Orléans Sapphire Earrings

Happy Birthday to the Countess of Paris, who turns 45 today! The Spanish-Austrian Aristocrat who is the Consort to a Pretender to the French Throne, the Countess does not have the spectacular jewellery collection of her predecessors, but today we are featuring one fo her most important jewels the French Crown Sapphire Earrings!

Orléans Royal Tiaras | Orléans Sapphire Earrings | Orléans Sapphire Parure

The French Crown Sapphire Parure were commissioned from the French Crown Jeweller Bapst in 1819 by Princess Marie Thérèse, Duchess of Angoulême, the only surviving child of King Louis XIV and Queen Marie Antoinette who was the first Lady of the French Court from 1815 to 1830 and the Queen of France for only 20 mins when she was exiled and the Parure passed to Queen Marie Amélie and then Empress Eugénie, though but was not depicted on either lady. The Parure remained in the French State Treasury after the fall of the French Empire and displayed at the 1878 Exposition Universelle and at the Musée du Louvre in 1884 before being sold at auction with the rest of the crown jewels in May 1887 by the French Third Republic.

While the Tiara and Necklace of the Crown Sapphire Parure went into the collection of  Sybil, Marchioness of Cholmondeley, the Earrings were acquired by Prince (later Tsar) Ferdinand of Bulgaria as a wedding gift for his bride, Princess Marie Louise of Parma, daughter of Robert I, Duke of Parma, in 1893, along with the Bulgarian Köchert Tiara, and was worn for a portrait before her early death in 1899

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The French Crown Sapphire Earrings remained in the Bulgarian Royal Family, but were not worn, until 1957, when Tsar Simeon II of Bulgaria, the grandson of Princess Marie Louise, gave them as a Wedding Gift to Duchess Marie-Thérèse of Württemberg for her Wedding to Prince Henri, Count of Clermont, the Heir of the Count of Paris, the Orléans Pretender to the French Throne. Duchess Marie-Thérèse was not photographed in the piece, instead preferring to pair pieces of the Orléans Sapphire Parure with her Sapphire Necklace Tiara.

It was only after the marriage of the current Count of Paris to Philomena de Tornos Steinhart in 2009 that we got to see the French Crown Sapphire Earrings worn, first for a series of official portraits with the Duchess of Montpensier’s Sapphire Necklace Tiara.

The Countess of Paris has worn the French Crown Sapphire Earrings for a plethora of occasions through the years, including the christenings of most of her children, as well as her won official portrait. The Orléans Sapphire Parure is now at the Louvre and other Orléans Jewels have been dispersed through the family, so these earrings are the most important jewels of the Heads of the House of Orléans. There is no doubt we will continue to see them for years to come!

Orléans Royal Tiaras | Orléans Sapphire Earrings | Orléans Sapphire Parure

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Royal Magazin

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