Today marks the 130th Anniversary of the Birth of Princess Victoria Louise, Duchess of Brunswick, who was born on this day in 1892! The Kaiser’s only daughter who married the Head of the House of Hanover and spent a long life at the centre of German Royal and Noble circles, to mark the anniversary, we are finally featuring her Prussian Diamond Tiara, which also ties in with our ongoing coverage of the Jewels of Queen Letizia of Spain!
Of a neoclassical-inspired design, with columns, laurel leaves and meanders, this diamond and platinum tiara was made by the Berlin court jeweller, Koch, for the only daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm Il, Princess Viktoria Luise, on the occasion of her marriage with Prince Ernst August of Hanover in May 1913.
This marriage put an end to the disagreements between the Hohenzollerns and the Hanovers, which began after the annexation of the Kingdom of Hanover to the Kingdom of Prussia in 1866. Another curious fact is that the wedding celebrations were one of the last big gatherings of royals before the First World War, which brought together the Kaiser with the King of England and the Tsar of Russia, who shortly after would face each other at war. Princess Victoria Luise was photographed wearing this Tiara on a few occasions but she always preferred some of her other tiaras, most frequently the larger Brunswick Diamond Tiara.
In 1938, when Princess Victoria Luise’s daughter, Princess Frederica, married Prince Paul of Greece and Denmark, then heir to the Hellenic throne, she received this tiara as a wedding present from her mother. A quite successful pick for a Greek royal due to all the Empire inspiration of the jewel. Princess Frederica notably wore the Prussian Tiara for her engagement portraits . However, after her marriage, Queen Frederica gained access to much larger tiaras, such has her mother-in-law’s Diamond Tiara and the Greek Emerald Parure, being a jewel lover as she was, the Prussian Tiara one was left in the vaults.
That would change when King Paul and Queen Frederica’s eldest daughter, Princess Sofia made her debut and started wearing it. The young Princess accompanied her parents to various trips abroad, where she wore the Prussian Tiara, like the 1956 State Visits to France and Germany. It was also frequently worn in Greece, notably for King Paul’s 60th Birthday Banquet.
In the same way as she received the Diamond Tiara from her mother’s hands, Queen Federica gave it to her own daughter, Princess Sofia, on the occasion of her marriage to Prince Juan Carlos. The Princess wore it for her Catholic and Orthodox marriage celebrations in Athens in 1962, and for many royal events though the 1960s and 1970s.
After Germany and Greece, this tiara found a new home: Spain. Since then, the piece has been worn extensively by Queen Sofía herself, as well as by her two daughters, the Infantas Elena and Cristina, who also debuted in this same tiara.
In May 2004, the Queen loaned it to her new daughter-in-law, Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, who followed in the footsteps of her mother-in-law and wore it on the day of her wedding with the Prince of Asturias. As it was then stated “Due to its family connection and the special occasions on which it has been used, it is a piece especially dear to Her Majesty the Queen”.
Since her wedding, Doña Letizia has been the main wearer of the piece. This is one of the tiaras that she has worn the most since her entry into the Royal Family. However, the last time we saw it being worn in public was more than a decade ago, in 2011.
Since then the Floral Tiara has gained favour and it also seems that the new Queen of Spain has been moving towards larger and more important Tiaras. This piece will surely reappear on the head of Leonor, Princess of Asturias, who will probably debut with the same piece in which her great-grandmother, grandmother, aunts and mother debuted. The Princess will be part of the fifth generation of wearers of this wonderful tiara.
Spanish Fleur-de-Lys Tiara | Prussian Diamond Tiara | Spanish Floral Tiara | Cartier Pearl Tiara | Queen Maria Christina’s Loop Tiara | Mellerio Shell Tiara | The Joyas de Pasar | Queen Victoria Eugenie’s Diamond Earrings | Queen Victoria Eugenie’s Diamond Bracelets | Spanish Royal Tiaras | Spanish Royal Jewels
This article was written by assistant editor, David Rato, who runs the Spanish Royal Jewels account on Instagram!