03 April 2014

Tiara Thursday: The Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg Fringe Tiara

The Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg Fringe Tiara
Princess Benedikte - daughter of King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid of Denmark, sister to Queen Margrethe and Greece's Queen Anne-Marie - wears a couple of tiaras with ties to her own royal history, but this classic diamond fringe comes from her husband's German family. It was a wedding present from Richard, the 4th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, to his bride Princess Madeleine of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg (1885-1976), for their 1905 nuptials. Made by the noted German jeweler Koch, it shares the classic fringe design - derived from Russian traditional kokoshnik headdresses - with plenty of other tiaras. This one is distinctive by the small size of the diamond spikes placed between the tallest diamond posts. Like many other fringe tiaras, it can also be worn as a necklace.
Princess Benedikte
The tiara was apparently left by Princess Madeleine to her grandson Prince Richard, who is Princess Benedikte's husband (they married in 1968). By the time Madeleine died in 1976, her son and the 5th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Gustav Albrecht, was gone, and Richard was officially the Head of the House of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, so skipping a generation makes some sense. (Gustav Albrecht was went missing in action in 1944 and was legally declared dead in 1969.)
Benedikte's tiaras: the fringe, her floral tiara, and the Star and Pearl Tiara
Princess Benedikte tends to choose this tiara for the biggest events she attends, things like Queen Margrethe's jubilee, Crown Prince Frederik's wedding, Crown Princess Victoria's wedding, and the weddings of her own daughters. Of course, these are usually the events that her children attend as well, and so her other tiaras are often on loan with this one kept for herself. It's an important piece and one that happens to suit her exceptionally well - the great thing about the classic fringe design is that it is almost universally flattering, but on some people it really shines, and Benedikte is one.

Which of her tiaras is your favorite?

Photos: AOP/Getty/Corbis