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Royal Spanish Tiaras: Infanta Pilar’s Sapphire Tiara

Prior to Princess Eugenie wearing the Greville Emerald Tiara in her wedding last October, we didn't often see colored stone tiaras center stage for royal nuptials. But there's always that exception and in this case, it was the Infanta Pilar's Sapphire Tiara, which had been worn at not just one but TWO royal weddings in the 21st century.
Infanta Pilars Sapphire Tiara
Infanta Pilar in her sapphire tiara.

Prior to Princess Eugenie wearing the Greville Emerald Tiara in her wedding last October, we didn’t often see colored stone tiaras center stage for royal nuptials. But there’s always that exception and in this case, it was the Infanta Pilar’s Sapphire Tiara, which had been worn at not just one but TWO royal weddings in the 21st century.

Infanta Pilars Sapphire Tiara
Pilar’s Mother, The Countess of Barcelona, wearing what is now known as Infanta Pilar’s Sapphire Tiara.

The initial origins of the tiara are not exactly clear, but it’s believed that it belonged to the Countess of Barcelona, the current owner’s mother. Pilar is the eldest sister of former King Juan Carlos (for those of you playing along at home, that’s the current King’s father). There are rumors that the tiara came from the Countess’ grandmother, Princess Louise of Orléans, and the Orléans family. And even today, the actual ownership of the tiara is speculation. Pilar has been seen in it the most frequently, however her sister Margarita has also donned it on occasion.

Pilar’s daughter-in-law Bárbara wearing the tiara in her 2002 nuptials.

And that brings us back to the two royal weddings. The tiara, made up of a small sapphire at the center of each of a series of diamond loops, followed by a scalloped edge detail and then connected at the base with diamond swags, each accented with another single sapphire, was first worn by Pilar’s soon-to-be daughter-in-law Bárbara Cano at her wedding in 2002 when marrying Pilar’s son, Bruno.

Infanta Pilars Sapphire Tiara
Laura Ponte wearing Infanta Pilar’s Sapphire Tiara in her wedding to Pilar’s son in 2004.

A mere two years later, it was again on display on a royal bride, this time being worn by the wife of another of Pilar’s sons, Laura Ponte, who was marrying Beltrán. Laura put her own spin on it by wearing the tiara upside-down in necklace form over her veil. Tan elegante!

Infanta Pilars Sapphire Tiara
Pilar in her tiara and a multi-strand pearl necklace and a State event.

Which is your favorite of the two wedding looks? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on that! Tell me in the comments below, please.

Comments

10 Responses

  1. Forgot to mention this in my first comment but in the bottom picture of Pilar she looks just like her mother!

  2. Thank you for doing a post dedicated to this tiara! I see pictures on Pinterest of Laura Ponte’s wedding from time to time but never saw any correlating info on the tiara, the wearer or which royal family owned it. I am not surprised that this is loved by members of the Spanish Royal family actually, it’s very reminiscent of the Cartier Loop Tiara. Some loop tiaras don’t seem to get it right, but both loops owned by the SRFam are immaculate examples of the design. I love this tiara, it’s pretty perfectly balanced. It’s substantial but still has an airiness to it, the tiara has romantic details (the forget me nots in the center of each loop and the bow at the center top swag) yet it doesn’t sway into twee territory, the sapphire to diamond ratio is rather nice, the tiara is large tiara but not so large that it’s imposing. The craftsmanship is impeccable… I love it upside down at Laura Ponte’s wedding, it’s gorgeous! When worn upside down it just produces a completely different air to it, very bohemian and unpretentious. I think it was Queen Juliana from the Netherlands who wore her small emeral tiara upside down as well and I always thought it looked better then sitting upright. I have been waiting patiently for QMax to wear it upside down. I love seeing fashionable people experimenting with lovely jewels

  3. I like it both ways. It depends on the person wearing it and it is suitable for each woman in the way they wore it.

  4. The tiara is lovely, whether worn right side up or upside down. Infanta Pilar’s mother was not Louise but Mercedes. King Juan Carlos was not deposed, he abdicated.

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