Today marks the bicentenary of the birth of Queen Amalia of Greece, born Duchess Amalia of Oldenburg on this day in 1818, who was the Queen Consort of King Otto I of Greece from 1836 to 1862, and spent the rest of her life in exile in the King’s native Bavaria. To mark the occasion, we are taking a look at the Bavarian Lover’s Knot Tiara, a piece not only worn by Queen Amalia but also one I’ve been wanting to feature for a long time.
Commissioned from the Bavarian Court Jeweller Caspar Rieländer by King Ludwig I of Bavaria for his wife, Queen Therese, the tiara features sixteen pearls in diamond arches, hanging from lover’s knot bows, mirrored by sixteen pear-shaped pearls on top, which were accompanied by pearl chandelier earrings and a large pearl necklace.
Queen Therese wore her Lover’s Knot Tiara for a plethora of portraits in the 1820s and 1830s, with varying degrees of artistic license taken on its representation, along with a variety of pearl jewels, though she wore the earrings of the parure in other portraits.
At some point, Queen Therese gave the Lover’s Knot Tiara to her daughter-in-law, Queen Amalia of Greece, wife of her second son, who wore the piece in a portrait. It remained with her during her exile, and since the Greek Royal Couple had no children, it returned to the main line of the Bavarian Royal Family after her death in 1875.
While it was not pictured on subsequent Bavarian Queens, the Lover’s Knot Tiara was worn in the 1920s, after the fall of the Bavarian Monarchy, by Crown Princess Antonia, wife of the then Pretender Crown Prince Rupprecht and sister of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, in a series of portraits, along with the rest of Queen Therese’s Pearl Parure.
The Wittelsbach Family had a difficult time in exile and concentration camps during the Second World War, and the Crown Princess never returned to Germany, but the Lover’s Knot Tiara survived as was worn by Princess Irmingard of Bavaria, daughter of Crown Prince Rupprecht and Crown Princess Antonia at one of her wedding ceremonies to Prince Ludwig of Bavaria in 1950, she wore the Bavarian Sapphire Floral Tiara at the other one.
Today, the Bavarian Lover’s Knot Tiara and Parure, as well as Queen Therese’s Ruby and Spinal Parure, is on display at Munich’s Residenz, the former Royal Palace that is now a Museum. However, the ladies of the Wittelsbach Family still have a variety of historic Tiaras at their disposal.
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