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Royal Spanish Tiaras: The Marichalar Meander Tiara

Not all of the tiaras out there have been passed down for generations within royal families. There are some tiaras that are delightful but weren’t initially brought to life by a king, queen, prince or princess. Just like the days of royals only marrying royals are over, some tiaras have made their way into royal collections via gifts from non-royal families. One such tiara is The Marichalar Meander Tiara.
Royal Spanish Tiaras: The Marichalar Meander Tiara
Elena wearing the tiara at the wedding of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark in 2004.

Not all of the tiaras out there have been passed down for generations within royal families. There are some tiaras that are delightful but weren’t initially brought to life by a king, queen, prince or princess. Just like the days of royals only marrying royals are over, some tiaras have made their way into royal collections via gifts from non-royal families. One such tiara is The Marichalar Meander Tiara. 

Royal Spanish Tiaras: The Marichalar Meander Tiara
A close up look at The Marichalar Meander Tiara.

The bandeau-style tiara has a row of laurel leaves topped off by a row of Greek key designs – all made of diamonds. The tiara belongs to Infanta Elena, the oldest sister of the current King of Spain, for her wedding, a gift from her then future mother-in-law. When Elena and Jaime de Marichalar announced their engagement, his mother, Elena’s future mother-in-law gifted Elena, the Duchess of Lugo, this Marichalar family tiara.

Royal Spanish Tiaras: The Marichalar Meander Tiara
Elena at her wedding, wearing the tiara to show unity with her new family, in

She chose to honor her new in-laws by wearing the tiara on her wedding day. Up unti that time, she’d worn other pieces from her own family’s collection, often borrowing tiaras owned by her mother, Queen Sofia. But the wedding was a turning point and she’s worn the tiara as her primary tiara ever since. 

The tiara has become Elena’s go-to headpiece since receiving it as a wedding present.

There was a lot of speculation when she and Jaime divorced; would she give it back? Would she even want to wear something from her now ex-husband’s family (the ex-husband who also lost his royal title in their divorce)? But she showed up at Crown Princess Victoria of Sweeden’s wedding in 2010, her first tiara event post-divorce, sporting the Marichalar sparkling in the sunlight. 

Elena wearing the tiara along with her ruby and diamond parure.

What I don’t know is when the tiara was actually made, nor could I find by whom. Ultimately it matters not. Personally, I find the two motifs to feel thrown together and disjointed, even though I enjoy its simplicity. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Comments

6 Responses

  1. Far from being mis-matched. This is a classical design seen in friezes, decorative art such as furniture, China or pottery design, clothing, architecture. A tiny bit of art history will familiarize anyone with thousand of examples!

  2. I agree with you. It looks as if two parts of different tiaras were left over and pieced together. After divorceing I’d have had the entire thing disassembled and remade into a more unified whole.

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