding gift to her daughter, Queen Frederika of Greece, in 1938, and was given as a wedding gift to her daughter, Queen Sofia of Spain, in 1962. Queen Sofia wore the Tiara at her wedding and at many of her early tiara events. In the 1980s and 90s, she frequently loaned the Prussian Diamond Tiara to her daughters, and in 2004, famously loaned the piece to then Crown Princess Letizia for her wedding, who also wore it at many of her early tiara events.
Given as a wedding gift by Queen Isabella II of Spain to her daughter, Infanta Isabella, in 1867, this Mellerio Tiara was left to her nephew, and worn by his wife, Queen Ena, who occasionally loaned the Tiara to her daughter-in-law, the Countess of Barcelona. In 1962, it was given as a wedding gift to then eventual Queen Sofia, who wore the piece at her wedding ball and has worn the piece at many grand events since. It has been loaned to her sister-in-law, Infanta Margarita, both of her daughters, and, in 2007, her daughter-in-law, then Crown Princess Letizia.
Made by Ansorena, this pearl and diamond tiara featuring a fleur-de-lys (a symbol of the House of Bourbon) came into Queen Letizia collection around 2009. While she wore the fleur-de-lys as a brooch many times, she waited a few years before debuting the Tiara at the 75th Birthday Gala of Queen Margrethe of Denmark in 2015. Stories vary (some quite controversial) on how this tiara came into her collection, so perhaps that is the reason she waited so long to wear the piece.
Made for Queen Ena in the 1920s by Cartier using tiara given to her by her mother-in-law as a wedding present, the original version could also be worn with emeralds given to her by her godmother, the famous Empress Eugenie of France. While the emeralds were sold during exile, the Tiara was left to her daughter, Infanta Maria Cristina, and later acquired by King Juan Carlos for Queen Sofia. It was loaned to Infanta Cristina for the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and was worn by Queen Letizia at the Portuguese State Banquet in 2018.
A wedding present to Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria when she married King Alfonso XII of Spain in 1879, the Cartier Loop Tiara was given as a wedding gift to Princess Maria de las Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies when she married Infante Juan, the Count of Barcelona in 1935, from her father-in-law, King Alfonso XIII, son of Queen Maria Christina. The Countess of Barcelona regularly wore the large Tiara, loaning it to her daughters and her daughter-in-law, Queen Sofia, and in the latter years of her life, the pice was worn solely by her daughter, Infanta Pilar, and even worn by her daughter for her wedding. Queen Maria Christina’s Cartier Loop Tiara was eventually inherited by King Juan Carlos, and worn by Queen Sofia to some Banquets in the 2000s. UPDATE- Queen Letizia first wore Queen Maria Christina’s Cartier Loop Tiara at the Chinese State Banquet in 2018.
An engagement gift to Infanta Elena from her father- and mother-in-law, The Count and Countess of Ripalda, in 1994, she first wore the piece at her Wedding at Seville Cathedral and has continued to wear it it all Gala events ever since, even after her divorce in 2010, most recently at the Wedding of Crown Princess Victoria.
The Joyas de Pasar is a collection of jewels designated specifically for the use of the Queens of Spain by Queen Ena. It consists of:
- The Fleur-de-Lys Tiara
- A diamond collet necklace
- A pair of diamond earrings
- A pair of matching diamond bracelets
- A diamond brooch with a pearl pendant
- A single-stranded pearl necklace
- A four-stranded pearl necklace
- A gray pearl brooch with a pearl pendant
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The jewels are now at the use of Queen Letizia, and so far, she has only worn the Tiara, diamond earrings, bracelets, the diamond collet necklace, the large single-stranded pearl necklace, and the gray pearl brooch with a pearl pendant.