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April Sparkle: Spain’s Best Diamonds

© Casa de SM el Rey/Estela de Castro

Today, let’s take a look back at some of the Spanish Royal Family’s best diamonds. Spoiler alert: there’s a lot of fleur-de-lys motifs!

Asturias Fleur-de-Lys Tiara

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Queen Letizia received this tiara as a fifth anniversary present from her husband, King Felipe, but didn’t wear it in public until 2015, at Queen Margrethe II’s 75th birthday celebrations. The main piece, a diamond fleur-de-lys, was detachable and worn as a brooch on several occasions, though she never wore the tiara element until then.

The tiara is composed of 450 diamonds and features 10 large pearls set in 18-carat white gold.

Cartier Diamond Loop Tiara

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Queen Victoria Eugenia—popularly known as Queen Ena—owned the Cartier Diamond Loop Tiara, which featured diamonds in a scroll setting that highlighted eight large pearls. The pearls could be swapped out for emeralds, which Queen Ena did from time to time.

After the Spanish royals went into exile in 1931, the tiara disappeared from public view and returned to the main Spanish line when it was either bought or inherited by King Juan Carlos. His wife, Queen Sofía, wore the tiara sparingly and was the only wearer until Infanta Cristina wore it to Crown Princess Victoria’s wedding in 2010.

Prussian Diamond Tiara

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An elaborately-designed diamond tiara with an interesting provenance—it once belonged to Kaiser Wilhelm II’s daughter, Victoria of Prussia, who gave it in turn to her own daughter, Frederica, who married King Paul of Greece, who then gave it to her daughter, Princess Sophia, who later became Queen Sofía of Spain.

Queen Sofía has lent this tiara to both of her daughters, Infanta Cristina and Infanta Elena, and Queen Letizia has worn it as well—she wore it on her wedding day, continuing the tradition.

The Prussian Diamond Tiara is an art deco tiara made of diamonds in a Greek motif, with a large pearl-drop tiara swinging from the centre.

Mellerio Shell Tiara

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One of the more fanciful tiaras in any royal collection, the Mellerio Shell Tiara was made in 1867 for a Spanish royal wedding and features drop pearls and diamonds on a diamond base that resembles shells. The tiara remained in the family and eventually ended up on Queen Sofía at her pre-wedding events in 1962, and became a favourite in the years to come.

Queen Ena’s Fleur-de-Lys Tiara

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Queen Ena received this large diamond fleur-de-lys tiara as a wedding present in 1906. The tiara features three large fleur-de-lys symbols set with large diamonds and platinum. Queen Ena wore it for the rest of her life, but passed it down to the Spanish Royal Family upon her death, where it has been worn by Spanish queens—Sofía and Letizia—ever since.

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.