13 November 2014

Tiara Thursday: Queen Marie's Edinburgh Turquoise Tiara

Queen Marie's Edinburgh Turquoise Tiara
The wedding of Princess Marie of Edinburgh (1875-1938) and Crown Prince Ferdinand of Romania in 1893 was a typically grand occasion, just as one would expect when the bride is the daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia (and therefore a granddaughter of both Queen Victoria and Tsar Alexander II) and the groom is a future king. And just as one would expect from a wedding like this, plenty of precious jewels were among the gifts lavished on the bride. From her father came a parure of turquoise and diamonds, including this tiara of scrolling diamonds surrounding round turquoise stones, plus a necklace and earrings. The set was made by London jeweler Carrington. Other British relatives provided more turquoise jewels in the form of a bracelet and a brooch (click here for more on her wedding gifts).
Marie in the turquoise tiara, earrings, and necklace
Marie, who became Queen of Romania in 1914, would later be pictured wearing jewels in a more theatrical manner, but at the beginning of her marriage, this was a fairly petite tiara choice that seems to have suited her well. Unfortunately, I believe this lovely turquoise tiara has been lost to time. When Romania became embroiled in World War I in 1916, Marie's jewels were sent away for safekeeping in Moscow…and if you know your history, you’re already cringing, because you know now what Marie didn’t back then: Russia would soon be taken over by revolutionaries, and the Bolsheviks were not fans of returning such valuables. Queen Marie never saw those gems again. She built up another collection, but when the Romanian monarchy was eliminated, more jewels had to be sold to finance the family in exile. A shame, it is, because another smaller turquoise tiara – a stone quite polarizing for some of you – would be lovely to see in use today.

Photos: Wikimedia Commons,  George Grantham Bain/Library of Congress