Empress Maria Feodorovna’s Sapphire Bandeau

In the next few days, leading up to the Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, we will be taking a look at some of the possible Tiaras that can be worn by the bride at the wedding. Today’s feature is Maria Feodorovna’s Sapphire Bandeau.

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Embed from Getty Images

Thought to have come from the collection of Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia, this Diamond Sunburst Bandeau with a large central sapphire was worn by Queen Mary in the 1930s and 40s. She also sometimes replaced the sapphire with her carved emerald brooch, a gift from the Ladies of India at the 1911 Delhi Durbar. After her death in 1953, the Tiara was inherited by the Queen.

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While the Queen never publicly wore Maria Feodorovna’s Sapphire Bandeau, she frequently loaned the tiara to her sister, Princess Margaret, in the 1950s and 60s, who also wore the central sapphire as a brooch. Notable appearances include the 1960 French State Visit and the Wedding of Princess Astrid of Norway in 1961. The Bandeau hasn’t been publicly worn in over 50 years, and is one of the choices for Meghan at the wedding on Saturday.


5 thoughts on “Empress Maria Feodorovna’s Sapphire Bandeau

  1. I know tiaras with stones other than pearls and diamonds are not favored for weddings, but I have seen it done very well many times. This sapphire bandeau hasn’t been seen in quite a while and I think it would be lovely as a wedding tiara. It looks very modern, which would fit Ms. Markle’s style, but on the other hand, it’s a bit on the large side and she may opt for something more discrete. Maybe she’ll adapt the emerald choker or Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s diamond bracelets. There are three of them and they would form a very excellent diadem.

    1. This tiara is fabulous, and I would love to see it on MM for no other reason than that we would finally get to see some high-quality photos and video of it. I am all in favour of brides wearing something blue, and why not a giant blue sapphire? As BlueSaphire notes, it does have a modern look to it, and it would be wonderful on Meghan.

      1. Hey! I hadn’t thought about the “something blue”! This would be perfect! 🙂

  2. I am still impatiently waiting to see this beautiful tiara come out of the vaults. I too was hoping Meghan would wear this one because sapphire is Harry’s birthstone, but I think she ended up making the perfect choice… Now, I’d very much like to see Kate wear this sapphire bandeau, it would be lovely paired with her engagement ring. Honestly, there are so many pieces that would compliment the bandeau, I think Kate would find creating a married parure with this piece to be easier than some tiaras. The Russian Sapphire Bandeau would look amazing with Princess Diana’s sapphire and pearl choker, the sapphire cluster earrings of Diana’s that Kate currently wears, the Queen Mother’s art deco sapphire fringe earrings, Prince Albert’s sapphire brooch, the Russian Sapphire brooch, Queen Mary’s Russian brooch, the Carrington feather brooch, the sapphire trefoil earrings, there are several sapphire bracelets, the George sapphire suit would probably go pretty good with the bandeau as well. It would be kind of cool to see the Belgian sapphire necklace tiara taken off the frame again and worn as a necklace paired with the bandeau. I think the silhouette of the bandeau is very on trend and I think it would be flattering on Kate. I wish the British royals were as open with their vaults as the Swedish Royal family. It would be nice to see them all share their jewels for events

    1. That sounds like a wonderful idea! This would surely look splendid. However, the British royals are very set into their jewellery wearing habits and it is very difficult to get them to wear other tiaras after they have established their favourites. I really hope we see any of these combinations in the not too distant future.

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