|Queen Elisabeth's Cartier Bandeau Tiara|
The royal connection came next, when Cartier sold the tiara in 1912 to Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians (1876-1965), the wife of King Albert I. The arts-loving consort, who was particularly popular for her front line nursing support of the troops during World War I, wore the tiara across her forehead in the traditional bandeau style popular at the time. When she passed away, the tiara was inherited by her son, King Leopold III, and it was worn by and eventually left to his second wife, Princess Lilian (1916-2002).
Lilian was a controversial figure. She married the widowed king while he was being held as a prisoner of war at the Castle of Laeken during the Nazi occupation of Belgium in World War II. They first wed in a secret religious ceremony, intending to wait until after the war to hold a civil wedding - contrary to Belgian law, which required a civil ceremony first - but Lilian became pregnant, forcing an early civil wedding. The announcement of their nuptials was met with mixed reactions. Some questioned whether their sovereign was truly sharing the hardships of his people during wartime; others still loved his first wife, the popular Queen Astrid, who had died in a tragic car crash six years earlier; many were troubled by the fact that the religious ceremony was not valid by law. Other actions by Leopold during the war would build controversy that resulted in his abdicating in favor of his son, Baudouin, in 1951.
Click here to see a picture of her wearing this Cartier tiara.
Controversy aside, who would you like to see wear this tiara?
(In addition to yourself if applicable, obviously.)
Photos: Wikimedia Commons/Cartier