Do you guys remember the new tiara Crown Princess Mary debuted at the 2016 Art and Culture gala on March 15? Well more information has been found about Mary’s new tiara.
Per the Style of Mary blog, the tiara was sold at a Bruun Rasmussen auction back in 2012 as a jewelry set of necklace and matching earrings. Reportedly, Mary purchased the set herself.
The ring is not part of the set.
According to the catalog entry, the tiara and earrings date from 1900-1910 and feature “numerous rose and old mine-cut diamonds, circular-cut rubies and spinels” and is “mounted in 14k gold and silver”. The necklace was originally used as a tiara, and one stone is missing. The set was priced at DKK 30,000-40,000.
Mary debuted the necklace and earrings on April 8, 2015 at a gala dinner for Queen Margrethe’s 75th birthday.
Then Mary debuted the tiara, and rewore the earrings, at the 2016 Art and Culture gala on March 15, 2016.
This is fun. We so rarely get new tiaras these days (though Princess Sofia got a new tiara when she married Prince Carl Philip) so it’s fun to see a new tiara debut. I’m glad Mary has another tiara to use that is more of an all-purpose tiara and can work better with more colors than her ruby tiara and is larger than her wedding tiara (which I don’t like). I hope she wears it many more times in the future.
115 thoughts on “Crown Princess Mary’s Diamond and Ruby Necklace Tiara”
What a beautiful lady. Just love the look She gets it right every time.
She is a real asset to her adopted country, and they in turn must be very proud of her. Diligently working away, out there making a real difference, and getting results.
Had the pleasure of meeting her amongst the crowd in my home town of Sydney on her last visit and she is as delightful as she appears.
+1000 love Mary, her style & work ethic. Definitely an asset to Denmark, she’ll make a great Queen consort in the future.
Agree with you.
I am very pleased with my future Queen (Consort). I have read, but can confirm, that she has tried to model herself on the late Queen Ingrid, which is an excellent choice for a role model.
I’ll return with an indepth evaluation of the new convertible tiara.
I can’t wait, ArtHistorian.
How is her Danish? (Pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, style, …) I’d be very interested to know.
Her Danish is fine though she tends to sound a bit stilted. I think that is because the phonetics is very difficult to master for non native speakers. The Norwegians has a teasing saying that Danes speak like they have potatoes in their mouths.
Henrik, Mary and Marie all have noticable accents. The former Princess Alexandra was the expection but she was already multi-lingual and, I suspect, one of those people who has an ear for languages and that cannot really be learnt.
An ear for languages is ideal. I’ve had to work hard having not that skill. Hats off to anyone that takes on another laguage and extra Kudos to those who take on a tough accent.
I can’t roll my Rs. Some can naturally. It’s like that.
I found her Danish to be quite impressive, and even more impressive if you think that she only learned this when she entered the royal family.
Just watched a recent video of her giving speech:
I speak some Norwegian but I still found Danish language to be very hard to understand, feels a bit like Irish accent to English language (I hope this does not offend you Arthistorian). The written language is easy to understand if you know Swedish or Norwegian, but listening takes time to get used to. So I really applaud her for being able to master it to this point. But interesting that I can actually catch her pronunciation quite well. It is crystal clear to my ears.
I like her way of giving speech too. Eye contact, well prepared, very well done.
Completely agree as well. She is a lovely woman who works hard and has excellent taste in jewels. I admire her.
Another Aussie on here and from Sydney too. Woohoo Sophia
Hello Tanya S,
So nice to know another Aussie is on the same page. Hope to read some more of your posts soon Tanya, and lovely to share. !!!!!
Oh you are a sweetie Sophia, I look forward to reading more of your posts too
It must have been really fun to meet her. Can you give more info? For instance, my next door neighbor is an attorney and an elected official. Because of this she is sometimes on TV. Her facial features are more delicate in person.
I love the vintage new tiara/necklace set. I wonder if the base will be altered. It has the same connection with the flag colors of Denmark as her other set, except it is far more neutral. It will go with so many of her magical gowns.
I too really like the vintage feel of this piece. As a necklace it looks formidable. As a tiara it is a delicate and moderate one that suits most occasions.
I think Mary has a very good taste and her make up is beautiful.
Because I’ve no idea about her spending habits, I can’t comment on that. I only know she’s supposed to be thrifty.
Thank you KMR for this fun post.
Yes, I looked upon it as being privileged to meet her. I had taken my daughter into the city for a Doctors Appointment and word spread around the waiting room of the Crown couples’ imminent arrival,we had time to spare afterwards and so we legged it up to the Opera House. It was just luck.
It was at the 40th Anniversary of the Opera House Oct 24, 2013. (I hope my memory is still functional!)
CPM had a blue type floral dress on the day, which was a very flattering length, not too short, or too long. We shook her hand and said hello as did she but that was all, there were so many people and she was trying to acknowledge as many people as she could.
My observation of her was one of a lovely, down to earth lady, but at the same time just oozed total class . She had real warmth in her eyes, and a knockout smile, she seemed genuine.
Her skin was immaculate. She is naturally beautiful. On that day she was impeccably groomed from head to toe.
We Australians are very proud of what CPM has achieved and how she handles herself and her family, always graceful with the public when with her family, access to photographing her and her family is always done with a minimum of ease and no fuss is made of it, it is just done and then everyone moves on. She always carries herself with dignity and class. Now that is something you cannot buy. You either have it or you don’t.
Her royal engagements speak for themselves. She is the consummate professional, has done the groundwork and what she works at, packs a powerful punch. I think she has real passion for what she does. You only have to look at how she prepared herself for her role as CP.
A hardworking Princess and a genuine, lovely woman. Denmark is very lucky to have her.
P.S Just love this Blog. Thank you very much KMR, for an excellent Blog and all the hard work that goes with it, your coverage is fantastic,. I especially love how you incorporate the other royal houses throughout Europe.
Thanks, Sophia. Wow! I always admired her, but now I think even more of Mary. What nice memories of the day.
Mary has always been one of my top 3 royals (Maxima and Victoria round it out), so it’s nice to hear stories like that about her. Thanks for sharing, Sophia Pitt
Your welcome Ray, look forward to reading your future posts Ray.
I wish that I’ll be able to see the Sydney Opera House before I die. Jørn Utzon was a master architect. I once worked in an office associated with the Royal danish academy of the Arts and there was a funny geometric drawing put up on a board. When I loved closer it turned out to be a preliminary sketch of the white “sails” of the Sydney Opera House from Utzon’s hand!
ArtHistorian, Yes that would be something to put on your list of things to do, if you were at all able. It is truly breathtaking.
The first glimpse of the Opera House when you are travelling over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, is one of sheer bliss. Words cannot describe. Of course the backdrop is beautiful, the lovely harbour and surrounds. I can remember watching our local news many years ago now, The Prince and Princess of Wales visiting the Opera House in 1983 (hope my memory has not failed me!) to a absolutely huge crowd awaited them that day.
How amazing is that to see a sketch of the white sails, that is terrific!
I agree Sophia the sight of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge is Magnificent. I used to travel to the city by train and every single morning when we pulled into Circular Quay Station, every head automatically turned towards the Bridge and the Opera House. With the Blue sky as a backdrop and the sparkling harbour with the ferry’s on it, it was a magical way to start the day.
PS Sophia, your memory did not fail you my dear, it was in 1983.
How cool that you got to meet her and that she was as nice as you imagined and expected.
That’s a beautiful piece of jewelry!
Thanks for the information KMR 🙂
I really needed a jewel post… This is lovely. And Mary’s light shines through. She’s beautiful.
mary and leitizia have very beautiful complexion, they are obviously taking very good care of themselves, hardworking, wives, and mothers, yes kate it can be done, no more excuses!!!!
Amazing what good skin care and beautiful make up can do. There may be some added help but either way she looks natural and lovely. Kate really needs to invest in lip glosso and new eye shadow colors. New alert, the smokey eye is not necessary every single time you are in public. Major pet peeve!
And a liberal dose of photoshop.
Mary is a 40-something sun worshipper and her skin shows it. This doesn’t impact her ability to do the job, but the excessive photoshop is annoying. The official photos and press shots of Mary are usually as photoshopped as Kate Middleton’s are.
I think she is beautiful.
I’m not saying I think she she isn’t (or is) beautiful. I’m commenting on how annoying I find the extreme photoshop of her to be. It starts with the royal house PR group and continues with the media and fans.
See her how she really is, rather than a blurred and airbrushed cartoon version of her. The same thing happens with Kate Middleton all the time, but somehow people accept the photoshop of Mary and some pretend it isn’t happening.
I only notice the photoshop issue when it is pointed out to me. I am about her age and was blessed with great skin so for all I know it is her true face. I would have guessed botox before photoshop.
I just like how she carries herself and the bit that I know about her work, so I think she is lovely.
For those who wait the birth of the baby of Sofia and Carl Philip : Sofia visited an hospital yesterday
As part of an engagement or personally?? I can hardly wait!!
An engagement (she is not admitted yet, sorry for the deception) :
look here http://swedishmonarchy.tumblr.com/
I find her beautiful, good with a ponytail.
Another link if you are interested : http://princesssofiamafia.tumblr.com/post/142065631824/princess-sofia-visited-sophiahemmet-hospital
Sofia looked beautiful with that pregnancy glow.
Yippee, a tiara post!!! And a new one at that!!!! This tiara/necklace looks great on Mary in either form. My only nitpick, is seeing the frame when it’s being worn as a tiara and I do wish it sat up straighter instead of leaning back.
Yes,even with tiaras I like to see good posture 🙂
That last picture above, where she is leaning forward with rounded shoulders, must be driving you crazy! There is a pic of Jackie Kennedy from the innugural dinner. She is leaning over with ram rod straight perfect posture. It is an iconic pic of her.
Lol, I meant that the tiara must have good posture.
I know. I was teasing you!
I agree about the frame showing being a bummer. It just makes the look look bad.
It happens a lot when any of the royal ladies are wearing tiaras, I think because hairstyles today are so different. Ladies used to have a pile of curls, more like HM’s hair, that covered up the frames.
When Victoria wore the inherited Lilian tiara, the stylist pulled her hair over the frame and under the first row of diamonds. It covers the frame but it also means that there is less hair underneath the frame cushioning her head from the weight.
It is definitely a a hair style issue. The majority of tiaras were made in the belle epoque when ladies had mounds and mounds of hair.
wow!!! you’ve really outdone yourself today. thanks so much for such an up close look at the intricacies of the necklace/tiara. even more beautiful than i realized! mary’s got a great eye. what a great get.
Richard Palmer @RoyalReporter 3h3 hours ago
Lord Janvrin will be succeeded as chairman of the Royal Foundation by Sir Keith Mills, who led the first Invictus Games for Prince Harry.
Richard Palmer @RoyalReporter 3h3 hours ago
The Queen’s ex-private sec Lord Janvrin is retiring as chairman of William, Kate and Harry’s Royal Foundation.
Poor Lord Janvrin. He had the unenviable task of persuading the queen to do better for Diana in that horrid week. He’s always being teased for how he was portrayed iasthe film THE QUEEN.
If she purchased it for herself, what money did she use? Did she use the taxpayers money to purchase a new unnecessary tiara merely because she wanted another one? That is inappropriate to me. How much of her expensive jewelry is purchased with taxpayer money as “work expenses” and how much comes from the DRF private funds?
Kate Middleton spends Duchy (taxpayer) money like water. Many pairs of $4000 earrings, a few hundred thousand in clothing. Charles takes it all off on his taxes as work expenses. That gets criticized but Mary’s spending goes uncriticized for the most part.
I think Mary does some good work, but her spending of taxpayer money, especially on fashion, has been off-the-charts for years.
+1. She seems to be immune from criticism and it’s curious to me. Her handbag collection alone is out of control. What happens to the cash she gets from selling her old stuff?
My guess would be she and her stylist split the money, IF in fact those sales are going on.
The one I feel who is immune is Sophie. Now I like Sophie, don’t get me wrong, but she is not a very senior Royal yet her clothes are becoming all high end designer. Some in addition are bespoke. She buys beautiful clothes that suit her, but boy they cost a lot, yet she never gets criticism. In addition personally ( and I know I have been criticised for not being a Sophie sugar!) if the British taxpayer is paying, she should wear mostly British designers. She wears a lot of European top end designers.
I feel like Sophie has been getting a higher profile lately because the BRF needs her to. Kate is failing on the job, Camilla is still controversial, and let’s face it, Anne is not glamorous. Sophie is attractive and poised, and she can do the job.
Piper not sure what nationality you are bit Sophie has virtually no profile in the UK. She’s not in the papers or magazines unless she is with HM. Whilst married to HM’s youngest son she is very far from the throne in reality. If Kate was doing her job properly Sophie would be able to honourably retire! I agree she is a natural but I’m not sure the tax payer should be paying for her extensive very expensive foreign wardrobe.
Yeah, I don’t think Sophie is really getting a higher profile. She may be getting more attention from royal watchers, but she still very rarely gets attention from the press.
I think almost all royal ladies who aren’t named Kate Middleton, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, or Princess Sofia (nee Hellqvist) are immune from criticism from most people. Everyone has their detractors, but for all the other royal ladies they seem to be few and far between.
It bothers me when Sophie wears foreign designers, especially since she now has the patronage of a London fashion school.
Cathy, can you fill me on her hand bag collection? I am very curious to know.
To add: I do like royal jewels, all the historic sparklies. But optics count here too.
Letizia was torn apart when Felipe bought her a 5th anniversary tiara, but Mary is celebrated for buying herself a new tiara? Yes, this was less expensive than a lot of her other jewelry. Somehow her buying herself something as useless as a new tiara, merely because she wanted one that isn’t as ugly as her wedding tiara, doesn’t sit right with me.
She wasn’t torn apart here. And the blog’s got Kate Middleton’s name in the title, that’s what it is about. This isn’t an American Presidential Candidate appearing on television, we owe no one “equal time”.
Note: I wasn’t implying that KMR is praising her for buying a new tiara, merely that some people are.
KMR isn’t required to only write about Kate Middleton, it is her blog. She herself was questioning the fact that people think Victoria falling asleep at an event is ‘cute’ but she pointed out Kate Middleton would be criticized for doing the same thing.
My point about Mary, her spending, and the idea of someone who constantly overspends her taxpayer budget buying herself a new tiara – those optics and points are addressing the same issue. Behavior is excused for royals some people like, but criticized for royals they don’t like.
I like royal jewels, I find the collections and provenance interesting. I can hold both concepts in my mind at the same time — royal jewels are interesting AND it looks bad that Mary went out and bought herself a new tiara.
“Behavior is excused for royals some people like, but criticized for royals they don’t like.”
Exactly. We all do it. Even when we try and be fair and judge everyone the same, there is still an air of preference for some royals that others don’t get.
There is very much favouritism to me, for certain royals and royal household not deserved at all. CP Victoria flashed her bra with a peter pan collar sweater when she was I believe in Korea or Japan. NOONE breathed a word. KMR mentioned but in mild tone. I was going to post a comment but just could not be bothered.
The Duchess of Cambridge is blown apart for her peter pan collars, marilyn monroe moments. Is it just because she had too many and CP Victoria did not??? OR we just can’t wait to blow the Duchess apart even more when we have a chance to??
I didn’t know about CP Victoria : but it seems an exception, when for Kate it is like “a reguraly thing”
The truth is for me that when people works seriously, when I find them sympathic and real, my jugement is more clouded. And I think that we have in general more information about British royal than others families (barriere of language about Scandinavian families)… so we are less objective
In this topic on the tiara, I have not particulary an opinion :
– Is a new tiara useful? No
– Important cost? If it cost “only” 5370 euros (it is not very much for royal), it is “just another piece of wardrobe”, so it is theoritecally less money for clothes… Maybe with the time the tiare will gain values…
But about the price’s issue is philosophical too : how can some people can live with many money just because they were born (in general; when their contribution are for some royals not very big) and some people can suffer of poverty?
Very good point. And this tiara set looks faded and ordinary to me. So Mary must have blown taxpayers money on this ordinary set of jewellery? And I’m sure she has a massive clothing budget too and has lots of clothes and accessories, courtesy of the taxpayer. Which I think is unacceptable.
I do not see the beauty in this jewellery set- Mary got ripped off. But I come from a culture which is big on jewellery and own some stunning pieces of gold myself and have been surrounded by it my whole life. So maybe I’m not easy to impress with jewellery, lol.
I think is it pretty, delicate, and nothing memorable. I do like this design better than her wedding tiara, as this one is more “full”. Her wedding tiara appears sparse and spiky to me, even if there are more stones and they are higher quality.
I agree with you that this tiara doesn’t look the best. It looks old. I’ve noticed that a lot of older tiaras look more dingy than newer ones, though I wonder if it also has to do with stone and setting quality. This tiara wasn’t priced very high, which I’m assuming is because of lower quality. This tiara does not sparkle on video the way other tiaras do.
People said Kate made the Cambridge Lover’s Knot look dingy (or whatever words were used to that effect), but on video that sucker sparkled like no one’s business. This one, not so much.
It may also have something to do with the way stones were cut. (Waiting for AH to chime in!). Old mine cut diamonds may not sparkle the way more faceted stones do.
The cut of the stone is important. Fx the ultra sparkly round brilliant cut was invented in the early 20th century. Old mine cut diamonds is a technique from the 18th century, made by hand and before motorized technology. They will appear less white and sparkly next to modern brilliant cuts. They also looks slightly unprocessed next to modern cuts.
However, old mine cuts are supposedly quite sought after and highly prized when it comes to antique diamonds.
Another factor is lighting when it comes to brilliance. Candlelight will have another effect than gaslight or eletrical light. Strong lights from cameras and flashes will also affect the look. I suspect that old mine cut diamond would look sparklier in candle light – I’d love to put it to a test. 😉
Wouldn’t we all love the chance to put it to the test!
I love this tiara and earring set! Personally, I just love the delicate work and the old cuts of the stones. Mine cut and rose cut diamonds aren’t as sparkly as modern cut and can look dull to some but see them in candlelight and it’s a different story. 🙂
IMO Mary got this set for a great price too. As for Mary paying for it herself? Who is to say that she didn’t buy it with money she was given by her family? I think it was a great buy and so much better than the teeny tiny overprices pieces of jewelry Kate Middleton wears!
I’m still agog at kate middleton spending $80K on a very simple necklace that consisted of 3 gold circles pendent on a long chain – the most expensive version of cartier’s trinity necklace collection. If you are going to spend that much on a jewellery, at least make it an heirloom.
That is the necklace she wore while in the U.S., with the black turtleneck dress, right? Wow for a woman who is desperately in need of statement jewelry, that is a lot of money to throw at a something fairly plain.
@Reilly, yes. That is the necklace.
She first wore the Cartier necklace at a function prior to the 2012 Olympics, with a blue dress (shocking, I know). I myself don’t care for the piece, find it plain. But even if I loved it, the price tag on it is pretty ridiculous. Paying for the name I ‘spose
Is it possible she has it in gold and silver? I swear the one she wore for the Olympics was silver. I am probably losing it!
Either way, I do not care for it.
It is from the Cartier Trinity collection. The collection is based on the Trinity Ring made by Cartier for the French artist Jean Cocteau in 1924. The modern collection features necklaces, rings and bracelets based on the entwined from of three rings, made with different materials and in some instances set with clear of coloured gemstones.
Kate’s Trinity Necklace is made with yellow gold, rose gold and silver. Her necklace is the least successful design of the collection. There are some really beautiful pieces.
I thought that necklace was a wedding gift from someone. Like, she didn’t buy it herself.
Either way, I agree that that necklace was boring as hell and in no way should have cost as much as it did. It’s that kind of crap with Kate that bothers me. That she buys expensive stuff that is only that expensive because of the designer’s name. If Kate bought something for the same price that very nice, with nice stones, that looked great then I could forgive it more than that ugly Trinity necklace.
@KMR…that’s it! Kate’s purchases feel like wasted money because they underwhelm in design or quality. She appears to be enthrall of designer names than quality of their output. In short she shops like a lottery winner.
“she shops like a lottery winner”
thanks for the laugh Herazeus!
Well, I am sure Kate (and family) thinks she has won the lottery of her dreams: title, adulation, privilege. She grabs at the expensive names without a discerning eye; choices are often gauche. Kate seems to be driven by status and a neediness to prove superiority through external manifestations. Incredibly wasteful.
When was that??
I personally believe that as a crown princess she is entitled to wear extraordinary things, she MUST wear them if I must say.
Besides, DKK 40,000 (£4,300) is actually an incredibly good bargain for such a classic piece of tiara. It is the same price as a pair of those ridiculously tiny Kiki earrings. But unlike those puny earrings, and of course the silly trinity necklace, the tiara will certainly be a priceless family heirloom.
Kate’s overspending is not proportionate to her contribution to her people, and she disregards how people struggle to pay taxes while being poverty stricken. I tolerate Sophie’s spending since she has done well in her job. She and Harry are the two stars of BRF now, they have to, if not MUST, dress well to represent BRF.
Could not agree more, Mia. Well said!
I also think that behavior is criticized in some while not others based not only on personal opinion, but also on the royals overall behavior. I respect royals who connect with the people, work on behalf of their country, charities, national and world issues. They are born to or marry into exceptional privilege with extraordinary platforms and potential for doing good. There are many royal women who appear to recognize that and give back. I personally find that I am much more forgiving when there is respect and not sloth and excuses and overall bad behavior. They too are only human.
She could be working 600 engagements a year (which she isn’t, she averages 90 days a year). It still looks bad for her to purchase something as frivolous as a new tiara just because she wants one.
Crown Princesses in taxpayer-funded royal houses have to think about how things *look* not just about what they personally *want*.
Mary’s other expensive jewelry is bad enough. Her everyday jewelry tends to be very expensive, like KM’s is.
A brand new tiara, an item that isn’t needed for her to perform her job because she already has 2 and 1 more on permanent loan? It is an excessive and unnecessary purchase. If this was a self-funded royal house that didn’t take taxpayer money, she could do what she wants. Buying a new tiara just because she wants one? Bad optics. This is 2016 not 1816 or 1916.
This appeared this morning on the DM online site, I thought you might find it interesting.
how funny that came out today. I love the pics of her. She seems elegant. I especially love the blush gown that she wore last year. Stunning, in my opinion
You bring up a good point, notasugarhere. I’ve thought about how to answer this for a while.
On what money bought the tiara:
I don’t know. I didn’t read the report from the magazine since it wasn’t linked, so I don’t know the wording. When I read “she bought it herself”, I would assume she spent her own private money on it, rather than Frederik buying it for her from money from any inheritance he has or his annual funding. But I don’t know. That would be a great question to have answered.
On Mary being lauded for buying a new tiara but others being scorned for new tiaras or expensive jewelry:
I never said anything negative about Letizia’s new tiara she got for her anniversary, nor Sofia’s new tiara she got for her wedding. The only thing I ever commented on with those two was that I didn’t particularly care for the designs of the tiaras. But I never said anything negative about them getting a new one.
On the flip side, I didn’t praise Mary for getting a new tiara. I treated all three women the same in terms of how I talked about their tiaras: I provided as much information about each tiara as I could fine/was available. I have given my opinion on Sofia’s tiara more often since she’s worn it more often and with each wearing I like the tiara’s design less and less.
The reason I criticize Kate’s expensive tiny jewelry is not actually because of the expense of it. It’s that the pieces she buys, in my opinion, do not warrant the expense of them. If Kate bought larger or more interesting jewelry for the same price, I wouldn’t have so much of a problem with it.
Would I have a problem if Kate bought a new tiara (or one was bought for her since she has no money of her own):
Hm….. This is the question I’ve been sitting on all day. Now, this may be an unpopular opinion and I would have to see if I would actually react this way if she did, but I don’t think I would mind that much if Kate got a new tiara that was bought specifically for her.
I don’t know what the final selling price on Mary’s necklace/tiara was, but it was priced at 30,000-40,000 Danish Kroner, which is about 4,600-6,000 USD and 3,200-4,300 GBP. If Kate spent that much on a tiara, I wouldn’t begrudge that at all. Kate has dinky Kiki McDonough earrings that are that expensive. If Kate traded in a pair of her Kikis for a new tiara, I’d be totally fine with that.
KMR, I didn’t mean to imply that you approved or disapproved of any of the ladies getting new tiaras.
Mary doesn’t have “her own money” that I can tell. She was working PR for a real estate office, not a lawyer or high-flying business woman earning three figures a year when they met. By most accounts, she wasn’t working even part time once she moved to Europe. Fred was likely funding her living arrangements.
IMO she purchased it with someone else’s money, whether it was taxpayer or personal money from some allowance given to her from Margrethe, Fred, or Henrik’s personal savings. The DRF isn’t known as one of the wealthier royal families. With the sale of the farm property, Joachim is now the wealthiest member of the family because those millions belong to him personally.
The difference to me is the nature of the piece. Ugly expensive jewelry, of which KM and Mary are both guilty of to me, is one thing. Everyday pieces. Going out and buying a new tiara, something that is not necessary because she already has 3, is what troubles me about this.
It is frivolous. Unnecessary. Surplus to requirement. She has three tiaras, why does she feel the *need* to buy another? To me it shows how she continues to focus on looks and fashion, which is supposed to be a distant second to the work she does.
When Mathilde and Philippe married, a group of people pooled money and purchased her a convertible necklace-tiara combo as a wedding gift. Why? Because the Belgian royal family is tiara poor. The few they have are like certain pieces in other royal families – reserved for the Queen. It was a point of pride (or shame) that the Crown Princess wouldn’t have a tiara for state occasions.
I think the scale used is very different in the UK and Scandinavia. The North doesn’t suffer from recession like UK and the rest of Europe. They instead made money from the crisis. Also, people are well-paid and equality rate is extremely high. Purchasing a new tiara that cost a mere £4300 is something that pleases the eyes there. Mary purchases a modestly priced tiara that she can keep as heirloom and will continue to wear in her status as CP.
You should also remember that jewelries and tiaras are not mere decoration. It is a symbol of status, not only of the princess but also the country she serves. The bigger and more blings a country has, the better it will look for the country.
Situation is very different with Kate. UK is plagued with economic crisis, people who struggle to survive would not tolerate unnecessary lavish lifestyle, like that heli ride, holiday in the Alps, jetting to Mustique, let alone a £50,000 ridiculously simple and overpriced Cartier necklace that she has worn twice only. Or £4,000 Kiki earrings. None worth keeping as heirloom. (Considering how many Kate currently has, poor Charlotte will have to wear all of them everyday and will not have a choice of her own. Even if she doesn’t like them.) Everything she bought has no heritance value, cannot enter the royal vault, and only Kate-specific taste. Very different value from tiara which can be passed down, kept in vault, worn many times in her functions.
And most importantly, Kate has very low engagement rate of 1-2 hours a week. Overspending in her case is very difficult to let go because people do not get the value of money spent on her. Has she work hard and appear often, serves her people well like Sophie does, I am certain that fancy clothes will be easier to let go.
Mia, let’s take Middleton out of it. Your argument regarding Mary isn’t going to wash with me. She didn’t need another tiara for her job as CP. She already had three. Mathilde only had one for years.
They don’t need more tiaras in the family vault as heirloom pieces, they have plenty of tiaras. All they “need” is one per woman for work situations, and they don’t have to purchase them they can rent them. There is no need here, there is only WANT. Wanting to spend someone else’s money.
“The bigger and more blings a country has, the better it will look for the country. ”
It is not 1816. It is not 1916. In 2016 the status of the country doesn’t depend on unelected representatives spending taxpayer money on things they don’t need.
She has the historic ruby tiara, her wedding tiara, and the work of art Midnight. She doesn’t need another one for “status”. She bought it because she wanted another one, just like she spends spends spends on designer clothing because she wants to.
90 days a year.
Even if she worked 365 days a year, her obsession with spending and designer clothing still couldn’t be justified. It is not necessary for Mary’s job, but she and her fans insist that spending that kind of money is appropriate for a taxpayer paid employee.
Melinda Gates is changing the world wearing $300 suits from Ann Taylor she purchased with money she earned. Mary does not need to spend $50,000-70,000 annually of the taxpayers money on new designer clothing, bags, shoes, and tiaras to do what she does.
LOL I feel like the next thing you will suggest is for the royals to only have one dress and one pair of shoes for all occassions.
You do not seem to understand the point. There is no prohibition from using State money, otherwise there will be no such budget allocated for the royals. The question is whether the money is well used, whether what she used it for worth the value, and whether by wearing that item she is serving her role well and thus giving back to her people as much – if not more. From what I see, yes she has done so. I lived in Scandinavia for a few years and I know very well that she is adored by her people, not only for her beauty, but what she has done for her country. For me, that is more than enough excuse to trust her judgement on how she spent.
Well anyway, I appreciate your view and I have mine, so lets leave it at that.
“You do not seem to understand the point.” Mia, you are not understanding my point. I’m not saying sackcloth and ashes, but appropriate dress at an appropriate cost.
I’m saying that $50,000-70,000 a year of taxpayer money in new designer clothing each year is excessive. Unnecessary. Surplus to requirement. I’m not going to trust her judgment on it because IMO she’s greedy and spending excessively. She gets away with it because some people like her so the behavior is excused by them.
“She is adored by her people.” Not by all of them. By a long shot. The Danish royals get away with murder, but there are more and more people questioning the role and cost of the royal family. Their recent trip to Saudi Arabia is one example. The rising criticism of Alexandra and Henrik, the costs associated with royals, masks a deeper criticism of the royal family as a whole. To ignore that and continue to be spendthrift? Tone deaf.
Every country has better things to do then spend that money on new tiaras for royalty. The people occupying those positions need to police themselves and recognize when enough is enough. With Mary, like with Mette-Marit, enough is never enough. There is always her need for more more more. Her fans will always excuse it in her, while they attack it in others. I find it fascinating.
As a Dane, I’d like to point out that the only criticism that got any mainstream traction was the Saudi Arabia tour – and that is a complicated situation because it was undertaken on the request of our current government (which is deeply corrupt IMO) and it is not clear if the DRF really is in a position to refuse since they are government funded.
There have also been mumblings about Prince Henrik’s apanage since he has retired from public life, which is completely fair IMO. The same with Princess Alexandra since she hasn’t been a member of the DRF for more than a decade.
I like that the Danish system is transparent, unlike the British one where a lot of the taxpayer cost is hidden. The Danish royals are awarded and certain amount of money and it is up to them to administrate it. If there one day will arise public discontent, then there is the option of addressing Parliament and our politicians who are less entrenched as part of an elite class system than in Britain.
Sometimes criticism pops up in some of the lower grade tabloids but is is far from consistent – so, no, there isn’t much negativity towards Mary though it may look like it if you read the RoyalDish. I’m sorry I don’t mean to sound snippy but as a Dane living in Denmark and a someone who likes to follow royalty, the broad media landscape here simply doesn’t support the view that the RD has of Mary being unpopular in the DK. She isn’t unpopular and as someone that has lived in England too, the DRF isn’t met with the same indifference that the BRF is among their own people.
What concerns us more right now is the fact that we have a minority government that is intent on taking a wreaking ball to some of the central pillars of what has made our country a good place to live because they are ultra-librals. A government where quite a few of the individual members, including our PM, can’t tell the difference between public and private money, and where our PM has had his block vote him a special tax relief for entertaining at his abode, whether it be official and private parties – because the man cannot manage his private economy.
I know I’m going a bit off-topic with my last paragraph and since it is political, feel free to delet it if you deem it inappropriate KMR.
Art Historian. Thank you for that background. I love learning about other royals along with other cultures and political systems on this blog. As I have said, I am a big fan of Mary. The information provided by you and others has provided substance and perspective. Thank you.
AH are all the security costs included in the stated royal budgets? Or are those out of another budget? That is one of the big problems with the British system, where hundreds of millions in security costs are hidden in different budgets.
Note: I’m the kind of person who watchdogs my local government officials to make sure people are spending within their budgets and not taking expensive lunches. That extends to my royal watching, good or bad 🙂
Royals are not hired government employees. They aren’t elected officials. They are people who have these jobs without merit of their own. I hold them to an even higher standard when I think the spending is getting out of hand.
It isn’t a criticism of how Mary does the job, but of what goes along with doing the job (lots of designer clothes and loads of photoshop). No one is universally liked, so whether many Danes like their royals or not, opinions will vary.
AH you know I adore Margrethe and her artistic, over-the-top ways. I just don’t think that is going to be acceptable in a new generation of royals in any country. They need to tread carefully.
I’m not sure about the security. I think their bodyguards are from PET (Police Intelligence – Politiets Efterretnings Tjeneste) so that may fall under a different budget. However, they don’t have the need for as much security as the BRF. When I worked at the Royal reception Rooms, QMII usually one had one guard with her when she came for audiences and State Councils. (I tell you some of those guards, including the then PMs, were delish) 😉
Personally, I don’t care to spend my precious energy on monitoring how other people spend their money. I find it exhausting but I am very concerned out our elected officials because they set their own pay, their own pensions and they give themselves numerous taxbreaks and extra remunerations in a way that is extremely complicated – like extra child support until their children are 25! I’m all for fair pay for work but the situation has gotten out of hand and I kind of think that something is wrong when you can become a millionaire in DKR for a few months work as a minister (due to pension and delayed remuneration – even though they still go back to their MP pay if they lose the ministerial tabouret).
I guess we have different priorities.
AH, my point is it isn’t “their money”. It belongs to the taxpayers. They’re supposed to spend wisely. A frivolous purchase like a new tiara isn’t wisely IMO.
I like Mary, but I don’t think she gets away with her spending. I don’t speak Danish, but the only thing that is ever said about her (DM articles and other royal blogs) is criticism of her shopping /spending habits. It makes me think she isn’t even like or fully accepted because of that. I have also read a lot on how her mother-in-law keeps her in check for it.
I love these jewels and I think they look beautiful on Mary. It’s very interesting to see new history being created. Thank you KMR for this really interesting post. Look forward to Art Historians critique, and also perhaps how the Danish people feel about her spending on clothes, handbags and jewels!!
how beautiful and classy she is! And what a beautiful necklace/ tiara!
thank you KMR
Haven’t read other comments yet. Oh man, I am not taken by this tiara. Perhaps I’m used to giant British rocks. I think it’s a sweet, girly thing, but closer to a starter tiara than a honking crown. It really doesn’t make a statement for me either. I much prefer that other ruby (?) thingy.
I hate to say it, but it doesn’t do anything for Mary, either. On the other hand, I love, love, LOVE it as a necklace!
Mary already has a honking crown (the ruby tiara). She needs more of a mid-range tiara and this one foots the bill.
Good to know. I still find it unremarkable.
Her wedding tiara functions as a mid-range tiara. Again, as much as I like royal bling, she doesn’t “need” more tiaras to do her job. She wants them but they are not required for the job.
I am a bit sad that quite a few tiaras have made their way out of the DRF in the recent generation.
Queen Sophia’s Star and Pearl Tiara: (for Benedikte)
Princess Benedikte’s Floral Tiara:
The Antique Corsage Tiara: (Queen Anne-Marie)
The Khedive of Egypt Tiara: (Queen Anne-Marie)
The Alexandrine Drop Diamond Tiara:
(The former Princess Alexandra got this in her divorce)
The two that bum me out are the Alexandrine Drop Diamond Tiara and especially the Khedive of Egypt Tiara.
Hi Art Historian
Thanks for the information on these tiaras. All beautiful, my favourite has to be the Alexandrine Drop Diamond Tiara.
It’s an interesting dilemma when inherited jewelry is concerned. What happens to pieces gifted to a wife when a couple divorce? I know of one couple where the daughter in law was gifted jewelry which had been in the family for 3 generations. Post divorce she had the lot melted down and some new jewelry made. The Mother in Law (my mother’s friend) was extremely upset as she had done everything she could to make the dil welcome.
I think the set is pretty and delicate. However, I want that ring!
Thank you for sharing this pretty tiara on a dreary Friday, KMR!
What I think is interesting/funny is that the ring dates from the 1980s an is priced higher than the necklace/earrings set.
I never thought that 1980 would be considered vintage. I’m thinking the price is high as it is set in platinum and that is one beautiful diamond. I am not jeweler, but it is of good quality.
I am not crazy about this tiara at all.
All this talk about cost is very interesting. Don’t the royal families get things at “very steep discount”? The posted price may not be the prices they pay.
If the royal member freely “markets” her home countries’ designers and elevate their brands to the international stage then I think the cost justifies. I myself have never heard of LK Bennett, Temperley etc.. until the Duchess wore them.
Really, the royals don’t have to do free marketing for Chanel, Dior, Gucci etc…
It depends on the royals. Some are strictly forbidden from taking freebies or discounts, because it leads to things like corruption charges. Do you lean on government for something because of your relationship with that organization?
Case in point, William leaning on government to purchase a larger helicopter for EAAA that would fit a co-pilot (William) and his protection officers. Until then, EAAA had to buy their own helicopter. They didn’t have one large enough to suit William’s run-away-and-hide plan, so he leaned on government and made it happen.
Crown Princess Victoria was investigated (and cleared) for staying at a friend’s house in the US during the honeymoon. He is an artist, a friend of the family. But if he gets commissions based on this relationship, because the royals might hint that he’s the best artist for the job, that could lead to corruption charges.
Mary does wear Danish, but she also wears a lot of foreign designers. Sophie has started wearing non-UK along with KM, and IMO neither should do that. There are plenty of UK designers. The poor BeNeLux ladies are stuck with NATAN, which they wear a lot, but they do branch out into the occasional Valentino.
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