romanian royals

anonymous asked:

Could you please find some tiaras belonging to the Romanian royal family? I am very curious about them. I love your blog, by the way :-)

Thanks, the story of the Romanian jewels like the story of the Romanian royals is a rather sad.  During WWI, the Romanian government decided to send the country’s valuable objects and 120 tons of gold to Russia where it would be safe from the invading Germans.  Unfortunately, Russia was not the best choice because of its impending revolution.  After the Bolsheviks took over the government, they refused to give back the Romanian treasure and Queen Marie’s jewels were most likely dismantled and quietly sold off.  She lost at least three tiaras including these.

Edinburgh Turquoise Tiara

Massin Pearl & Diamond Tiara

Diamond Loop Tiara

After the war, Queen Marie went about replacing her jewel collection with both new and old pieces.  The royals who made it out of Russian after the revolution without being killed needed to sell their valuables to support themselves and their families.  The market was flooded with impressive jewels which meant that they were being sold at prices much less than they were previously worth.  Queen Marie bought quite a few of these cheap but magnificent Russian jewels (as did Queen Mary of the United Kingdom).

Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna’s Diamond Fringe Tiara

Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna’s Sapphire Kokoshnik

Cartier Pearl Tiara (newly made, not a Russian one)

The three above tiaras were all inherited by her daughters (Queen Maria of Yugoslavia, Archduchess Ileana of Austria-Tuscany, and Queen Elisabeth of Greece) and were later sold which is not surprising given the unstable condition in the Balkans during the 20th century.  The only tiara still in the possession of the Romanian Royal Family is Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna’s Meander Tiara, which Queen Marie gave to Princess Helen of Greece when she married her son, King Carol II of Romania.

Also, the Cartier Blackened Steel Tiara may have belonged to Queen Marie or possibly one of her ladies-in-waiting.  I find it hard to believe the Queen Marie (who loved a photo-shoot) owned this beautiful tiara and was never photographed in it.  My best guess is that is belonged to Princess Elisa Ştirbei.


Granddaughters of Queen Victoria who became Queen Consorts 

  • Her Imperial Majesty Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of All Russians (b. Alix of Hesse r. 1894-1917)
  • Her Majesty Queen Maud of Norway (b. Maud of Wales r. 1905-1938)
  • Her Majesty Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain (b Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg r. 1906-1931)
  • Her Majesty Queen Sophia of Greece (b. Sophie of Prussia r. 1913-1917, 1920-1922)
  • Her Majesty Queen Marie of Romania (b. Marie of Edinburgh r. 1914-1927)     
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

A lesser known tiara that once belonged to the Romanian royal family, probably to Queen Marie, now a property of country’s Central Bank. Queen Marie of Romania was the eldest daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. 

The tiara (platinum, diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds,) is exhibited at the National History Museum in Bucharest. The Royal Family had a relatively large holding of jewels and other precious artifacts, most of them unfortunately lost because were stored in Moscow during the WWI and fell into the hands of the subsequent Bolshevik regime.

Queen Marie of Romania wearing the Vladimir Sapphire Kokoshnik Tiara (Cartier, 1909) and her Cartier Sautoir with the Sapphire Pendant, 1920s.


Princess Ileana of Romania, born in January 1909, was the youngest daughter of King Ferdinand I of Romania and his consort Queen Marie of Romania. The princess was once considered to be a potential wife for the last Tsarevich of Russia, Alexei Nikolaevich, and the next possible Empress consort of Russia. Shortly before the First World War in mid-June of 1914, five-year-old Ileana met the nine-year-old Alexei during the Romanov family’s official state visit to Romania. The primary plan for the visit was to try to unite Ileana’s oldest brother Carol to Alexei’s oldest sister Olga for marriage. However, both of the unions were never to be commenced. Olga never liked Carol, who eventually became King Carol II of Romania, and Alexei and his family were murdered just four years later. The princess married an Austrian archduke instead and died in exile as a nun in 1991. 

Photo 1: Princess Ileana of Romania as a young teenager in circa early 1920s. Photo 2 & 3: from left to right, Tsarevich Alexei of Russia, Princess Ileana, and her brother, Prince Nicolae of Romania in June 1914.