the 2014 Triaranon Awards!

Awkwards–we mean awards season is almost behind us kids! The Globes, Baftas, Westminster Dog show and even the *shudder* SAG Awards can’t hold a candle to that single, opulent gala by which all other award shows are benchmarked: the Triaranons ®  [Get it? Tiaras and Trianon. It’s as if our blog were a celebrity couple. Ha! I kill me.]

Burmese Graff Ruby

many believed the Burmese Graff Ruby was a lock for “best in auction.” It’s an honor just to be nominated, right?

Seriously, how the hell else is your Blog Hostess supposed to salute the past 12 months besides continuing to date her signed correspondence with 2014? The Triaranons® never have wrap-it-up music, mortifying teleprompter banter or dance numbers that somehow interpret Silence of the Lambs. [You can thank us later.]

So as we slide a freshly-manicured nail under the seal of our first gold-leaf envelope, grab a [hopefully alcoholic] beverage and kick back. Our first category is “Best in Auction.”

best in auction

The Triaranon® in our first category goes to the Blue Belle of Asia at Christie’s Geneva, November 11, 2014! *ah, the applause of muted jealousy.*

This past November the famed auction house set a world record for a sapphire sale price with the legendary Blue Belle of Asia coming to the block.

blue belle of asia sapphire

take a long, breathless look at the close-up on the left. The depth of color and the facets of the Blue Belle. Good lord, what girl doesn’t dream of a Ceylon like that?

Delivering a riveting performance, the Blue Belle of Asia set a new world record for most shekels spent for a sapphire. The azure gem sold for $17.3 million, or $44,063 per carat if you buy your gems in bulk. Playing the soul-plumbing role of a cushion-shape sapphire weighing in at 392.52 carats, Blue was just a down-on-her-luck, lonely stone from the streets of Pelmadula, Ratnapura in Ceylon. For 88 years, the Blue Belle was separated from her family. Christie’s lot notes tells the arduous journey from Ceylon in 1926 to her kidnapping by a private collector and finally her return to the public eye.

three largest sapphires

[L to R] Blue Giant of the Orient, Logan Sapphire and the Queen of Romania’s Sapphire.

“From the very short list of faceted sapphires, one has always remained a mystery. After the ‘Blue Giant of the Orient’ (486.52 carats), the ‘Queen of Romania’s Sapphire’ (478.68 ct.) and the ‘Logan Sapphire’ (423 carats, comes the Blue Belle of Asia, a legendary sapphire of history of which has been kept secret for a long time.”

best in wes anderson inspiration/marie antoinette biography

stefan zweig


Yes! The second category is self-explanatory but we bet you’re still surprised. The same author whose novels inspired “The Grand Budapest Hotel” in 1932 wrote what was the definitive Marie Antoinette biography until Evelyne Lever penned hers in 2000. Zweig’s biography was the direct I nspiration for the 1938 Norma Shearer ‘Toinette flick. [Which we bashfully admit we haven’t seen. Why is it only available for purchase? Who are we? Phillippa Gregory?]

Wes Anderson admits that he’d only heard of Zweig “six or seven years ago” when he zweig grand budapest hotelpurchased a copy of Beware of Pity “more or less by chance.” The Post Office Girl, actually printed for the first time recently, was Anderson’s next Zweig zu-zu. The filmmaker  confesses that the movie has elements that were “sort of stolen” from both the Post Office Girl and Beware of Pity. It wasn’t just the prose that served as muse. Wes explains:

Two characters in our story are vaguely meant to represent Zweig himself — our “Author” character, played by Tom Wilkinson, and the theoretically fictionalised version of himself, played by Jude Law. But, in fact, M. Gustave, the main character who is played by Ralph Fiennes, is modelled significantly on Zweig as well.

Further reading led Anderson to one astute observation, one that thematically ties Zweig’s novels and short stories to the life of Marie Antoinette. Says the filmmaker,

So much of his work is written from the point of view of someone who’s quite innocent and is entering into kind of darker territories,

Sounds like our M@, doesn’t it? Guess that explains the 1932 biography in which Antoine traverses deepest forests of Europe only to end up “Antoinette” in the darkest land of all: court at Versailles.

marie antoinette film carriage ridge scene

best in royal memoirs, biography

memoirs of maria and AnastasiaMARIA and ANASTASIA: The Youngest Romanov Grand Duchesses In Their Own Words: Letters, Diaries, Postcards. (The Russian Imperial Family: In Their Own Words) (Volume 2)A wonderful collection of the young Grand Duchesses’ first-hand accounts of the Russian Revolution, told through their private journals, correspondences and postcards. Technically, we cheated on this one. It was published January 2015.

the romanov sisters book

The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra

Helen Rapport received high kudos for this biography, not her first on the Romanovs, but this tome, released in July, spent 12 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. Pardon us whilst we attempt to keep our envy in check.] Nope. Not working. Small wonder Helen’s fine biography snatched up the Triaranon® statuette this year!

Lifetime Achievement

duchess of alba in the pearl wedding tiara at the imperial ball in new york2

it’s petty, but we all know it came down to Fabiola or the Duchess of Alba. Sadly, though Fabulous-Fabiola’s tiara is a transformer, Cayetana’s Diamond-and-Pearl Megatron originally belonged to Eugenie de Montijo, Empress of France and Napoleon III’s wife. [The 13th Duchess of Alba was the Empress’ sister, thus the gift.] Plus…ol’ Cayetana came in a gif. Who doesn’t love that?

Dig how haughtily she picks at her white mink. That comes from centuries of breeding. The whole Fitz-James clan is descended from a king’s bastard son, you know. So they’re better duchess of alba in the pearl wedding tiara at the imperial ball in new yorkthan us.

Yes, yes, we’re speaking out of jealousy. Sure, the tiara’s not Bernadotte, but hell, we’ll take it…grudgingly.

Thank God beehives were all the rage back then? Remember what la Duquesa’s daughter looked like on her wedding day?

The tiara wore her.

Reader’s Choice Awards!

Yes, we might be just a bit full of ourselves but your Blog Hostess 
knows it would be pure folly to select the winners of the last two 
categories on her own.

Best in Ball Gown or Formal-wear

Seriously? In case you just got here, your Blog Hostess is about gemstones and make-up. Sometimes purses because you don’t have to try them on. We are at a total loss when it comes to the sartorial arts or millinery. [We’ll take a parasol over a hat any day.]

So for the love of God, this is where you take over! We need your nominations for best gown–and royal wearing it duh–for 2014. If you cannot insert the image into the comment box, please tweet it to us at @dauphiine or email at


Best Tiara Moment 2014

We all know I’m biased. I even switched to first person to underscore the fact. It’s a poorly-kept secret that I adore Princesses Victoria and Madeliene and would relinquish a kidney to simply breathe on the Bernadotte collection for 45 seconds. [Don’t even ask what I’d do to wear one of those Leuchtenberg numbers. See. You’re blushing already.]

2014 nobel prizes victoria tiara

So I admit my bias. Victoria and Madeliene perennially claim the Triaranon in this category…then again. Deny this ensemble! We believe the Crown Princess of Sweden can take both aforementioned categories! The Pär Engsheden red ball gown is gala-grandiose. Rumor has it the skirts’ gravitas made a futon appear easily maneuverable.  Vicky’s rocking that hair clip–shall we call it?–and a few other family antique pieces to compliment the Baden Fringe Tiara. 

Remember when we said every royal family has at least one? Well, Princess Madeliene showed in the Modern Fringe Tiara garnished with pieces from the Leuchtenberg Amethyst Parure.

Come on kids, who should be nominated for the 2014 Triaranon® honor-of-honors? 

Best in Tiara & Best in Ball Gowns? Input, ¡por favor!

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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10 Responses to the 2014 Triaranon Awards!

  1. Angelyn says:

    I was lazy and went over to Order of Splendor’s review of 2014. Queen Maxima at her brother’s wedding–gorgeous! No tiara, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Perseverance says:

    Best tiara & gown goes to CP Victoria at the Nobel Prize Awards Ceremony. 🙂 However, I prefer the tiara Princess Madeleine wore and the the gown she wore to the NP dinner after the ceremony matched the tiara best. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cindy knoke says:

    The Romanov Sisters was such a good book. I read it in St. Petersburg. I think Victoria rocks her rocks the best~

    Liked by 1 person

    • I LOVE it, Cindy! A second vote for the Rom Sisters…it also proves I’m not losing my marbles. I didn’t love the huge cross CP Vicky was rocking ’til I found out it was originally Victoria’s…love big bling but it seemed kinda early 90s to me for some reason 🙂


  4. Lady M says:

    Wonderful post! I am a sucker for sapphires and Blue Belle, knocked my socks off! I included The Romanov Sisters book in my previous Pre-Reads post. The reviews for the biography were ridiculously high. Fabiola’s tiara is simply jaw-dropping and I recall previously reading about it here with the same reaction. As for the modern tiaras, I prefer Princess Madelene’s fringe. It comes across more lady-like, while Vicky’s is more bad-ass and screams power. At least, that’s my opinion. In slightly random news, I just recently found out for the longest time tiaras were only allowed to be worn by married women all childhood princess dreams shattered

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read that same fact not so long ago! I guess a “girl’s” first tiara would be that of her wedding, making it a woman’s first tiara as well. (?!) Also makes me feel better about this birthday just past…not getting older, just closer to needing that tiara. Not bad. I too am a sucker for sapphires…unfortunately there aren’t too many out there.


  5. aubrey says:

    No one should wear a tiara unless they have a beehive arrangement or some similar architectural arrangement to help anchor it down. Is there not a decorative law stating this?

    The young girls with their free-flowing tresses should wear circlets of flowers or something…


it's not just a love-affair with my own voice

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