Sunday, September 22, 2013

Luxarazzi 101: Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara

Not only did a dream come true for the former Claire Lademacher yesterday when she married her hunky prince in a lovely ceremony in the south of France but also for all of us tiara lovers out there as it meant that we would get more information about one of the most lovely but also most mysterious tiaras in the Grand Ducal Collection. Unfortunately it seems that not even the Grand Ducal Family knows a whole lot about it provenance, however, we are simply going to roll with the information we have.
Princess Alix, Princess Marie-Gabrielle, Princess Elisabeth, Princess Marie-Adelaide, Princess Claire
Often simply described as the bigger one of the two floral tiaras of the Grand Ducal Family, we have come to refer to it as the 'Diamond Leaves and Berries Tiara' for the obvious reason that it features exactly that, diamonds set in a leaf motif with occasional single diamond berries set inbetween.

The cour grand-ducale decided to refer to it as the 'Vine Leaves Tiara' which is totally fine with us as, upon closer inspection, it turns out that the leaves are indeed those of vine. (How fitting as Princess Claire is the future manager of a vine estate!) While all kind of tiaras featuring different variations of leafy motives were made during the centuries, the vine leaf motif is rather uncommon sight which makes this tiara all the more special. The only stone used in this tiara are diamonds which are set in yellow gold and silver in the aforementioned vine leaf motif interspersed with more single diamonds.
Princess Claire, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie
While neither its creator nor the exact time of creation are known, the tiara seems to date to the middle of the 19th century and is owned by the family foundation which means that in difference to those pieces brought into the family by Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte, this sparkler cannot be sold or willed off to children. Parts of the tiara could either be worn as brooches or a necklace in the past though it seems that the tiara has been permanently fixed into its current setting.

Even though the tiara has been in the family for a long time, it didn't get many outings until rather recently. While Grand Duchess Charlotte never wore the tiara, her four daughters, princesses Alix, Marie-Gabrielle, Elisabeth and Marie-Adelaide, wore the tiara on their respective wedding days thus giving it the sobriquet of a wedding tiara. According to the cour, Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte only ever wore the tiara once while her daughter-in-law Grand Duchess Maria Teresa seems to have taken a liking to it as she regularly gets Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara out of the vaults for a spin at events that require some sparkle.

But not only was this tiara as wedding tiara during the 1950's, it also adorned the head of another new Luxembourg princess rather recently. The former Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy either chose or was offered this tiara to wear on the eve of her wedding to Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume as her first ever Grand Ducal tiara - a nice tie in with other brides of the family.

Photos: PPE / Guy Wolff / Cour grand-ducale / Getty Images / AFP Photos

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