A whopping big tantrum does not really make you a princess but a priceless tiara does.
The bigger the headgear the more important you are. Traditionally anyway. Many of the modern day crowns and tiaras we see in those glamorous portraits are very old and have been changed many times over the years to suit the wearer and the fashion.
The wearing of such headgear has always been a strong symbol of power and wealth dating back to our earliest records of civilization. Maybe the idea was too simply to make the wearer the tallest in the village or to stand out as the chief. Who knows! Whatever the reason, a crown is a sort after piece and indirectly these have been the cause of quite a few spats over the years.
Crowns and tiaras have been made of anything from vines, clay, leather, cloth, felt and fur as well as the precious metals and gems that we recognise today. Most of these well known pieces spend much of their life in museums, protected by heavy security. The custodian of these pretties doesn’t even get to pop them on from time to time to prance around in front of the mirror.
Here are 20 of the most well-known and fought over pieces.
Crown of Saint Wenceslas
The Crown of Saint Wenceslas was made in 1347 for Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor. At the time, his vast kingdom occupied parts of present day Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Italy and Ukraine. Made with 22 carat gold and decorated with 19 sapphires, 44 spinels, 1 ruby, 30 emeralds and 20 pearls, this screams importance.
The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara
This well known tiara was a wedding present given to Queen Mary in 1893 by the girls of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1947, Elizabeth II received it as a wedding present, which is said to call it “Granny’s tiara”. Queen Elizabeth loves this one and wears it often.
Crown of Christian V, Denmark
The one has a long history. King Fredrick III had this made in 1670 for himself and his son Christian V. The largest sapphire can be traced back to Christian I, King of Denmark, who received it as a gift from the Duke of Milan in 1474.
The Fife Tiara
Princess Louise of Wales received this when she married the Earl of Fife in 1889. It is mounted in gold and set in silver and the largest pear shaped diamonds hang freely inside their diamond arches, quivering and glistening with every movement. Not seen out and about for many years but believed to still be in the Fife family.
Crown of Bavaria, Bavaria
King Maximillian I of Bavaria had this one made for himself. It is famous for the dark Wittelsbach Diamond, which has been sold and stolen many times. A glass replica sits in its place now but the estimated value of the many pearls, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds is at $17 million.