Today marks the Anniversary of the Death of Princess Françoise of Greece and Orléans, the mother of Prince Michael of Greece, who died on this day in 1953. A relatively unknown member of the extensive Greek Royal Family, Princess Françoise owned a glittering Turquoise Parure which we are featuring today.
Modelled on a Parure of Oriental Turquoise made by Fabergé for the Romanovs in 1895, the Greek Turquoise Parure was commissioned by Queen Olga of Greece, born Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia from Fabergé, featuring a Tiara without the base of the original and a large necklace.
While Queen Olga was not pictured in the Parure, after her death in 1926, it was inherited by her youngest son, Prince Christopher, who got a less precious stone being a younger son according to his son, who married Princess Françoise of Orléans, as his second wife, in 1929. Princess Françoise notably wore the Parure for a variety of portraits in the late 1920s and early 1930s, though she probably also wore it at a variety of Gala events, especially after the Greek Monarchy was restored in 1935.
However, Prince Christopher died in 1940, and the Greek Royal Family were forced into exile a few months later during the Nazi Occupation. Princess Françoise and Prince Michael joined the Orléans Family in Morocco, later going to Spain, and then France after the end of the war, where she passed away in 1953. Queen Olga’s Fabergé Turquoise Parure was sold by Princess Françoise at Guillomet in Paris soon after Prince Christopher’s death, and its current whereabouts are unknown, though Prince Michael does own a Diamond Floral Tiara of unknown provenance. UPDATE- Prince Michael found two turquoise pieces after his mother’s death and put them on a gold bangle.