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Tiara Tuesday: The Braganza Tiara

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The Braganza tiara was made for Empress Amélie of Brazil in 1829, as a wedding present from her husband, Emperor Pedro I. Brazil used to be a Portuguese colony, and the surname of the Portuguese royal family is Braganza (Bragança in Portuguese), hence this tiara’s name. You might also remember Charles II’s queen, Catherine of Braganza – she was a …

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Tiara Tuesday: The Astor Tiara

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The Astor tiara belonged to Nancy Langhorne Astor, a Southern girl who became the first woman to serve as an MP in the British House of Commons. The tiara, made by Cartier, holds the famous 55.23-carat Sancy diamond in its center. In 1906, the tiara was valued at $75,000 – without the Sancy. Go ahead and gawk. I’ll just wait …

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Tiara Tuesday: The Norwegian Emerald Tiara

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Legend has it that the Norwegian emerald tiara originally belonged to Empress Josephine. Yes, that Josephine – Napoleon’s first wife. It’s dedicated to this week’s two birthday girls, Dava Stewart and Jillian Ashe. If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering, what’s with the whole “legend says” thing? Was this Josephine’s tiara or wasn’t it? And why the hell is this …

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Tiara Tuesday: Princess Helena Victoria’s Tiara

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Princess Helena Victoria’s tiara is a diamond neo-classical tiara decorated with a central honeysuckle motif and eighteen graduated ribbon scrolls. Helena was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, born a princess of Schleswig-Holstein (say that five times fast). She never married, which is when most royal women receive their tiaras, so she probably inherited this one from her mother, also conveniently …

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Tiara Tuesday: Princess Marina’s Fringe Tiara

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Princess Marina’s fringe tiara was a gift from the City of London when she married George, Duke of Kent, son of George V and Queen Mary, in 1934. It’s made of diamonds set in gold and silver. The City of London chose wisely. This design is inspired by traditional Russian kokoshniks, and Princess Marina was the daughter of Prince Nicholas of …

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Tiara Tuesday: Marie Louise of Bulgaria’s Tiara

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Marie Louise of Bulgaria’s tiara was, like so many others, a wedding present. In 1893, Prince Regnant Ferdinand of Bulgaria married Princess Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma. As a present for the bride, the Bulgarian National Assembly commissioned this tiara from Austrian jeweler Kochert. The stones match the colors of the Bulgarian flag: red, green, and white. That central ruby is …

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Tiara Tuesday: The Devonshire Diamond Tiara

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The Devonshire diamond tiara was made by jeweler A.E. Skinner for Louise, the Duchess of Devonshire, in 1893. She’d been in love with the Duke for 30 years – too bad she only met him after marrying the Duke of Manchester. But we’ll get back to her in a sec. This tiara features palmette and lotus motifs and uses about …

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Tiara Tuesday: The Boucheron Ivy Tiara

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The Boucheron ivy tiara was designed by Solange Azagury-Partridge (the firm’s creative director at the time) and created in 2003. It’s made entirely of emeralds set in black gold. Even though this tiara is thoroughly modern, it’s based on a design pulled from the Boucheron archives (circa 1890). The house’s founder, Frédéric Boucheron, loved the wild ivy that grew at …

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Tiara Tuesday: The Württemberg Diamond Diadem

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Created by court jeweler August Heinrich Kuhn, the Württemberg diamond diadem was presented to Queen Pauline in 1820, the year of her marriage to first cousin King William I of Württemberg. William was a pretty frugal guy. He transferred some of the diamonds from the Württemberg state crown to help fill this diadem. Generous or cheap? You make the call. …

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Tiara Tuesday: Queen Margherita’s Musy Tiara

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This tiara belonged to the first Queen of Italy—except it didn’t belong to her until after she was already Queen Mother. In 1904, she commissioned this tiara from the jeweler Musy, based in her hometown of Turin. The occasion? The birth of her grandson, the new Crown Prince of Italy. Because, you know, why should that little shit get a …