Queen Victoria Eugenie’s Chaumet Tiara

Today marks the 135th Anniversary of the Birth of Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain, who was born on this day in 1887! Queen Ena had a splendid jewellery collection, full of family heirlooms and contemporary acquisitions and commissions. Many of her jewels remain with the Spanish Royal Family, and are now worn by Queen Sofia and Queen Letizia but today we are featuring an exquisite piece which was sold a few years ago!

Spanish Fleur-de-Lys Tiara | Cartier Pearl Tiara  | Empress Eugenie’s Emeralds | Aquamarine Parure | Mellerio Shell Tiara | Chaumet Tiara | Cartier Diamond Bandeau | Diamond Earrings | Diamond Bracelets | Cartier Stomacher

Composed of fleur-de-lys intercepted by geometric motifs, the Chaumet Tiara features the heraldic symbol of the House of Bourbon originally set with turquoises and was reportedly a wedding gift to Princess Victoria Eugenie from King Alfonso XIII, and was worn for the first time for a Gala at the Teatro Real in Madrid on the evening after the Wedding in 1906.

“….there was a gala performance at the Teatro Real…after a wearisome day in the oppressive heat. The royal box was full, and the Queen was wearing a tiara set with turquoise and diamonds for the first time, a present from the King. With her were the Prince of Wales, the Queen Mother, the Princess of Wales, and the crown prince of Portugal. At the exit, crowds blocked the way of the carriages in order to cheer the Royal family.”

Embed from Getty Images

However, the Tiara was not photographed until the 1930s, by when the Spanish Royal Family were in exile, with Queen Victoria Eugenie wearing the piece for several portraits, including a painting by the artist Tosti Russell.

Queen Victoria Eugenie continued to wear the Chaumet Tiara through the 1940s and 1950s, with a notable public appearance at the 18th Birthday Gala for her granddaughter, Princess Sandra Torlonia, in 1954.

In 1962, the Chaumet Tiara was worn by Queen Ena’s daughter, Infanta María Cristina, Countess of Marone, for the Wedding Ball of Prince Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sophia of Greece in 1962, who eventually inherited the Tiara upon Queen Victoria Eugenie’s death in 1969. At some point in the 1960s, the turquoises, which had lost their colour and lustre, had been replaced with diamonds.

In the 1980s, Infanta María Cristina decided to sell some her jewels, and offered the first pick to her nephew, King Juan Carlos, who choose Queen Victoria Eugenie’s Cartier Pearl Tiara, with the Chaumet Tiara then auctioned off at Christie’s in 1984 for $85,000, where it was reportedly acquired by an ‘international jewel collector of royal origin.’

Spanish Fleur-de-Lys Tiara | Cartier Pearl Tiara  | Empress Eugenie’s Emeralds | Aquamarine Parure | Mellerio Shell Tiara | Chaumet Tiara | Cartier Diamond Bandeau | Diamond Earrings | Diamond Bracelets | Cartier Stomacher

24

Leave a Reply