Our Tale of the Pearl Poiré Tiara will remind you of the Leuchtenberg Sapphire Parure, Joséphine’s Emerald Parure and the Emerald Laurel Wreath Tiara as it’s travels across Europe from royal family to royal family span a century or two. Just a look at it will recall the other Gothic Revival tiaras of the 19th Century like the Grand Duchess Vladimir, the Lovers’ Knot, the Cambridge Lovers’ Knot and even the Cartier Pearl Drop Tiara, just to name a few.
In 1825, King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia commissioned the Pearl Poiré from a Berlin jeweller as a wedding gift for his daughter Louise who was betrothed to Prince Frederik [note the difference in spelling!] of the Netherlands.The 18 poiré [teardrop] pearls dangling from a diamond archway frame certainly recalls the aforementioned tiaras but we’re guessing that was the jeweller’s choice as it was trendy, not the king’s. Friedrich was quite pleased with the final product because he commissioned a second for his son’s betrothed, Princess Marianne of the Netherlands. The Dutch Princess and Prince Albrecht of Prussia tied the knot in 1830 but the existence of the Albrecht Wedding Tiara [yeah, let’s call it that] is AWOL. The first clue being that Prince Albrecht and Princess Marianne divorced in 1849. Smells like it’s time for a “Tiaras and Trianon Investigates!” Wouldn’t it be fun if we tracked it down?!
Back to the Pearl Poiré
Princess Louise (below, far left) bequeathed the tiara to her eldest daughter, also Louise , who became Queen of Sweden and Norway by marriage to Charles XV of Sweden & IV of Norway. [Alas, the burden of being a ruling two countries, you get two numeral epithets.]Queen Louise died in 1871 shortly after inheriting the Pearl Poiré from her mother in 1870 and it was ceded to yet another daughter Louise. [Suddenly, I understand my mother’s staunch opinion that ‘children should have their own names.’] “Louise III” married Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark in 1869 and now we know how a Prussian tiara found its home in Rosenborg Castle. Once Frederik was King Frederik VIII, Queen Louise paired the Pearl Poiré appropriately with a few other pearl and diamond numbers: an earrings-and-necklace demi-parure wedding gift from the Khedive of Egypt. [Look again at the “Louise III” pic. Yeah. That’s a nice necklace-earrings combo. Also check Alexandrine sporting the same combo, stage right!] That guy sure was a helluva gifter! He also facilitated the Danish Royal Family with the Khedive of Egypt tiara. Nice of them to name it after such a generous fellow. Queen Louise also paired these with a brooch once belonging to her grandmother. The four pieces were worn together so frequently they became a potluck parure–wish I had something better there–which is still worn today.
When Queen Louise passed on in 1926, she left her potluck pearl parure to the Danish Royal Property Trust, ensuring the travel-weary tiara will never leave Denmark again. Like the Emerald Parure, it will be passed from monarch to monarch and cannot be sold or auctioned.
Since then it has been worn by Louise’s daughter-in-law Queen Alexandrine [anyone else enjoying the rhyme?] then Alexandrine’s daughter-in-law Queen Ingrid and finally Ingrid’s daughter Queen Margrethe II.The Pearl Poiré Tiara has more in common with the Leuchtenberg Sapphire Parure, the and the Emerald Parure of Norway besides a grand European voyage. It is typically reserved for the Queen of Denmark and only worn for the most important events. The New Years Court Gala and her husband’s birthday come to mind.
My personal favorite event being Queen Margrethe’s Ruby Jubilee, [above] one of the first Tiara Time posts we ever did here! Naturally, the queen has worn it for other events, such as Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 and Crown Princess Victoria’s wedding in 2010. The first was an interesting break in tradition for two reasons. Margrethe was still crown princess at the time and according to the official Danish Crown Jewel website “by custom, the crown jewels remain in Denmark, which means that the Queen cannot use them during visits to other countries.” MALARKEY! We have at least three examples of this particular tiara leaving Denmark and it’s one of the most historically significant. This now leads us to believe that this is not the official website, maybe just official-looking. Or maybe their English ain’t so hot.
Similarly, rumor has it, but no photo has confirmed that still-Crown Princess Ingrid wore the Pearl Poiré Tiara to George VI’s coronation in England in 1937.