I have mentioned Empress Eugenia before so it was (almost) no surprise that when I was researching a pearl crown, her name came up! Look at this beauty:
Eugenia was a true Pearl Girl! There are 212 natural pearls and 1998 diamonds in this beautiful crown that can be seen today at the Louvre in Paris. The pearl crown was commissioned by Napoleon III when he married Princess Eugenia (Eugénie de Montijo) in 1853. It was made by Gabriel Lemonnier.
The crown has an interesting history. Since it did not personally belong to Empress Eugenia, it was returned to the state treasury when she was exiled from France in 1870. It was sold, with other crown jewels, in 1887 and eventually purchased by Prince Albert I of the German noble family Thurn and Taxis for his bride on her wedding day.
Here is Princess Margarethe (Archduchess Margarethe Klementine Maria of Austria) in her pearl crown. Her pearl crown goes great with those multiple strands of pearls… and the pearl brooch too! Love it Princess Margarethe!
The Pearl crown stayed in the family and was enjoyed for one more wedding almost one hundred years later! In 1980 Prince Johannes married Princess Gloria and she wore the pearl crown originally commissioned for Princess Eugenia.
What a life these two had together. They flew all over the world and lived the life of rich jet-setters. And when Prince Johannes (who was 34 years older than Princess Gloria) passed away in 1990, Gloria was broke. An estimate of US$500 million was owed on his estate. So Gloria began selling things off including jewelry, castles, cars and land. She sold the famous pearl crown to the Friends of the Louvre for 935,000 Deutsche Marks. And now the Louvre possesses this beautiful natural pearl and diamond crown!
I am a modern day treasure hunter who travels the world for gorgeous pearls and amazing adventures. I own a pearl jewelry and jewelry repair business, ThePearlGirls.com, with a cute retail store in Athens, GA. I also have a Pearl Travel business and travel blog at TheWorldofPearl.com.