Thursday, March 7, 2013

Danish Royal Jewels: Queen Margrethe's Golden Poppies Tiara and Parure

I seem to have covered unusual-jewellery only yesterday so it is only fitting to cover the most unusual hairpiece in Queen Margrethe's collection – her Golden Poppies.
Queen Margrethe's Golden Poppies
The Queen commissioned it from Danish jewellery designer Arje Griegst in 1976. Although sometimes it is suggested Queen Margrethe had a hand in designing it, that is almost certainly not the case. Griegst was already famous for a series of unconventional jewellery which broke the tradition of the more rigorous Danish jewels of the time.

The poppy flowers are made of 21 carat gold hammered to very thin plates. Drops of aquamarines, carved opal and moonstones can be found inside some of the flowers or the leaves.  All poppies in the hairpiece are detachable.
Queen Margrethe wearing the entire Poppy Parure (left), and the hairpiece with a different necklace and earrings (right)
The hairpiece (sorry, I just can’t call it a tiara) is composed of eight flowers that are suspended from the gold haircomb-style frame.  Eight small leaves are suspended from the lower part of the frame. Several of the larger flowers even have creepy insects on them.
Two of the detachable golden poppies
The earrings each consist of a single poppy from which three smaller golden poppies hang on diamond-encrusted threads of varying sizes. The necklace is basically three rows of platinum chain; from the bottom links five small poppies hang. 

Queen Margrethe is known to wear the entire set together, or various elements separately. She sometimes wears some of the detachable poppies separately, as hair ornaments.

Queen Margrethe wearing the detachable poppies as hair ornaments
I don’t think there is a single other piece of jewellery that I dislike more. Even Queen Sonja’s modern tiara or Princess Astrid’s aigrettes are no match: this has to be the worst hairpiece EVER. Which is a shame because the flowers, separately, aren't actually all that bad. But together... And what’s with the creepy insects? 

Pictures credit: Arje Griegst 

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