On Saturday, Prince Jean-Christophe Napoléon, the head of the former Imperial House of France, will marry Countess Olympia von und zu Arco-Zinneberg, daughter of Archduchess Maria Beatrice of Austria and Count Riprand von und zu Arco-Zinneberg. Ahead of the wedding, we are taking a look at some of the family heirlooms, including the Savoy-Aosta Tiara (not to be confused with the Savoy Aosta Knot and Star Tiara or the Tiaras of the House of Savoy), which may be worn by Countess Olympia-
Given to Princess Anne of Orléans when she married her cousin, the Duke of Aosta, in 1927, early images show the Duchess wearing the antique foliate Tiara low across her forehead in the 1920s style, later wearing it atop her head in a more conventional style. The Tiara remained with the Duchess through the Duke’s command of the Italian forces in East Africa during World War II, and after his death as a prisoner of war in Kenya in 1942, when the title passed to his younger brother. The Dowager Duchess notably wore her Tiara at the Pre-Wedding Ball of her daughter, Princess Margherita of Savoy-Aosta and Archduke Robert of Austria in 1953 and Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia and Princess Maria Pia of Italy’s Pre-Wedding Gala in 1955.
The Tiara was loaned to her daughter, Princess Margherita, married to the Archduke of Austria-Este, for the Wedding Ball of King Baudouin of Belgium in 1960, and also loaned to her cousin, Princess Maria Beatrice of Savoy, for one of the Wedding Balls of Prince Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sofia of Greece in 1962, worn by her elder sister, Princess Maria Pia for the other Ball. The Tiara was inherited by Princess Margherita, Archduchess of Austria-Este after the Dowager Duchess’ death in 1986.
While it was not pictured on the Archduchess after the 1960s, the Savoy-Aosta Tiara has been frequently worn by her daughter-in-law, the current Archduchess of Austria Este, who is better known as Princess Astrid of Belgium, who has worn the Tiara to all but one of her tiara events, most recently the French State Banquet last year. She also loaned the Tiara to her niece, Countess Anna von und zu Arco-Zinneberg, the elder sister of Countess Olympia, last year, making it likely that she’ll loan the Savoy-Aosta Tiara again this week.
UPDATE: Princess Maria Laura wore the Savoy Aosta Tiara for her Religious Wedding Ceremony in 2022.