Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirova’s Crown Brooch

Today marks the 140th Anniversary of the Birth of Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna / Princess Nicholas of Greece, who was born on this day in 1882! The only daughter of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia and Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin who married Prince Nicholas of Greece and was the mother of of Princess Paul of YugoslaviaPrincess Marina, Duchess of Kent, and Princess Elisabeth, Countess of Törring-Jettenbach, Grand Duchess Elena possessed many spectacular jewels, including today’s Diamond Crown Brooch!

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Vladimir Fringe Tiara | Diamond Kokoshnik Tiara | Ruby Parure | Pearl Circle Bandeau | Diamond Bow Brooch | Emerald Brooch | Diamond Crown Brooch

To mark his Coronation in 1896, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia commissioned eighteen Diamond Brooches in the shape of the Russian Imperial Crown to be distributed among the Russian Grand Duchesses, which included this Crown Brooch given to his cousin Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna. The Grand Duchess took the Brooch with her when she married Prince Nicholas of Greece, and was notably pictured wearing it for the Wedding of her daughter, Princess Marina of Greece, to Prince George, Duke of Kent in 1934.

However, by the time of Princess Marina’s Wedding in 1934, the Brooch no longer belonged to Princess Nicholas, having had been bought by her sos-in-law, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, the previous year, as noted in Princess Olga of Yugoslavia: Her Life and Times:

The Prince and Princess celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary on 22 October (1933) at Bohinj. Touchingly, Paul had bought Princess Nicholas’ diamond crown brooch as an anniversary gift for Olga, thus providing his parents-in-law with some vital funds with which to buy Elisabeth’s trousseau”

Princess Olga wore the Diamond Crown Brooch in portraits taken ahead of Princess Marina’s Wedding Ball (loaning it to her mother for the wedding the following day), at an event with Princess Marina in Belgrade in the late 1930s, and was later pictured wearing it with her Boucheron Diamond Tiara for King Paul of Greece’s 60th Birthday Banquet at the Royal Palace of Athens in 1961.

After Princess Olga’s death in 1997, the Diamond Crown Brooch was inherited by her elder son, Prince Alexander, and worn by his wife Princess Barbara, likely one of the few heirloom jewels still in her possession. Lets hope we see this spectacular Heirloom for years to come!

Vladimir Fringe Tiara | Diamond Kokoshnik Tiara | Ruby Parure | Pearl Circle Bandeau | Diamond Bow Brooch | Emerald Brooch | Diamond Crown Brooch

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