Queen Desiree’s Ears of Wheat Tiara

Happy Birthday to Countess Camilla of Rosenborg, who turns 50 today, along with her twin sister Countess Josephine of Rosenborg! The daughters of the cousin of Queen Margrethe II, the Countesses may be far removed from the Danish Throne now but had circumstances been different, they would have been the nieces or even daughters of Kings, and thus posses some illustrious heirlooms, including Queen Desiree’s Ears of Wheat Tiara! 

The Tiara was originally a series of around fifteen flexible Diamond Ears-of-Wheat that may have likely been created by the Napoleonic Court Jeweller Nitot, likely around the same time that the Danish Ruby Parure was created for the Coronation of Emperor Napoleon in 1804. Napoleon gave funds to his Marshals so their wives would be suitably bedecked, and one of them, Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, bought the Ruby Parure  for his wife, the former Désirée Clary, Napoleon’s one time fiancée. The Jewels made their way over to Sweden when Jean Baptiste and Désirée became King Carl XIV Johan and Queen Desideria of Sweden. Queen Désirée was depicted wearing the Diamond Ears-of-Wheat in her headdress in a 1830 portrait by Fredric Westin.

Queen Désirée left the the Diamond Ears-of-Wheat to her daughter-in-law, Queen Josefina, who gave them, and the Danish Ruby Parure, to her granddaughter, Princess Lovisa when she married the Danish Crown Prince. Queen Lovisa gave the Ears-of-Wheat to her third son, Prince Harald, whose wife, Princess Helena, often wore the Tiara of eight Diamond Ears-of-Wheat with a central diamond cluster, including for the Wedding of Prince Christian of Schaumburg-Lippe to her daughter, Princess Feodora of Denmark, in 1937 and for King Gustav V’s 80th Birthday Celebrations in 1938.

Princess Helena passed away in 1962, and it was stipulated that the Ears-of-Wheat Tiara would be worn by Countess Annie Helene Dorrit, the wife of her younger son, Count Oluf of Rosenborg, for ten years before the Ears-of-Wheat would be divided between the surviving siblings. The Tiara had earlier been worn for the British State Visit to Denmark in 1957, Crown Princess Margrethe’s 18th Birthday in 1958, the Iranian State Visit in 1959, and was also worn to the Wedding of Count Ingolf of Rosenborg in 1968. 

A smaller version of the Tiara, with only four Diamond Ears-of-Wheat was worn by the aforementioned Princess Feodora in the 1970s, and it was also worn by photographer Anne-Lise Johansen when she married her son, Prince Waldemar of Schaumburg-Lippe in 1977.

By the 1970s, the Diamond Ears-of-Wheat Tiara were distributed, with Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde using up one or two of them to create this diamond spike tiara for Anne Dorte Maltoft-Nielsen when she married her younger son, Prince Christian, who became Count Christian of Rosenborg. Countess Anne Dorte wore the piece at numerous royal events through the 1970s and 1980s, including for Crown Prince Frederik’s 18th Birthday in 1986 and Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik’s 25th Wedding Anniversary in 1992, as well as more recent royal events, though she usually preferred to wear Queen Alexandrine’s Russian Sapphire Tiara. 

By the 1990s, the Diamond Ears-of-Wheat Tiara, also known as the Rosenborg Spike Tiara, began to be worn by Countess Anne Dorte’s second daughter, Countess Camilla, with notable appearances at the Wedding of Prince Joachim of Denmark and Alexandra Manley, Queen Margrethe’s 60th Birthday in 2000, and the Wedding of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.

While Countess Camilla wore the Rosenborg Spike Tiara, her twin sister, Countess Josephine, wore Queen Alexandrine’s Diamond Bandeau, and the third sister, Countess Feodora, wore a Ruby Bracelet Tiara for royal events, the Rosenborg Spike Tiara was worn by Countess Feodora, for her first wedding in 2004.


Countess Camilla also wore the Rosenborg Spike Tiara at Queen Margrethe’s Ruby Jubilee Gala in 2012, and most recently for her Wedding to Ivan Ottesen in 2018. The Rosenborg Countesses auctioned Queen Alexandrine’s Russian Sapphire Tiara in 2018, but have retained smaller pieces, including Queen Alexandrine’s Diamond Bandeau, which I had hoped would have been worn for Queen Margrethe’s Golden Jubilee Gala last month, but they were not present, so lets hope these Royal Heirlooms make a reappearance soon!


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