17 November 2011

Tiara Thursday: The Midnight Tiara

Crown Princess Mary started out her marriage with two tiaras available for her use, her small wedding tiara and the huge ruby parure. Five years on, she wrangled herself a third option to fill in all the gaps: something less formal but right in the middle of the size range, with a modern design and a modern ownership arrangement.
The Midnight Tiara
The experimentation in non-traditional materials alone tells you that this is no normal tiara. It includes 31 flower buds created with over 1,300 small diamond brilliants and polished moonstones set into a structure of leaves and branches hand graved in 18 carat rose and white gold with black oxidized silver. The colors and light and shading effects replicate a starry moonlit sky at midnight, and thus it is appropriately known as the Midnight Tiara.
Details of the tiara and its creation
This tiara was designed by Charlotte Lynggaard of the Ole Lynggaard firm, a jeweler to the Danish royal court, and was handmade by goldsmiths in the company’s studio. It was created especially for an exhibit at Amalienborg Royal Palace Museum in 2009 which combined antique tiaras with modern designs, including a selection of tiaras on loan from the Danish royal family.
Mary at Prince Henrik's birthday celebration
After seeing it at the exhibition, Mary borrowed it to wear for Prince Henrik’s 75th birthday celebrations in June of 2009. She also wore matching earrings and a brooch (there’s a whole Midnight collection of jewelry available, actually). A deal was struck: Mary didn’t have to purchase the tiara – probably a good thing, as it has a price tag of 1.5 million DKK, or about $275,000 – and the jeweler retains ownership, but they won’t sell it and Mary has exclusive rights to borrow it. It’s quite an agreement, isn’t it? Ole Lynggaard gets publicity, while Mary gets a third tiara option and the whole thing promotes Danish design.
Mary at Queen Margrethe's birthday celebration
She made use of that deal for yet another family birthday: the third tiara event for Queen Margrethe’s 70th birthday celebrations in April of 2010. That makes it her “informal” tiara option, I guess; both birthday events were black tie dress codes with tiaras, but no orders. Low key non-state occasions, basically.
 Mary enters at 4:50, tiara shot at about 5:09
I must admit that this one isn’t my favorite tiara - modern tiaras, what can I say, not my drug of choice – but I think Mary’s using it in just the right way so far (in all two of her appearances). This is definitely a black tie tiara event piece, I can’t picture it with a lot of orders going on around it. And I shall never, ever blame her for finding a way to have a third tiara, especially since she belongs to a family that actually throws events that require three tiara appearances in a row.

What do you think about the Midnight Tiara and Mary's loan arrangement?

Photos: Bodilbinner/Ole Lynggaard/PPE