Princess Michael of Greece’s Van Cleef and Arpels Suite

Happy Birthday to Prince Michael of Greece, who turns 80 today! The youngest grandchild of King George I of Greece, and the first cousin of the Duke of Edinburgh, the late Princess Marina, Duchess of KentPrincess Paul of YugoslaviaQueen Helen of Romania, the Duchess of AostaPrincess Margarita of Hohenlohe-LangenburgPrincess Theodora, Margravine of BadenGrand Duchess Cecile of Hesse, and Princess Sophie of Hanover, and the Count of Paris, Prince Michael has attended many glittering events, often with Princess Michael wearing her Van Cleef and Arpels Parure-

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Similar to her Diamond Floral Tiara, it is unknown how the Greek Artist Marina Karella acquired this Parure featuring two necklaces and a pair of earrings set with sapphires, but given it’s similarity to other Van Cleef and Arpels designs of the era, and the similar Ruby Parure given to Prince Michael’s cousin Queen Sofia of Spain by Greek shipping tycoon Stavros Niarchos, it is safe to imagine that the parure was another gift from Niarchos or maybe even a gift from Prince Michael, who gave up his rights to the Greek Throne to marry his commoner bride. Princess Michael was first pictured in the Parure at a premiere of Zorba the Greek in Paris in the 1965, just a month after her wedding.

In 1988, the full Van Cleef and Arpels Parure, paired with the Diamond Floral Tiara, was worn by Princess Michael in a portrait with the Countess of Paris and her daughters and daughters-in-law at the wedding ball of Duchess Mathilde of Württemberg and Prince Erich of Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg. Prince Michael was raised by his uncle and aunt, the Count and Countess of Paris, after the early death of his parents.

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Princess Michael also wore Van Cleef and Arpels Parure at Prince Henrik of Denmark’s 60th Birthday Gala Dinner in 1994, and has worn it for more recent Gala events, so there is no doubt we will see it frequently in the future, maybe even on her daughters, Princess Olga and Princess Alexandra.


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