Happy Birthday to the Duchess of Braganza, who turns 51 today! Despite being Heads of a deposed Royal Family, the Duke and Duchess enjoy a semi-official role in Portugal, which dictates their presence at ceremonial events, including State Banquets. Thus, the Duchess has more Tiara events than her fellow deposed royal ladies. In honour of the Duchess’ birthday, we are taking a look at the Portuguese Royal Tiaras-
The Dom (King) Luis Diadem is undoubtedly the grandest piece in the collection of the Duke and Duchess of Braganza. A wedding gift from King Luís I of Portugal to his daughter-in-law, Princess Amélie of Orléans, in 1886, the piece came with a mirrored necklace, given by Queen Maria Pia. A favourite of Queen Amélie, the Dom Luis Diadem was notable worn in her 1905 Vittorio Matteo Corcos portrait. After the tragic death of her husband and elder son, and the deposing of her younger son, Queen Amélie, but kept the Diadem. After her death, having outlived his childless son, the Dom Luis Diadem was inherited by her godson, Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza, then heir but now the Head of the Royal House of Braganza. After lying unworn for decades, it was worn by the current Duchess for the first time at her 1995 wedding. It was usually worn for official portraits, but last month, the Duchess surprised everyone by wearing the Dom Luis Diadem at the Dutch State Banquet at the Palácio de Ajuda.
Originating from Princess Maria Francisca of Orléans-Braganza, mother of the current Duke of Braganza, this piece was worn by her at many glittering events including the Wedding Gala of then Prince Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sofia of Greece in 1962. The current Duchess favours this Tiara at foreign royal events, including the weddings of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark in 2004, Prince Albert of Monaco in 2011, and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg in 2012.
A diamond floral necklace of unknown provenance, this piece has been worn by the Duchess of Braganza at quite a few royal events, both as a necklace and as a tiara, including the Spanish State Banquet at the Palace of the Duke of Braganza in Guimarães.
Made for Queen Amélie around 1900, this diamond choker (also known as a collier de chien or dog collar) was one of her favourite pieces, not only paired with her diamond jewels, including the Dom Luis Diadem, but also with her coloured parures. After her death in 1951, the choker was inherited by the current Duke of Braganza. The Duchess has used Queen Amélie’s Choker as a Tiara for multiple occasions, but it can still be work as a collier, most recently at the Dutch State Banquet last month.