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The family links of the sparkling tiara worn by Queen Letizia of Spain for her wedding

Before it rested upon Queen Letizia’s head, her wedding tiara once graced the heads of royals from Brunswick and Greece before arriving in Spain.

The Prussian tiara is a stunning work of diamonds and platinum formed into a kokoshnik design. It was created in 1913 by Koch as a wedding gift and features a scroll and meander motif with a central diamond.

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The lucky bride was Princess Viktoria Luise, who received the tiara from her father, Kaiser Wilhelm II, when she married Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick in 1913.

Unfortunately, she would spend less than five years as Duchess of Brunswick, as her husband was forced to abdicate in 1918—along with all of the German royals—and his dukedom was abolished. The couple remained in Hanover, with Ernest Augustus as the head of the House, and they had five children: Ernest Augustus, Georg, Christian, Welf, and Frederike, their only daughter.

In 1936, Prince Paul of Greece proposed to Princess Frederike at the Berlin Olympic Games. It took a year for their engagement to be officially announced, and the couple married on 9 January 1938 in Athens.

The future queen of Greece received a special wedding gift from her mother: the Prussian tiara. In 1947, Paul and Frederike became the King and Queen of Greece. They had three children: Sophia, Constantine, and Irene.

In 1954, Princess Sophia met Infante Juan Carlos of Spain on a cruise organised by her mother (a matchmaker). They met again in 1961 at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Kent and their engagement was announced in September 1961.

Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark married the future king of Spain on 14 May 1962 in three ceremonies: a Roman Catholic ceremony, a Greek Orthodox ceremony, and a civil ceremony.

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Among her wedding gifts: the Prussian tiara. Sophia changed her name to Sofía and moved to Spain with her new husband. In 1975, after decades of living under a dictatorship, King Juan Carlos ascends to the throne and Queen Sofía reigns at his side.

Together, they have three children: Elena, Christina and Felipe. The Prussian tiara becomes a major tiara for the women of the Spanish Royal Family, though neither Elena nor Christina wear it on their wedding days.

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In May 2004, Prince Felipe and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano marry in Madrid, and the future queen of Spain anchors her stunning embroidered veil with the Prussian tiara, a loan from her mother-in-law. In the decades since becoming a member of the royal family, Letizia has frequently worn the Prussian tiara, though it remains property of Queen Sofia.

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.