It can’t be all kokoshniks and greek keys. Sometimes a royal gal just needs some flowers! That’s why today’s episode of #TiaraTuesday focuses on the Spanish Floral Tiara. I mean… the name says it all.
For years there was some mystery around how this tiara came to be. It was originally thought that Francisco Franco, the Spanish ruler at the time, commissioned the tiara as a gift from the country of Spain to Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark on her marriage to Prince Juan Carlos (who would one day be King). Part of that statement is true: the tiara was a gift from Franco to Princess Sophia. However, he didn’t commission it himself.
Instead, it was made in 1879 by British jeweller, J.P. Collins, for King Alfonso XII of Spain. It was a gift from him to Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria, his new bride. The tiara remained with the family for at least half a century but when they went into exile in the 1930s, it was sold. Franco purchased the tiara in the 1960s and gifted it to Sophia, thus returning it to the throne. But it wasn’t without a bit of scandal. It was no secret that there was some tension but Franco eventually named Juan Carlos as successor and the monarchy would again be restored in 1975. Whew.
It was clearly a favorite of Sophia’s, as there are countless photos of her wearing it. She was also gracious with it, loaning it to both of her daughters, Infanta Elena and Infanta Christina, with Christina donning it for her wedding in 1997.
Most recently, however, the tiara has been spotted on the current Queen, Sophia’s daughter-in-law, Letizia. After her mother-in-law stepped down, Queen Letizia has stepped into the role of Queen and also into wearing more and more of the royal jewels. While the tiara belonged to Sophia and not the crown, it’s hard to say to whom it belongs these days. It could still be Sophia’s and just on loan, or perhaps she’s gifted it to Letizia, given she’s the only one in recent years we’ve seen wearing it.
No matter the ownership, it’s still a gorgeous specimen – three five-petaled diamond flowers are connected by a garland of diamond leaves and foliage. It’s a convertible piece, meaning that it’s able to be worn as a necklace or broken up into a series of brooches. Which makes it all the more stunning, in my opinion (I do love a convertible tiara)!
What are your thoughts? Do you like the Spanish Floral Tiara or do you prefer the more traditional motifs? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.