Today marks the Anniversary of the birth of Queen Alexandrine of Denmark, the grandmother of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, who was born on this day in 1879. To mark the day, we are taking a look at her trademark Fringe Tiara-
Like other Fringe Tiaras, this piece features diamond sunrays, another name for Fringe pieces, but with large spaces in between. Fringe Tiaras were popularized by Russian Grand Duchesses, with the style mimicking the traditional Russian Kokoshnik Headdress.
Suitably, this Tiara was a gift from Tsar Alexander II to his niece, Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna, when she married Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1879, and might be the piece worn by her in a portrait above. The Grand Duchess was a scandalous figure, who, in her widowhood, had an illegitimate son with her personal secretary, but nonetheless, her two daughters became Queen of Denmark and the last Crown Princess of Germany respectively.
After Grand Duchess Anastasia’s death in 1922, her Fringe Tiara was inherited by her elder daughter, Queen Alexandrine of Denmark, and quickly became a favourite. It was worn for a variety of occasions, including Birthdays, Weddings, King Christian X’s Silver Jubilee in 1937, and most notably, the portrait of the Queen on iconic Danish Sardine Tins.
After her death in 1950, Queen Alexandrine bequeathed her Fringe Tiara to her younger daughter-in-law, Hereditary Princess Caroline Mathilde, who wore the piece at her most important Gala events for the rest of her life, including the Wedding of Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik of Denmark, the Wedding of Princess Benedikte of Denmark and Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Crown Prince Frederik’s 18th Birthday in 1986, and various New Years Courts. After Princess Caroline Mathilde’s death in 1995, Queen Alexandrine’s Fringe Tiara was inherited by her elder son Count Ingolf of Rosenborg, but sadly his wife, Countess Inge, passed away a few months later, and was never pictured in the piece. However, he loaned the Fringe Tiara to his sister, Princess Elisabeth, for a Gala in 1996.
When Count Ingolf remarried in 1998, Queen Alexandrine’s Fringe got a new wearer in Countess Susie, who, despite having access to other Tiaras, has made this a favourite of hers, worn for all manner of events, most recently at Crown Prince Frederik’s 50th Birthday. There is no doubt we will continue to see Queen Alexandrine’s Fringe Tiara for years to come.