The second of our emerald tiaras for the month of May, the Greek Emerald Parure Tiara!
The Greek Emerald Parure Tiara
This tiara’s history begins in 1867, when Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia arrived in Greece to marry King George I. She brought with her a set of cabochon emeralds in varying sizes, and during her lifetime Queen Olga of Greece wore those emeralds in a variety of settings – in her kokoshnik, as pendants on a necklace, and as brooches.
Upon Queen Olga’s death in 1926 her emeralds passed to her grandson, King George II, and his wife Queen Elisabeth of Greece decided to really use the emeralds. She wore it as a single emerald in a bandeau low across her forehead, which was in fashion at the time, and she also had several emeralds set in a diamond frame. However, Queen Elisabeth eventually decided to have a new tiara commissioned by Cartier that was quite similar to a tiara that was owned by her sister, Queen Maria of Yugoslavia. This tiara is in the style of the kokosnik tiara, and features 5 cabuchon emeralds set between stylized ‘E’’s made out of diamonds, in honour of Elisabeth’s name.
Queen Elisabeth and King George II ended up divorced with no children after a period of exile. The tiara remained in the Greek Royal Family, and it makes its next appearance on Queen Frederika, the wife of King Pavlos, the younger brother of King George II.
Queen Frederika loved the emeralds, and wore them on a regular basis, both as a tiara, or as a necklace in combination with other tiaras in the Greek Royal family. Queen Frederika altered the tiara and removed the band at the top and bottom of the tiara, making it the tiara that exists today. Queen Frederika also completed the elements of the parure, making use of the remaining cabochon emeralds in a pair of drop emerald earrings, a large brooch with multiple mirrored diamond ‘E’s and more emeralds, and 5 single emerald drops which can be suspended from any necklace, or suspended from the brooch.
Queen Frederika passed the full parure to the wife of her son King Constantine II upon his marriage in 1946 to HRH Princess Anne-Marie Dagmar Ingrid of Denmark.
The new Queen Anne-Marie, who was married to King Constantine II just two weeks after her 18th birthday, is the youngest sister of Queen Margarethe II of Denmark, and the cousin of King Carl Gustav of Sweden. (See our most recent tiara post on the Danish Emerald Parure, for Queen Anne-Marie’s sister Queen Margarethe II of Denmark in more fabulous emeralds!) King Constantine II, Queen Anne-Marie and their children went into exile in 1976, and King Constantine was official deposed in 1973 when Greece declared itself a republic. The majority of the jewels of the Royal Family of Greece remained their property even after the monarch was abolished, and this is true of the Greek Emerald Parure Tiara.
Queen Anne-Marie has worn the Greek Emerald Parure Tiara frequently, both with the full parure, and with the tiara by itself or parts of the parure separately. She seems especially fond of the brooch, which she often suspends from a necklace she was given by her mother, Queen Ingrid of Denmark, which she received from Queen Alexandrine of Denmark. Queen Ingrid separated the necklace into two pieces, one of which she gave to Anne-Marie, and the other to her sister Princess Benedikte of Denmark, Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. Queen Anne-Marie has also worn the separate emerald drops suspended from the necklace.
You can really see the ‘E’ diamond motifs in the photo on the right.
What do you think of the Greek Emerald Parure Tiara?
See the Danish Emerald Parure for the first in our emerald tiara series for May.
Up next in emerald tiaras – The Emerald Parure of the Netherlands.