Happy Anniversary to Tsar Simeon and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria, who got married in Switzerland on this day 60 years ago! The nuptials of the exiled Tsar and orphaned Spanish Aristocrat brought together many royal guests, and to top off her outfit, the new Queen Margarita wore the most spectacular Heirloom of the Bulgarian Royal Family: The Köchert Fleur-de-Lys Tiara!
Composed of sapphires, rubies and emeralds, representing the colours of the Bulgarian flag, alongside a series of diamond Fleur-de-Lys, the Bulgarian Köchert Tiara was a wedding gift from Prince (later Tsar) Ferdinand of Bulgaria to his bride, Princess Marie Louise of Parma, daughter of Robert I, Duke of Parma, in 1893, who wore the Tiara first on her Wedding Day and then frequently in official portraits and paintings until her early death in 1899. The Tiara is flexible and just the base can be worn, while the Fleur-de-Lys can be worn as Brooches.
The Köchert Tiara was next worn by Princess Giovanna of Savoy, when she married Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria, son of Tsar Ferdinand and Princess Marie Louise, in 1930. Queen Giovanna wore the Tiara on her wedding day, as well as for official events throughout her husband’s reign (which ended at his mysterious death days after meeting with Hitler in 1943). After the Bulgarian Monarchy was abolished in 1946, Queen Giovanna took her jewels into exile and wore the Köchert Tiara for a plethora oof events through the 1950s, 60s and 70s, most notably at the Wedding Gala of Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia and Princess Maria Pia of Savoy in 1955.
In 1957, Queen Giovanna loaned the Köchert Tiara to her only daughter, Princess Marie Louise, when she married Prince Karl of Leiningen in Cannes, cementing its reputation as a Wedding Tiara.
When Doña Margarita Gómez-Acebo y Cejuela married Tsar Simeon in 1962, the Köchert Tiara passed to Queen Margarita, who first wore it on her Wedding Day in Switzerland, before wearing the Tiara at a Ball in the 1960s. Queen Margarita also wore the ruby necklace and earrings at the Wedding of King Constantine of Greece and Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark in 1964.
While they have sold some other jewels in years, the Bulgarian Köchert Tiara is still reportedly owned by the Tsar and Tsaritsa, who returned to Bulgaria in the 2000s with the Tsar becoming the Bulgarian Prime Minister for a period, but is said to be in delicate condition, as it was unable to be loaned to a Bulgarian museum for display as few years ago. The Tsar and Tsaritsa offered it to one of their daughters-in-law to wear at their wedding, but they declined telling them to save the tiara for their daughter, Princess Kalina, who ultimately did not wear a Tiara at her wedding. Lets hope the Tiara is restored and we see it worn again soon!