anonymous asked:

can you share details about sophie's? Rumor was it's from Prince Philip's mom. Aren't the Halo and Lotus tiaras belong to Linley/Chatto? Rumor has it that it was loaned to kate from them or that it went back to HM. That's why I always thought that the Hoop can be used the same way. I find leaning to that explanation since none of the three said tiaras never made to the auction. I mean it would have been easier to sell the Hoop than the Poltimore, which I suspect would be more meaningful to them.

I’m not sure which of the Countess of Wessex’s tiaras you’re talking about but I’m going to assume you mean the one she wore to the Danish royal wedding in 2004.  Some people thought that the tiara may have been the bottom portion of one of Princess Alice’s tiaras but like I said yesterday it was actually a loan from a jeweller.  Ayvee Eliot from Diana’s Jewels was able to track down Sophie’s tiara (which was originally a necklace) to Kentshire Galleries in New York, where it was on consignment from a London jeweller.

Princess Alice’s tiara was dismantled in 1947 to create Queen Elizabeth II’s engagement ring and the diamond bracelet that was Prince Philip’s wedding gift to his bride.  The bracelet has been loaned to the Duchess of Cambridge.

Neither the Halo or the Lotus tiaras belong to the Snowdons (Linley/Chatto/Armstrong-Jones/whatever you want to call Princess Margaret’s family).  Queen Elizabeth II lent the Halo Scroll Tiara to Princess Margaret a few times before her marriage but it never really got to the point of being a long term loan.  QEII also lent it to Princess Anne when she was young so it’s become a bit of a starter tiara for the royal family.  

How the Lotus Flower Tiara ended up with Queen Elizabeth II and therefore back in the mainline of the royal family is not completely clear.  It could have been a lifetime loan to Princess Margaret with the understanding that it would go back to QEII after Margaret’s death or it could have been Margaret’s personal property and after her death QEII discreetly bought it from her children before the auction of Margaret’s jewels.  Either way QEII now owns it and it is not being loaned from the Snowdons to Kate.

Although the  Teck Hoop Necklace Tiara was not a iconic Princess Margaret piece like the Poltimore Tiara, it has a much longer royal history which in my opinion makes it more meaningful to keep.  I can’t imagine any situation where the Snowdons would loan jewellery to Catherine or Prince Harry’s future wife when it would be much easier for QEII to lend them pieces from her own huge jewellery collection.

Prince Louis of Hesse and by Rhine, his wife Princess Alice, children: Princesses Victoria, Elisabeth and Irene and Prince Ernest Louis, visiting Prince Louis’ family, 1860s.

The British royal family at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. 1953.

Group includes: Princess Alexandra of Kent, Prince Michael of Kent, Princess Marina (Duchess of Kent), Prince Henry (Duke of Gloucester), Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Prince Edward of Kent, Princess Mary (Countess of Harewood), Prince William of Gloucester, Prince Richard of Gloucester and Princess Alice (Duchess of Gloucester). 

Wearing her father’s necklace and looking radiant, Elizabeth made her entrance into the ancient abbey in a dress that had taken 3,000 clothes coupons and bore 10,000 pearls. Some 2,000 guests were waiting, among them one of the largest gatherings of royalty since the time of Queen Victoria. All eyes were on the silk-clad figure as she walked down the long nave. There was an awareness that history was being made; all the ritual of a royal wedding in this building so alive with past spectacle. Princess Marina, who had helped to facilitate the match with private meetings at Coppins between her young cousin, Prince Philip, and her niece, Princess Elizabeth, was delighted. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were waiting in some trepidation as Prince William was to hold the long train of her dress as a page. From across Europe they came drawn to this great royal reunion, like times of old. Many were direct descendants of Queen Victoria, such as King Michael of Romania, Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain and Queen Ingrid of Sweden; others were related by marriage, such as Uncle Charles.

The wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip

Princes At War by Deborah Cadbury


Among the numerous offspring of Queen Victoria perhaps no other suffered as tragic a fate as two of her granddaughters Princesses Elisabeth (*1864) and Alix (*1872), children of Princess Alice of the United Kingdom and Grand Duke Ludwig IV of Hesse. Blue-eyed and golden-haired, they were both undisputed beauties of the family with loving and happy dispositions, however the untimely death of their mother in 1878 signalled both change in the course of their lives and introduced solemnity and melancholy into the character of the younger sister. Virtually adopted by Queen Victoria, Ella and Alicky were to play major roles in political and human disaster of Europe in years to come. When Ella married Grand Duke Sergei of Russia in 1884, in spite of loud opposition from her formidable grandmother, she unknowingly set in motion a chain of seemingly minor events that eventually led to her younger sister to fall in love and marry Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich in 1894, again to great disaproval of the English monarch.

Grand Duchess Elizaveta Fyodorovna and Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, as they were now styled, found little happiness in their exalted positions. The patronizing manners and difficult personality of Grand Duke Sergei, as well as the couple´s childlessness, made Ella´s life complicated. Still in her devotion she further suffered when her husband was killed by a revolutionary bomb in 1905. Meanwhile the painfully shy Alix suffered through the unavoidable social events and faced growing unpopularity, mainly because she failed to give Russia a male heir for first ten years of her marriage. When her son Alexei was finally born in 1904, it was soon apparent he was a victim of hemophilia. His mother never knew a moment´s peace since that day.

In the growing dark of political and social struggle Russia was going through, the two German Princesses found comfort in embracing their new country and particularly its faith, both becoming devout Orthodox Christians. Free of her marital status, Ella became a nun and dedicated her life to care of the poor and sick. When the Great War errupted in 1914, Alix found new purpose in personally caring for the injured, and organizing sanitary trains, hospitals, orphanages and other helpful institutions. Her own inexperience in political field, unfortunately, led to further deterioration of order in an already unstable government, adding the proverbial straw that ultimately broke the camel´s back.

After the revolution both sisters were arrested and held prisoner for several long months, with other members of the Romanov family, and together with them they were brutally massacred. In early morning hours of 17th July 1918 Alix and her family met their end in hail of bullets, a mere day later Ella and several Romanov Princes were thrown into an abandoned mineshaft, followed by grenades.

1862. Another photograph of mourning for Prince Albert… this time pictured, from left to right are: Princess Alice (later, Grand Duchess of Hesse), Princess Louise (later, Duchess of Argyll), Princess Beatrice, the Princess Royal Victoria (later and shortly, German Empress) and Princess Helena of the United Kingdom. 


10 Granddaughters of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert:

Sophia of Prussia, Queen of Greece

Maud of Wales, Queen of Norway

Victoria of Hesse, Marchioness of Milford Haven

Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Infanta of Spain

Marie Louise, Princess of Schleswig-Holstein

Margaret of Connaught, Crown Princess of Sweden

Alice of Albany, Countess of Athlone

Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, Queen of Spain

Alix of Hesse, Tsarina of Russia

Victoria, Princess of the United Kingdom

Princess Alix, the last Empress of Russia, was the sixth child and fourth daughter of Grand Duke Ludwig of Hesse and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom. Born in 1872, she was a “merry little person” and soon earned a nickname “Sunny”. In the above photo she was about four years old and yet unaware that within two years her life would be shattered to the core with death of her mother and closest sister. Her joyful character would turn serious and eventually she would grow up to be melancholic and deeply introverted individual.