18 June 2014

Tiara Thursday (on a Wednesday): Infanta Pilar's Sapphire Tiara

Programming Note: Juan Carlos abdicates today. We'll have an open post up later for those that want to watch live. Also, because of the abundance of events happening in the non-British royal world right now, Ascot coverage this year will be entirely at the Vault, where things are already up and running.
Before the action in Spain kicks off, let's take care of our weekly tiara dosage...

We have another Spanish tiara to add to our list, just in time for the switchover to a new king.
Infanta Pilar's Sapphire Tiara, shown upside down as worn by Laura Ponte
They aren't often seen at tiara-wearing events in Spain, but there are tiaras associated with both of King Juan Carlos' sisters nevertheless. Today's sapphire tiara is primarily associated with Infanta Pilar, the eldest of the siblings. The tiara features a small sapphire at the heart of each of a series of diamond loops with a scalloped edge detail. These are connected at the base with diamond swags accented with a single sapphire.
The tiara enters the Spanish sphere with Pilar's mother, the Countess of Barcelona. She was born Princess María de las Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies; her mother was Princess Louise of Orléans, and the tiara is said to have come from the Orléans family originally. It's now thought to belong to Infanta Pilar, who has been its most consistent user for decades. (Her sister Infanta Margarita has also worn it on at least on occasion, though.)
Bárbara (left) and Laura (right)
Unusually for a sapphire tiara, this one also done wedding tiara duty - and it's even done upside down wedding tiara duty, no less. Bárbara Cano wore the tiara in the traditional position for her 2002 wedding to Pilar's son Bruno, and Laura Ponte turned it upside down for her 2004 wedding to Pilar's son Beltrán. It takes a delicate piece to coordinate seamlessly with a bridal outfit and to be successfully worn in an unusual position, and I think this one does the trick.

Does this make your list of favorite sapphire tiaras?

Photos: Hola/Cover Press/Ebay