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Royal Spanish Tiaras: Queen Ena’s Aquamarine Tiara

If it hasn't already, it should be starting to become clear that royal jewels often change over time. Take Queen Ena's Aquamarine Tiara as exhibit A. Once upon a time, Queen Ena gently nudged King Alfonso in the direction of the jeweler Ansorena, who made a diamond and pearl tiara at his request. But just like other royals in her family (she was originally a Battenberg princess, after all), Ena decided to re-work the pearl tiara into something a bit more spectacular.
Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg and his wife Princess Sibilla, who is wearing the current version of the tiara, featuring aquamarines originally owned by her great-grandmother, Queen Ena.

If it hasn’t already, it should be starting to become clear that royal jewels often change over time. Take Queen Ena’s Aquamarine Tiara as exhibit A. Once upon a time, Queen Ena (Queen Victoria’s granddaughter) gently nudged her husband, King Alfonso, in the direction of the jeweler Ansorena, who made a diamond and pearl tiara at his request. But just like other royals in her family (she was originally a Battenberg princess, after all), Ena decided to re-work the pearl tiara into something a bit more spectacular.

Queen Ena wearing the pearl tiara the would become the precursor to the aqua tiara we’re discussing here

The simple pearl tiara was transformed by removing the pearls and adding instead several very large aquamarine briolette drops. She paired the tiara with several other aquamarine pieces she had crafted in the Art Deco style, including a seriously substantial aquamarine pendant, a pair of earrings, a ring, a bracelet and and a large stomacher.

Queen Ena with her aquamarine parure.

These were all passed down to Ena and Alfonso’s daughter, Infanta Beatriz, who was to marry Alessandro Torlonia, an Italian prince. However, Beatriz realized that after years of wear, the relatively fragile tiara frame just couldn’t stand up to the weight of the aquamarines and she had it redesigned by Bulgari in 1935 into the tiara we recognize today. The interlocking circle design resembles the Vladimir tiara of British provenance.

Royal Spanish Tiaras: Queen Ena’s Aquamarine Tiara

Beatriz had two daughters, Olimpia and Sandra, and both have been seen wearing parts of the parure over the years (it has been rumored the set was split between the two women). But the tiara has most recently been seen on the head of Olimpia’s daughter, Sibilla. She’s married to Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg and was spotted in 2012 at the wedding of her nephew, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, sporting the tiara for the festivities (along with the earrings and the stomacher).

Queen Ena’s Great-Grand Daughter wearing the tiara at the wedding of her nephew

There are other royal aquamarine tiaras out there. Do you have a different favorite or does Queen Ena’s Aquamarine Tiara possibly supplant one of the others on your “tiaras I would love to wear list?” I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Comments

6 Responses

  1. The Swedish Aquamarine is my fav, especially when worn by Princess Madeleine. But, those aquamarines here are spectacular!

  2. I wish we had up close pictures of the tiara before it was turned into a want to be Vlad. From what I can see, the original tiara almost reminds me of the lovely Connaught diamond tiara. The shape is definitely reminiscent of the Connaught. The aquamarines are immaculate. As much as I would love to see every woman in the world have a Vlad inspired tiara in their collection, I wish the original design had been retained

  3. Queen Elizabeth has the Brazilian aquamarine tiara and I think it’s prettier, but Ena’s necklace was gorgeous.

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