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Tiara Tuesday: Grand Duchess Adélaïde’s Tiara

In Tiara Tuesday7 Comments

Made with diamonds set in white and yellow gold, the Grand Duchess Adélaïde tiara features a removable cushion-cut sapphire in its center. The diamond motifs are leaves and berries crafted of brilliant-cut and rose-cut diamonds. There’s also a removable row of big-ass diamonds along the base, for those times when you need to let people know you mean business. Here’s …

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Tiara Tuesday: The Mellerio Shell Tiara

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Ordered by Queen Isabel II of Spain in 1868, the Mellerio shell tiara was a wedding present for Isabel’s oldest daughter, also (creatively) named Isabel. It features pearl and diamond shell motifs with pear-shaped pearls hanging at the center of each shell. Each shell also curls forward like a wave about to break, which I’d imagine creates some interesting sparkle …

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Tiara Tuesday: Empress Farah’s Noor-al-Ain Tiara

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Created by Harry Winston in 1958, Empress Farah’s Noor-al-Ain tiara was made for the Shah of Iran’s second wife…whom he divorced before the tiara was finished. The only woman ever to have worn it is the Shah’s third wife, Farah Diba. You might remember the Shah’s first wife, the beautiful Princess Fawzia of Egypt and her lovely Van Cleef & …

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8 Ways Writing Is Like The Princess Bride

In The Writing Life1 Comment

Last Saturday, I went down to the track in my yard (I live in the country) and ran a few miles. When I run, I almost always think about writing. Some days it’s marketing, sometimes it’s plot points I need to hash out, others it’s character development or motivation. If I’m too deep in thought, sometimes I’ll take a header …

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The Dueling Princess: Pauline Metternich

In Royal History11 Comments

UPDATE: Thanks to a comment from Dutch historian Ignaz Matthey, it looks like we can debunk the story of this duel. I fell for the fake news! So embarrassing, right? If this is your first visit, read the story of the duel below as I originally wrote it, then stick around for a little debunking at the end. If you …

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Tiara Tuesday: The Lanckoronski Sapphire Tiara

In Tiara Tuesday4 Comments

First things first – there’s no public domain image of the Lanckoronski sapphire tiara that I can show you. So check out the image of the tiara here, then come back and read about its story. There’s something loopy in the documentation for this tiara, too. It usually gets lumped into a set of sapphire jewels made by Chaumet in …

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Tiara Tuesday: Empress Eugénie’s Pearl and Diamond Tiara

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Empress Eugénie’s pearl and diamond tiara tiara was commissioned by Napoleon III as a wedding present for his bride, the Spanish-born Eugénie de Montijo. Created by Parisian jeweler Gabriel Lemonnier in 1853, the tiara was made with 212 pearls and 1,998 tiny diamonds (totaling 63.3 carats) that already belonged to the French crown. These stones had been used in previous …

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Tiara Tuesday: Irina Youssoupov’s Wedding Tiara

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Made by Cartier in 1911, Irina Youssoupov’s wedding tiara was purchased three years later by Prince Felix Youssoupov as a wedding present for his bride. This tiara is unusual because the bottom part of the kokoshnik is made of rock crystal topped with platinum and diamonds. There’s a big diamond in the center of the top row – it’s a …

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Tiara Tuesday: The Mountbatten Tiara

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The Mountbatten tiara belonged to Edwina, Countess Mountbatten. Made around 1910, it features borders of channel-set diamonds in platinum with scrolls and thirteen trefoils in between. There’s a similar design in Chaumet’s archives, but the maker’s mark on the actual tiara is said to be “unclear.” It was last seen in a Cartier case, though, and Cartier did some fantastic work …