For month’s now, I’ve been featuring a different British Tiara here on the blog each Tuesday (if you’ve missed out, sit down with a big cup of coffee and start from the beginning). But it’s time to switch things up a bit. For the next little while, we’ll look at the Royal Spanish Tiaras, starting Queen Ena’s La Buena Tiara (also called the Fleur-de-Lys Tiara).
Created for her somewhat disastrous wedding (her mother-in-law wasn’t supportive and some of the Spanish people were pretty leery of an English-born Queen (formerly Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg)). And then there was the anarchist that threw a bomb at the wedding carriage on their way back to the palace. Several lookers-on died. Ena even ended up with the blood of one of her guards that was injured on her wedding dress.
But at least her wedding jewelry was amazing. Perhaps one day we’ll discuss the entire parure, but for now, we’ll investigate the La Buena Tiara – a gift from her soon to be husband. As you can imagine, when you’re marrying a future king, it requires quite the jewelry collection. Perhaps Ena’s needed a bit of touching up. Hard to say. But we do know that the Prince (eventually to become King Alfonso XIII), gifted her with this gorgeous tiara as a wedding present. Created by the jeweler Ansorena, its design primarily includes the fleur-de-lis symbol of Spain’s reigning family, the House of Borbon. Smart move for a tiara that will sit on the head of a contested British Princess, soon to become Spanish Queen.
Being somewhat adjustable, Ena wore the tiara on a number of occasions. You can see in her wedding that she wore it in a very tight circle while on another occasion in 1922 (see both the photo immediately above) she wore it in a more open fashion. It’s been worn in the open fashion ever since.
Ena was a wise woman and set aside in her will a collection of jewels to remain with the Spanish Crown and be worn by the reigning Queen. The La Buena was included in that collection. She loaned out other tiaras, but not La Buena. However, Ena was generous with it on one occasion, when she loaned the tiara to her daughter-in-law, María Mercedes, the Countess of Barcelona. Had the temporary cessation of the Spanish Monarchy not occurred, María would have become the next Spanish Queen. She got to feel like one for a day, at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, at least when wearing the tiara. After that it was passed on to María’s son’s wife, when the monarchy was reinstated. Queen Sofia has also been photographed on numbers occasions wearing it.
But it had remained locked up in royal vaults for a number of years after Sofia’s husband abdicated the throne and their son, King Felipe VI, took over in 2014. In 2017, King Felipe’s wife, Queen Letizia, wore the La Buena tiara for the first time at a state dinner for the President and First Lady of Argentina. La Buena – “The Good One” – was back in full view! Letizia wore it in the more open fashion, along with a fantastic pair of diamond earrings that had belonged to Ena and a set of diamond bracelets that were hers and part of the “Queen’s Collection”, as well.
So, since this is our first entry into the Spanish Tiara’s and with a title like “The Good One” what do you think of it?