Sunday, February 10, 2013

Italian Royal Jewels: Elena of Montenegro’s Emerald Tiara

Queen Elena’s tiara’ was a gift from her mother-in-law. The emerald and diamond tiara was creating by dismantling some of Margherita’s jewels. Judging by the pictures, it would appear that the centre emerald in Elena’s tiara is actually one of the oval stones from the tiara of the original parure.

Elena of Montenegro's Tiara in its original form
Initially, it was a pretty delicate piece and consisted of five ornate pillars rising from a silver frame. Each pillar had a small diamond and a large emerald on the top. In between the pillars, small silver decorations were positioned. In time, Elena had the tiara modified in small ways, with the frame undergoing the most significant changes; it considerably gained in the volume and consisted of silver overlapping semi-circles. 
Elena wearing the tiara in its original form (left) and after modifications (right)
Elena lent her tiara to her sister-in-law, Princess Natalia of Montenegro on at least one occasion. The present whereabouts of the tiara are unknown although it was most probably dismantled and/or sold.

A little transgression into the realms of history: one of Elena’s sisters, Princess Ljubica (known as Zorka) was married to Peter Karadjordjevic (who would later become King Peter I of Yugoslavia). Her brother Mirko was married to the aforementioned Princess Natalia who was from the ill-fated House of Obrenovic, which had ruled Serbia for most of the 19th century. 

Princess Natalia of Montenegro 
Although Natalia’s husband was promised the Serbian Throne, it was Peter Karadjordjevic who would become Serbian Monarch following Alexander I’s assassination. Ironically, Peter I would also annex his father-in-law’s Kingdom of Montenegro into his realms, creating Yugoslavia. 

I imagine family gatherings were a bit awkward at times. 

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