tiara time investigates! the Laula Ruby Diadem

Today’s tiara is so esoteric we’ve created a Tiara Time! spin-off: Tiara Time Investigates! This one’s even more obscure than the Rosenborg Kokoshnik that took us forever to trace. So there we were, putzing around on some forum or another and came across this visual tidbit from the wedding of the Marques’ de Laula’s youngest daughter.

   delia de moreno y borbon wedding Naturally the fact that Delia Moreno y de Borbón decided to play carnival ring-toss with her

Marchioness de Laula Ruby Tiara

Nobody could fix the bunched up veil and askew tiara? Oh Delia…

family tiara on her wedding day stuck with us. Upon closer investigation, it would appear being the daughter of King Juan Carlos’ first cousin doesn’t guarantee the tiara will be straight. Well, it’s her own folly, putting a tiara where you can’t possibly see it. In order to follow the usual Tiara Time ettiquette the first question We must tackle is who is the heck is Delia Moreno de Borbón and what her deal is. Brace yourselves, it gets more esoteric..

Delia is the youngest daughter of the 12th Marques de Laula, Inigo Moreno Y Arteaga, a (I’m not sure of what degree) cousin of King Juan Carlos of Spain. Her mother Teresa de Borbón is a first cousin of Juan Carlos, daughter of Infanta Alicia and a Bourbon princess of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. What the hell does this mean? The marques and marchioness of Laula are 2nd cousins. To work it out the family tree in detail is both exhausting and confusing so suffice it to say the three are related closely and trés royal.

Iñigo verus Iñigo: Family Gets Ugly

Another interesting fact is that at the time of these weddings Iñigo Moreno was the 12th Marques of Laula but he isn’t any more. He held the title for 49 years until his cousin Iñigo de Arteaga y Martín went through some legal bru-ha-ha to take the title of Laula away from Iñigo Moreno and give it to his youngest daughter, Carla. In 2010, Iñigo Arteaga won. The title was given to Carla on the basis that Carla’s great-grandfather had resurrected the title by purchase in 1913. Carla is now the current Marchioness of Laula. Iñigo Moreno was given the title Marques de —- by Juan Carlos to make up for the loss.

Digging for Tiara Backstory

matching ruby and diamond satoir necklace marques de laulaIt would appear that the tiara is part of a parure(right) including earrings, a bracelet, an impressive sautoir, and what appears to be a hair-clip. Athough I found not a single photo of the entire ensemble being worn together. The set is always referred to as belonging to the 12th Marchioness of Laula, aka Teresa de Borbón…thus provoking the thought that perhaps the tiara came from Italy along with the princess. There is no photographic evidence to prove it as even the wedding pictures of Teresa and Iñigo are inconclusive.marques of laula wedding 1962 Teresa de Borbón-Sicilia, looking heartbreakingly adorable, at the far left, while she and the new husband exchange pleasantries with a young Juan Carlos–then a pretender, a gypsy-king if you will. (This was in 1961.) Either way the bride doesn’t appear to be wearing the diamond and ruby diadem, cBeatriz Moreno de Borbon in the Laula Tiaraconversely she’s got a ton of tulle goin’ on there. Then again, her daughter Beatríz de Moreno y Borbón (bottom right) wore her mother’s entire ensemble and, yes, she did have the diadem under that pyramid of a veil. Check formal portrait, right. Doesn’t it look too old-timey for a wedding that took place in 1995? I dug around but could not find a photo of older sister Alicia’s wedding to José Luís Hernandez. (June 30, 1994. Hmmm, I wonder if Hola! magazine has archives. Surely it would be in there.)

The Plot Thickens and We Begin to Split Hairs on Nomenclature

inés di borbon-sicilie in the laula tiaraThe other photo I found of the ruby diadem being worn as it should dates from May 14, 1961: Juan Carlos’ wedding to Sophía of Greece in Athens. Snapped en route to the prenuptial gala we spot the Marchioness’ sister, Inéz de Borbón wearing the tiara. Since the future king’s wedding took place one month after that of cousin Teresa, can we conclude she did not own the tiara prior to the wedding? It seems unlikely to be a wedding gift. Who would loan out an off-the-line tiara, 32 days after receiving it? That means it was property of the Marquesate of Laula and loaned to Inés or always property of the Bourbon-Sicilies and Teresa somehow became the permanent owner. Not to mention that it doesn’t look like the same tiara though it could be the sautoir. Arghhh…further sleuthing! This is the most difficult diadem we’ve ever discussed! The worst part is, internet sleuthing is never a fact! That tiara is labeled as the Laula Diadem! So who are we to believe? The Internet or our own eyes when it comes to judging a blurry picture from the early sixties?

Back to the concrete, in-focus facts. The marchioness of Laula has been photographed wearing the sautoir and other accoutrements on a much more frequent and recent basis. And once–only once–wearing it as intended: atop her head! First we have Terese di Borbon wearing the diadem as a necklace and the matching earrings at Infanta Elena’s wedding in 1995. Both she and her daughter Clara (back left.) are trussed in the traditional lace peinetas.

marchioness of laula at infanta elena's weddingYes, it’s blurry because it’s frozen from video. She also wore the tiara this way for her 25th Wedding Anniversary, as pictured below in both a delightful candid–chatting with her cousin, the King of Spain–and a mortifying reminder of fashions’-past–a formal with her husband and unfortunately-coiffed daughter Alicia.

marchioness of laula at 25th wedding anniversaryhow drunk is that lady behind the marquesa de laula? Heee.

marchioness laula in satoir at beatriz wedding Marquesa de Laula at Asturias wedding While daughter Beatriz wore the Laula Tiara in 1995, mom opted to wear the sautoir, earrings, bracelet and pinky ring!

Ironically the one time we see the marchioness wearing the tiara as a tiara she wasn’t supposed to be wearing one! She was the only guest at the Prince of Asturias’ wedding to show up in a tiara. Apparently she didn’t get the memo and was the target of some derision.  ¡Hola, faux pas!

Now what I can’t get my head around is the mania the Laula gals have for not wearing the tiara the way it was intended. Does it cause migaines? Does the setting tend to yank out your hair? Is there a reason for it and if so, I’d love your input!

What do you think? Why won’t they wear the tiara as God intended?

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About ♔ la dauphiine ♔

Connecticut-based jewelry monger, history buff, Mets fan. On the hum-drum side, call me a lauded poet, novelist and ghost-writer. (That's right, I haunt prose.)
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18 Responses to tiara time investigates! the Laula Ruby Diadem

  1. cindy knoke says:

    Ohhh this is the prettiest one yet…..me thinks!

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  2. I don’t recall how I originally found your site but all is interesting, especially as I know almost nothing of the Spanish and Italian royals, semi-royals and aristos. It is good to see the bijous worn differently. I did inherit an Edwardian court necklace…. but not the tiara frame so it could be worn that way. They can be uncomfortable even when carefully padded but there’s a ball in NYC that I would love to have a tiara for if I weren’t too old and ill, really, to attend. What I am interested in — and perhaps your readership can help — is to locate the antecedents of a boarding school friend from the 1950’s. Her mother, Emmaline Bertha Toscani, was thought to have been one of the myriad grand–duchesses of Tuscany. Her mother was Emma. Emmaline was very beautiful and married really quite well in the NJ USA low-key way(See Prominent Familes of NJ, 1919). In our part of the country you can knock on the door and be met by the maid or the chatelaine and not be able, sometimes, to tell the difference. Her second husband was John Stinson Young; first was Egbert Hadsell Curtis of LA.. I am most interested — although my friend is the daughter and grand-daughter of the Tuscany’s who married Peter Edward John von Groot III in the Bahamas in 1969 , and is said to have died — in the relations across the pond. All data welcome. By the way the French word your spell-check has changed is “sautoir.” abbb

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    • Isn’t that how I spelled it? I already fixed that gaffe once today!

      Wow. That’s a complicated task! I don’t know that much about the Tuscan royal family outside the fact that Marie Antoinette’s brother ruled there in the late 18th century.

      Thanks for commenting and I’ll take a look into that.

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  3. I love your Tiara Time Investigative posts! So many wonderful details, Nancy Drew. Favorite line: “Nobody could fix the bunched up veil and askew tiara? Oh Delia…” There were others, of course. Who wore it best? Hands-down, it was Beatríz de Moreno y Borbón. Truth be bold: Tiaras should not be worn as necklaces. There, I’ve said it. I also don’t understand why it was worn with red and dusty pink-colored dresses. Clash. Clash. Gorgeous set! T. (Enjoy your week!)

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  4. Angelyn says:

    Oh, Delia’s made a mess of that tiara. really–what was she thinking?

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  5. aubrey says:

    Delia, such naughtiness! Were you in a hurry? Did you misplace the second of the 2 or 3 mirrors necessary to insure perfect tiara placement? Were you in any way unsure? Next time stop by Aubrey’s home and I will assist you, and gladly.

    And then I’ll hold onto it until you need to wear it again.

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  6. Pingback: just a little more of the Alba Diamond and Pearl Tiara | tiaras and trianon

  7. Pingback: tiara time! our favorite tiaras (for the moment) | tiaras and trianon

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