This weekend, Princess Victoria of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the 20th Duchess of Medinaceli will be marrying Maxime Corneille. The world’s most titled Aristocrat, with around 43 recognised titles, who is the Head of the illustrious noble House of Medinaceli, the Duchess would have been expected to be wearing the magnificent Medinaceli Ducal Coronet!
Composed of ten striking Diamond Strawberry Leaves with a pearl centre, set atop a pearl and diamond coronet base, the Medinaceli Ducal Coronet is of an unknown provenance, but is likely the same ‘magnificent ducal crown of stones’ worn by the then Duchess of Medinaceli for the Wedding of her daughter, Ángela María Fernández de Córdoba, to the Duke of Escalona in 1867, when the bride also wore a ‘beautiful ducal crown’
Heraldic Coronets are found in several Spanish Noble Families, with the summer of Strawberry Leaves varying according to the Noble Rank of the title holder. Coming into popularity at the time of the Gothic Revival in the early 19th century, the Coronets have continued to stay in fashion through the centuries, with several notable examples, including Queen Fabiola’s Spanish Wedding Gift Tiara and the Alba Ducal Coronet.
One of the earliest recorded appearances of the Ducal Coronet seems to have been in the 1970s, when it was worn by Doña Ana Luisa de Medina y Fernández de Córdoba, 12th Marquise of Navahermosa, the eldest child and only daughter of the 18th Duchess of Medinaceli, who was then married to Prince Maximilian Emmanuel of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
In 2010, the Duchess of Medinaceli loaned the Medinaceli Ducal Coronet to Laura Vecino for her Wedding to her grandson, Rafael de Medina, 20th Duke of Feria, at the Palacio de Tavera in Toledo, one of the family properties.
Following the death of the 18th Duchess of Medinaceli in 2013, her main titles were inherited by her grandson, Prince Marco of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, which were in-turn inherited by his daughter, Princess Victoria, the 20th Duchess of Medinaceli, in 2016. The 18th Duchess had left additional titles to her three sons and grandchildren, but at the time of her passing, only the youngest, the 19th Duke of Segorbe, had outlived her. The Family Residences; the Casa de Pilatos in Seville, the Hospital de Tavera in Toledo, and the Pazo de Oca in Galicia, along with Castles, Palaces and agricultural property around Spain, as well as a large Art Collection is in the Casa Ducal de Medinaceli Foundation, which was controlled by multiple branches of the family, until 2020, when the Duke of Segorbe expelled his nephews, nieces, and great-niece, the current Duchess, and has refused to allow them to use the family properties. A court case ruled in favour of the late Duchess’ grandchildren in 2021, but the Duke of Segorbe has filed an appeal, with legal proceeding still ongoing.
Earlier this year, the Medinaceli Ducal Coronet was worn by the late Duchess’ granddaughter, Doña Sol María de la Blanca de Medina y Orléans-Braganza, 54th Countess of Ampurias, daughter of the aforementioned Duke of Segorbe and Princess Maria da Glória de Orléans-Braganza, for her Wedding to Pedro Domínguez-Majón at the Iglesia de San Esteban in Seville, which included the current Duchess of Medinaceli among the guests.
Since the current Duchess of Medinaceli is barred from holding her Wedding at any of the Family Palaces, and instead will be marrying at the home of a family friend in Jerez de la Frontera, it does seem unlikely that she will be allowed to wear the Medinaceli Ducal Coronet for her Wedding this week either.
UPDATE: Royal and Noble Guests from around Europe gather to celebrate the Wedding of Princess Victoria of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the 20th Duchess of Medinaceli (the world’s most titled Aristocrat) in Jerez de la Frontera, after a bitter family dispute prevented her from marrying in a family residence.