Today marks the 85th Anniversary of the Death of Queen Marie of Romania, who passed away on this day in 1938! Queen Victoria’s granddaughter who became the popular Queen of the Balkan Nation, ensuring massive territorial gains after the First World War, Queen Marie had a splendid Jewellery Collection which was lost to the Bolsheviks and then had to be replaced. Among her original collection was this spectacular Diamond Loop Tiara!
When Princess Marie of Edinburgh married Crown Prince Ferdinand of Romania in 1893, she received this spectacular Diamond Loop Tiara as a wedding gift from her mother, Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna, Duchess of Edinburgh, which accompanied a Turquoise Tiara and Parure given as a wedding gift from her father. Queen Marie later wrote:
“Mamma gave me a wonderful trousseau – a real princess’s trousseau. There were also innumerable wedding presents, some magnificent, some beautiful, some humble and touching; this was all very exciting. I was a real daughter of Eve and loved clothes, furs, and precious gems. Several times a day I would put on a new dress. I took a childish pleasure in all my new dresses and beautiful jewels – and Mamma had been extraordinarily prodigal, giving me many of her magnificent Russian gems.”
The Jewels were also described by Crown Prince Ferdinand to his uncle, King Carol:
“Missy has already received a part of her presents from her parents, including a full parure of turquoises from her father and a diadem, alongside other jewels, from her mother. The presents from all across England are pouring in; there are already about 120 pieces, some of them incredibly valuable.”
Crown Princess Marie began wearing her Diamond Loop Tiara soon after her marriage, at the Wedding of her cousin, the Grand Duke of Hesse, to her sister, Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1894 and the Wedding of the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and her sister, Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1896.
The Tiara was also among the jewels that Crown Princess Marie took to Russia for the Coronation of Tsar Nicholas II, no doubt wearing it on numerous occasions through the three weeks filled with Banquets, Ceremonies and Balls. The Diamond Loop Tiara was also worn for the Wedding of the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein and Princess Dorothea of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1898.
For the first two decades of her marriage, the Diamond Loop Tiara was Crown Princess Marie’s primary Tiara, since she was rarely seen in the Turquoise Tiara, and was worn in a variety of creative ways and in a series of theatrical costumes, as she began to embrace her mystic personality.
By the 1910s, Crown Princess Marie had been given the Romanian Massin Tiara by Queen Elisabeth but the Diamond Loop Tiara continued to be worn for numerous occasions and portraits, including on a Russian State Visit in June 1914, just a few months before King Carol’s death and King’s Ferdinand’s Accession.
With the outbreak of the First World War, which Romania joined in 1916, Queen Marie sent all of jewels, including the Diamond Loop Tiara, along with Romania’s gold reserves to Russia for safekeeping, especially as much of Romania was soon occupied and the Royal Family had to retreat to Moldavia. However, while Romania emerged victorious from the War and almost doubled its territory, thanks to Queen Marie’s efforts, Russia had undergone their Revolutions, and the Bolsheviks had confiscated Queen Marie’s Jewels, which were never returned. Efforts to recover the jewels have been made as recently as 2018, but their eventual fate is unknown. Queen Marie later recalled:
I took a quite childish pleasure in my new dresses and beautiful jewels. Mama had been extraordinarily prodigal, giving many of her own magnificent Russian gems. These have all now been annexed by the Bolsheviks. It was difficult to realise that they were all mine.