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Princess Marie Bonaparte’s Olive Wreath Tiara⠀
The tiara was made for Princess Marie for her marriage to Prince George of Greece and Denmark in 1907. The gifts she received for her wedding were so lavish that Cartier devoted a window to the display, this tiara was included. The olive branch design was perfect considered she was marrying a Greek Prince and it was reminiscent of the styles popular in the Napoleonic era (she was the great-grandniece of Napoleon I). In her photograph of her wearing the tiara she tends to wear it with the branches close to lying flat on the sides of her head - as worn above, she uses it in which was popular in those times.⠀
The tiara, has two olive branches of pavé set diamonds in platinum meet to surround a large central pear-shaped diamond pendant. Throughout the tiara are diamonds repressing “fruit” of the branches. The diamonds can be swapped out for emeralds set in gold (the original version was displayed with emeralds) and rubies. The center pendant can also be swapped out as seen at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Marie wore the tiara with rubies and with a diamond star in the center. Marie and her husband were representing their nephew, King Paul, but Marie was bored of all pomp and the pageantry, she spent the ceremony engaging the man next to her in a round of psychoanalysis. Her seatmate happened to be the future President of France, François Mitterrand. They barley witnessed the ceremony finding their conversation more interesting.⠀
Princess Marie Bonaparte died in 1962, and thirty years later the tiara was sold at an auction. The central diamond was missing from the tiara at this point, and the alternative emerald and ruby stones were also apparently not included in the sale. The tiara was purchased in 1999 by the Albion Art Institute. They replaced the pear-shaped diamond, and now the tiara is shown in exhibitions around the world, including the recent Cartier: Style and History exhibit.