Grand Duke Henri and Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg are going to be starting their three-day State Visit to Japan, which includes a glittering State Banquet, tomorrow! Grand Duchess Maria Theresa pulled out of the visit due to her fear of flying, replaced by Princess Alexandra on her first State Visit. As the world’s only Grand Duchy, the family has one of the largest jewellery collections (with over twenty Tiaras as compared to the three tiaras at the use of their cousin, Queen Mathilde, in Belgium). In honour of the upcoming visit, we are taking a (long overdue) look at the vast Luxembourg Grand Ducal Tiara collection-
Luxembourg Empire Tiara
The ‘Big Gun Tiara’ of the collection, the Luxembourg Empire Tiara has been in the Grand Ducal Family since the 1829, and was probably made by Jakob Tillmann Speltz. Exclusively at the use of the Grand Duchess, the Empire Tiara was worn by Grand Duchess Charlotte at her 1919 wedding and her abdication, Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte for royal visits, and Grand Duchess Maria Theresa for foreign State Visits and the Wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden in 2010.
Belgian Scroll Tiara
Given to Princess Josephine Charlotte of Belgium from the Société Générale bank as a wedding gift in 1953, when she married the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, the Belgian Scroll Tiara, made by Henry Coosemans, was her favourite tiara, worn at her Wedding, Accession, Banquets, and Galas. Almost sold in a sale following her death, it was pulled out (along with other jewels) after a public outcry, and has become a favourite of Grand Duchess Maria Theresa, who has worn the Tiara multiple times just this year.
Emerald Art Deco Tiara
Made by Chaumet, from a variety of old jewels, the Emerald Art Deco Tiara was probably a Christmas gift from Prince Felix of Luxembourg to his wife, Grand Duchess Charlotte, in 1926. A favourite of the Grand Duchess in the latter years of her reign, it was rarely worn by Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte, but was a favourite of Grand Duchess Maria Theresa in the 2000s, worn notably at the 2011 Noble Prize Ceremony.
Grand Duchess Adélaïde Tiara
Created for Grand Duchess Adelaide between 1865 and 1870, this tiara is composed of leaves, berries, and a large central sapphire. A favourite of her granddaughter, Grand Duchess Marie-Adelaide, after her abdication in 1919, it was passed on to Grand Duchess Charlotte, who frequently wore the tiara. However, it was rarely worn by Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte, and remained unworn until the wedding of Grand Duchess Maria Theresa, who wore Grand Duchess Adélaïde Tiara frequently in her years as Hereditary Grand Duchess. It has also been a frequent choice of Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie, and has been worn by Princess Claire, Princess Tessy, and most recently Princess Marie Gabrielle of Nassau.
Vine Leaves Tiara
A so-called ‘wedding tiara’ of the Grand Ducal family, the Vine Leaves Tiara was worn by the four daughters of Grand Duchess Charlotte at their weddings, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie at her pre-wedding Ball, and Princess Claire at her wedding. Grand Duchess Maria Theresa has worn the Tiara a few times, and it has also been worn by Princess Tessy.
Chaumet Pearl and Diamond Choker Tiara
Made by Chaumet, this Pearl and Diamond Choker Tiara, which can be worn in six settings, has been worn by Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte, her two daughters, and Princess Alexandra. Another favourite of Grand Duchess Maria Theresa, she notably wore it at the pre-wedding ball of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume.
Congo Diamond Necklace Tiara
A wedding gift to Princess Josephine Charlotte of Belgium from the then Belgian Colony of Congo, she wore the piece as a Tiara at her religious wedding, and as a necklace many times afterwards. The Congo Diamond Necklace Tiara was also worn by her daughters at their weddings, and by Grand Duchess Maria Theresa at her wedding in 1981.
Small Floral Tiara
The smaller of the two floral Tiaras of the Grand Ducal collection, this piece was frequently from by the then Hereditary Grand Duchess Maria Theresa, and is now mostly worn by Princess Alexandra. The Tiara was also loaned to Grand Duke Henri’s nieces Archduchess Marie-Christine and Archduchess Adélaïde of Austria for their weddings.
Aquamarine Bandeau Tiara
One of the many ‘bandeau & parure’ sets made for Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte, the Aquamarine Bandeau Tiara is primarily worn by Grand Duchess Maria Theresa, but has been loaned to Princess Margretha, and pieces have been worn by Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie and Princess Tessy.
Citrine or Topaz Tiara
One of Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte’s parures, this piece features citrines or topazes and has been also worn by Grand Duchess Maria Theresa, Princess Margaretha, Princess Alexandra, and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie.
Emerald Peacock Tiara
Made by Van Cleef & Arpels for Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte, using two pendants that had belonged to her mother, Queen Astrid, the Emerald Peacock Tiara was more frequently worn by her as a necklace. The Tiara has been worn by Grand Duchess Maria Theresa, Princess Tessy, and Archduchess Marie Astrid.
Another one of the Grand Ducal semi-precious stone parues, this Amethyst Tiara has been worn by Grand Duchess Maria Theresa, but is rarely seen.
Oval Amethyst Tiara
This tiara, composed of oval amethysts and seed pearls, has been worn by Princess Marie-Astrid, Princess Margaretha, and then Hereditary Grand Duchess Maria Teresa in the 1970s and 80s, and disappeared until being worn by Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie and Princess Tessy in recent years. It has become a favourite of the Hereditary Grand Duchess in recent years.
Belonging Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie’s family, the Counts of Lannoy, the Tiara was made by Altenloh in Brussels in 1876. Worn by her sisters and sisters-in-law at their weddings, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie wore her family Tiara at her wedding to Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume in 2012.
Featuring a diamond butterfly motif, this Tiara was first seen on Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie at the National Day Gala in 2014, and is thought to be a wedding gift. She has since worn the piece multiple times, including the recent Portuguese State banquet.
Princess Claire’s Tiara
Worn by Princess Claire at the National Day Gala in 2015, this Diamond and Ruby Tiara, which comes with a substantial necklace and earrings, is thought to be a gift from her own family.
Princess Sibilla’s Tiara
Worn by Grand Duke Henri’s sister-in-law, Princess Sibilla, this art deco tiara, which can be worn in two settings, is thought to be a gift from her own family. In recent years, Princess Sibilla has loaned the piece to Countess Diane de Nassau and to Princess Silvia d’Arenberg.
Sapphire Bracelet Tiara
A gift to then Princess Josephine Charlotte of Belgium from the Belgian nobility association on the occasion of her engagement in 1953, the sapphire and diamond bracelet can be worn as a tiara and the central motif can be used as a brooch. It now belongs to Princess Margaretha.
Thought to be in the Grand Ducal Collection since the 1830’s, the Turquoise Tiara and a number of large and ornate pieces remained unworn for almost two centuries until being handed to Grand Duchess Maria Theresa by the curator of the Grand Ducal collections in 2006. It has also been worn by Princess Tessy.
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