Happy Birthday to Princess Camilla of the Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duchess of Castro, who turns 50 today! An Italian Heiress married to a Head of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies who is quite active on the European Social Circuit, the Duchess attends quite a few glittering events, and since we have already covered her Ancona Tiara, so to mark her birthday today, we are taking a look at her striking Ruby Dragonfly Tiara!
But first lets learn about the Princess Camilla of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duchess of Castro! Born Camilla Crociani, the daughter of Italian industrialist Camillo Crociani and Edoarda Vesel, she was born in Rome and grew up in Switzerland, France and Mexico, studying at the Marymount High School in New York and at New York University. In 1998, she married Prince Charles of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro, head of the Royal House of the Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Grand Master of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George. The couple have two daughters, Princess Maria Carolina, Duchess of Calabria and Palermo, and Princess Maria Chiara, Duchess of Capri, and reside between Rome, Monaco and Paris. In addition to her roles in the activities of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, the Duchess is also active in UNICEF and the Red Cross, the Olave Baden-Powell Society, AMADE, the Association “Monaco Against Autism,” Amitié sans Frontières and the Princess Grace Foundation among other charitable pursuits. The Duchess is the aunt of Prince Jean-Christophe Napoléon and quite close to several European Royal Families, including the Danish, Monegasque, and Albanian Royal Families. We wish HRH a very Happy Birthday and many Happy Returns!
Featuring large ruby and diamond dragonflies in the midst of blossoms and diamond leaves, the unusual motif Ruby Dragonfly Tiara was created around 1900, probably by Chaumet in Paris, and it’s history is unknown until it was auctioned at Sotheby’s in 1999, around the time it was photographed in Geoffrey Munn’s ‘Tiaras: A History of Splendour’. The Tiara came into the collection of the Crociani Family around this time, and has been with the Duchess of Castro ever since. The dragonflies can be rotated and also removed to be worn as brooches. The Duchess of Castro has worn the Tiara with a distinctive Chaumet Ruby and Diamond Necklace, similar to one created for the Duchess of Montellano around 1890.
The Duchess of Castro was first pictured wearing the Ruby Dragonfly Tiara and the Chaumet Ruby and Diamond Necklace at Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Donaldson’s glittering Pre-Wedding Gala Performance at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen in 2004. The Duke and Duchess are quite close to the Danish Crown Princely Couple and the Duke is a godfather of their younger daughter, Princess Josephine of Denmark.
In 2011, the Duchess of Castro wore the Ruby Dragonfly Tiara at the Wedding Ball of Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco, again with the Chaumet Ruby and Diamond Necklace. The couple are very close to Prince Albert, and Duchess described the Tiara at length and was filmed getting ready in the documentary ‘Mariage Princier Les Coulisses Mariage Princier d’Albert de Monaco‘, but unfortunately that video is no longer online (if you have a copy or know of one, please let us know). Lets hope we this this unusual royal worn heirloom again soon!