Princess Maria Laura of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este, daughter of Prince Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este and Princess Astrid of Belgium, will be marrying William Isvy in Brussels tomorrow, and since we have already featured the Savoy-Aosta Tiara and the Austria-Este Tiara, today, we will feature Queen Elisabeth’s Diamond Bandeau, which could be worn by Princess Maria Laura tomorrow!
Composed of a striking geometric Art Deco Pattern, with a row of diamonds leaves, this Bandeau Tiara was acquired by King Albert I of The Belgians for Queen Elisabeth in the 1920s, worn a few times during the 1920s and 30s, most notably for a visit from Prince and Princess Takamatsu of Japan in 1930.
In 1934, the recently widowed Queen Elisabeth gave the Art Deco Bandeau Tiara as a gift to her daughter-in-law, Queen Astrid, to mark the birth of her third child, the now King Albert II of Belgium, who was the namesake of his late grandfather. Queen Astrid wore the Art Deco Tiara on a visit to Sweden for the Wedding Gala of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Princess Ingrid of Sweden and for Duke and Duchess of York’s visit to Brussels two months later, which came just weeks before Queen Astrid’s tragic death in a car crash.
During the Second World War, the Belgian Royal Family were under house arrest and faced numerous hardships, with King Leopold III marrying the Princess of Réthy, who while she was unpopular with the Belgian people, she became a favourite of the children of the late Queen Astrid and as such she wore many of Queen Astrid’s Jewels, including the Art Deco Diamond Bandeau, which was worn as a Tiara, as a Choker, and also with the diamonds of the Nine Provinces Tiara for the Banquet at the American Embassy in Brussels in 1958.
The following year, when Prince Albert was marrying Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabri, Queen Elisabeth’s Art Deco Diamond Bandeau Tiara was given as a wedding present to the glamorous Princess Paola, who began wearing the Tiara right after her wedding and, as her only Tiara until the 1990s, it was worn for numerous royal occasions though the 1970s and 1980s.
After King Albert’s accession to the Belgian Throne in 1993, Queen Paola gained the Nine Provinces Tiara, but continued to wear the Art Deco Diamond Bandeau, sometimes even as a Choker, to a variety of Royal events at home and abroad.
In 1999, Queen Paola loaned the Queen Elisabeth’s Art Deco Diamond Bandeau Tiara to her daughter-in-law, Jonkvrouw Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz, when she married the then Duke of Brabant.
Queen Paola also loaned the Diamond Bandeau to Lili Rosboch von Wolkenstein for her Wedding to Prince Amedeo of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este in Rome in 2014.
Most recently, Queen Elisabeth’s Art Deco Diamond Bandeau Tiara was worn by Princess Astrid for the German State Visit in 2016, the only time she has worn the Tiara. With all these loans to brides, it is likely that Princess Maria Laura could borrow her grandmother’s Tiara on her wedding day, but at the same time, she could also wear the Savoy-Aosta Tiara or the Austria-Este Tiara, which have been worn by brides of the Aosta Family.