Monday, 31 May 2010

Royal jewels: Princess Margaretha’s floral tiara

Because of her close relationship to several royal houses, Princess Margaretha of Denmark came to attend more royal events than most people. She liked to dress up and wear her pieces of jewellery and among her best jewels was a diamond floral tiara in the shape of five loops.
The origins of this tiara are uncertain – an older article says it first belonged to Queen Louise of Denmark, consort of King Christian IX, but its first known owner was her French-born daughter-in-law, Princess Marie.
This eccentric, gifted princess died at the age of only 44 in 1909, but the tiara reappeared after her second son, Prince Axel, married Princess Margaretha of Sweden in 1919. Margaretha continued to wear it throughout her life, which lasted until 1977.
In his book Juvelerne i det danske kongehus (2001) Bjarne Steen Jensen states that Margaretha’s second son, Count Flemming of Rosenborg, inherited the tiara “and it is now worn by Countess Ruth”.
Although presented as an indisputable fact this is, like much else in that book, a mere guess by the author. It is also completely wrong. Countess Ruth of Rosenborg has never worn her mother-in-law’s tiara and she has told me that upon Princess Margaretha’s death it was inherited by her eldest son, Prince Georg, who sold it off. The tiara’s current whereabouts are not known – or if it is still in existence at all.


  1. Thank you very much for the information about the present non-ownership of the tiara. Any other corrections of guesses stated in "Juvelerne i det danske kongehus"? At the author is regarded as a guru.

  2. The author draws extensively on the catalogue for a 1960 jewellery exhibition to which among others Queen Ingrid provided information, but he also makes a lot of wild guesses which are presented as facts. My copy of the book is by now filled with corrections and additions and I must say this makes me reluctant to trust the information given in that book unless it is confirmed by another source.

    Another correction may be found at

    Out of the top of my head there is also the lava parure which was supposedly made for Queen Désirée and which belonged to Princess Margaretha at the time of the 1960 exhibition. Bjarne Steen Jensen fills in that her eldest son Prince Georg inherited it and that it was worn by his wife Princess Anne, after whose death he passed it on to his brother Flemming so that Countess Ruth could wear it. Both Princess Anne and Countess Ruth did wear it on rare occasions, but only on loan from their mother-in-law, who already during her own lifetime (I think it might have been in 1973) gave it to her granddaughter, Countess Désirée of Rosenborg, as she was named for the parure's original owner (and, if Queen Ingrid has succeeded in her match-making, might have become a second Queen Désirée of Sweden). And then there are two different opal tiaras mixed up and wrong information about origins and provenance for other pieces.

    (P.S. Please bear in mind that I prefer comments to be signed by a name or alternatively a nick or an initial - it makes it much easier to administrate the comments and to keep various contributors apart).

  3. I am enjoying the history of these jewels. The styling, the various owners, the special occasions on which they are worn, the interesting designs, and the special ways they are adapted and worn, make very compelling reading. The tiaras and parures take on a special aura through their associations with historic women, and their presence at important weddings, coronations and other events.

  4. Yes, not only are many tiaras great (and intricate) works of art, but a fascinating aspect is how their provenances speak of history and are able to tell about the fortunes and misfortunes of the families in whose possession they have been.


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