I’ve always said it’s good to know a cop, lawyer, judge and a rich shipping magnate. Ok, I may have added that last one recently. But only because in researching today’s tiara, I found out that Princess Sophia (as she was known at the time) was given this off the charts gorgeous ruby and diamond parure, which includes the Niarchos Ruby Tiara, as a wedding present.
I had always thought a rich relative was the best kind of wedding guest. but Greek shipping tycoons rank right up there too. Sophia (who later became Princess Sofia and then Queen Sofia – taking the Spanish spelling of her name after she married), was gifted the Niarchos Ruby Tiara (which isn’t a tiara in the true sense of the word, but more on that in a minute) by Stavros Spyros Niarchos as a wedding present.
Why would a greek shipping tycoon give a soon-to-be Spanish princess something so fantastic? Well, Sophia/Sofia just happened to already be a princess prior to marriage – she was born Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark. His actual motives unknown, I must say I wish he’d been invited to my wedding (although I’m not Greek, so….).
Now, about the tiara itself, it was made by Van Cleef and Arpels and consists of several chains of ruby and diamond clusters. Each cluster is made of cabochon cut rubies surrounded by diamonds and every other cluster includes an extra halo of rubies around the outside. Every cluster is separated by a small diamond link and the clusters can be configured in a number of different ways. Queen Sofia wore the set often and on what was likely the second most important day of her life – that of the proclamation of her husband, Juan Carlos, as King of Spain.
Here in the post you can see the double row tiara and single row tiara configurations, as well as a grouping worn as a necklace. There’s a matching bracelet and a pair of pendant earrings that complete the set. Audrey Hepburn had a similar set. As did and Princess Grace of Monaco borrowed a similar set for an event at Versailles in the 1970’s. I was able to find only one photo of Queen Letizia wearing the tiara configuration, so it’s hard to say if Sofia passed the set down to the new Queen or if it was just on loan.
What do you think of the Niarchos Ruby Tiara and the rest of the set for that matter? Yay or nay?