Friday, March 15, 2013

Serbian Royal Jewels: Marie of Romania’s Golden Diadem with Cross

Yugoslavian Royals once had one of the most magnificent collections of jewels among the Royal Houses, so it is somewhat sad to discuss the few remnants of the former glory. 
Marie of Romania's Golden Diadem
Queen Marie of Romania had truly fantastic jewels that originated from the Yugoslavian Royal Family (mostly, made or purchased especially for her), and from the Russian Imperial Family (her mother was Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, daughter of Alexander II), and even some pieces from the British Royal House (her father was Prince Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the second son of Queen Victoria). 

This golden diadem was made for Queen Marie of Romania in late 1910s. It is composed of flower motifs with a large Orthodox Cross in the middle. There are no precious stones, no additional decorations – just a plain solid gold. 
Marie of Romania wearing her Golden Diadem
The Queen left this diadem to her second daughter, Marie, known as Mignon in the family. Upon Mignon’s marriage to Alexander I of Yugoslavia, the jewel transferred from Romanian to Yugoslavian jewellery vaults. Queen Marie of Yugoslavia appears to have left this piece to her youngest son, Prince Andrej, for the most recent sighting of the tiara was on the head of Princess Brigitta, wife of Prince Karl Vladimir of Yugoslavia (Prince Andrej’s eldest surviving son). 

Now, despite the obvious likeness, I am not 100% certain the diadem worn by Princess Brigitta is actually Marie of Romania’s diadem. That’s because the original piece is currently displayed in a museum in Oplenac. Of course, it might be just a loan to the museum and Brigitta can take it to wear on appropriate occasions. Or perhaps Prince Andrej commissioned an exact copy of his grandmother’s diadem for his wife. 
Princess Brigitta, wearing the Golden Diadem, and Prince Andrej
Whatever the case, if the diadem worn by Brigitta is the same one worn by Queen Marie, then the jewel is undoubtedly in Prince Andrej’s personal possession, as opposed to being a piece from the royal collection. I am fairly definite on this account because if it were available to other Serbian Royals, Crown Princess Katharine would wear it to foreign royal events instead of the tiny diamond tiara (probably, a converted necklace) she wears now. 

This is certainly an interesting and historically important piece but I am not a huge fan of solid gold tiaras or diadems, so this is definitely not among my favourites.

No comments:

Post a Comment