The Princess of Asturias Crown Options: Which One Will Be Her Tiara Debut?

 Spanish royal tiaras

Leonor, the Princess of Asturias, so far is the only adult future Queen in Europe who is yet to wear a tiara to a formal royal event. She turned 18 in October 2023 but her birthday was not celebrated in grandeur and gala reception. It was just a quiet family dinner with members of her family and no photos were released about the event.

We're still waiting for that moment to see the future Spanish queen debuting in tiara. But the Princess of Asturias has so many options which tiara to wear for the first time. The Spanish royal family has a wide selection of stunning head sparklers. Either, inherited from previous Spanish Queens, or acquired by Queen Sofia, who was born a Princess of Greece and Denmark, as wedding gifts.

Future Queens tiara debut
Leonor, the Princess of Asturias

No new tiara was purchased by the royal family for Leonor's mother, Queen Letizia. Since her wedding to then Prince of Asturias, all the tiaras and pieces of jewelry she wore are from the royal jewelry vault of her mother-in-law.

Future Queens tiara debut
Other future Queens already made their tiara debut

Traditionally, royal possessions are passed to the next monarch, including jewelry collection, but most of the Spanish royal family's jewelry pieces are personally owned by Queen Sofia, so she is still the principal owner. Except maybe for two big pieces - The Spanish Fleur-de-lys and the Cartier Loop Tiara, which are traditionally worn by Spanish Queens.

Spanish grandest royal tiaras
Two tiaras that automatically passed to the next Spanish queen

For Princess Leonor's tiara debut, she might choose the lighter diadems, rather than the big toppers. So any of the following lighter tiaras might be her option:

1. The Prussian Tiara - This is a historic piece as it linked several grand royal houses in Europe. Made by the German court jeweler, Koch, this tiara was commissioned by Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany (grandson of Queen Victoria of Britain) as a wedding gift for his only daughter, Princess Viktoria Louise, who married a direct descendant of King George III of Britain, Prince Ernst August of Hanover.

The Prussian Tiara
Princess Viktoria Louise and Queen Frederica wearing the Prussian Tiara

When the only daughter of Princess Viktoria Louise and Prince Ernst August of Hanover, Princess Frederica, married the future King Paul I of Greece, she received the tiara from her parents as a wedding gift (but she did not wear it to her wedding). 

In 1962, when her eldest child, Princess Sophia, wed the future King of Spain, Prince Juan Carlos, Queen Frederica also gifted the tiara to her daughter, which is why the Prussian Tiara is now at the Spanish royals. Both Queen Sofia and Queen Letizia wore this tiara to their respective weddings.

2. The Ruby Bandeau - This is one of the lovelier and lighter diadems owned by Queen Sofia. It is part of the Ruby Suite gifted to her on her wedding day by the Greek shipping magnate, Stavros Niarchos, who commissioned Van Cleef and Arpels, to create a Ruby parure (tiara, necklace, and earrings).

Queen Sofia Ruby Parure
Queen Sofia of Spain's Ruby Parure

This is one of the most versatile diadems in the Spanish royal jewelry collection. It can be worn in many ways, together with the necklace. Queen Sofia was seen wearing the bandeau in a single strand, and in a double strand. She also restyled it to a necklace.

Queen Sofia Ruby Parure
Queen Sofia of Spain's Ruby Parure
Queen Sofia Ruby Parure
Queen Sofia of Spain's Ruby Parure

Queen Sofia is the sole wearer of this tiara and has not been loaned to any of the Spanish royal family members, but perhaps, she could loan it to her granddaughter someday.

3. Queen Ena's Pearl and Diamond Tiara - originally owned by Queen Maria Christina of Spain (born Archduchess of Austria), she gifted it to Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg (granddaughter of Queen Victoria) on the occasion of her wedding to King Alfonso XIII of Spain in 1906. 

Spanish Pearl and Diamond Tiara
Infanta Cristina of Spain wears the Pearl and Diamond Tiara to the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

In 1920, Queen Ena asked Cartier to redesign the tiara. Cartier added diamonds and platinum with eight large pearls set in the center of each of the large scrolling diamond elements. It was given to the future Queen Sofia as a wedding present in 1962.

4. The Spanish Floral Tiara - This convertible tiara can be worn as a necklace or can be dismantled into brooches. Three five-petaled diamond flowers are connected by a garland of diamond leaves and foliage.

Spanish Floral Tiara
Queen Letizia wears the Spanish Floral Tiara

This was commissioned by King Alfonso XII of Spain for his new wife, Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria. But when the family was exiled in the 1930s, it was sold in auction. 

In 1962, Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco (who was a royalist) repurchased the tiara as his wedding gift to Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark. All Spanish royal ladies have worn it on different occasions. Infanta Cristina, the youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, wore this tiara at her wedding.

5. The Mellerio Shell TiaraThis is one of the most beautiful tiaras of the Spanish royal family. Crafted in 1867 by the French jewelry house, Mellerio dits Meller, the shell tiara was purchased by Queen Isabella II of Spain as a wedding gift for her daughter, Infanta Isabel, who married Prince Gaetan of the Bourbon-Two Sicilies. 

Mellerio Shell Tiara
Queen Sofia wears the Mellerio Shell Tiara to the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

When Infanta Isabel died without children, the tiara was inherited by her nephew, King Alfonso XIII. His wife, Queen Ena became the frequent wearer of this diadem. When the future Spanish king, Juan Carlos, married Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark, his parents, the Count and Countess of Barcelona, gifted this tiara to his bride. 

The controversial Princesa Fleur-de-lis tiara

We doubted if Princess Leonor would be allowed to wear the controversial tiara of her mother, the Princesa Fleur-de-lis, crafted by the Spanish court jeweler. Some claimed this tiara was commissioned by King Felipe, who was still Prince of Asturias at that time, in 2010, as his gift to his wife for their 5th wedding anniversary. 

However, it was denied by the palace and sources said it was a gift for then Princess Letizia. It became controversial since the Spanish royal family never accepts gifts and if they are, those gifts must be publicly declared, revealing the price and the one who gives the gifts. 

Queen Letizia used the fleur-de-lis of her Princesa tiara as a pin to secure her sash

The tiara created a hot issue in Spain that Letizia never wore it in public until 2017 when she wore it for the first time in Denmark when she attended Queen Margrethe II's birthday. It was the first and only time this tiara was shown in public as a whole. 

Queen Letizia, however, wore other parts of the tiara. She would often use the center fleur-de-lis, which is detachable, as a brooch or a pin to secure her sash.

We're hoping the much-awaited moment to see Princess Leonor debuting a tiara will be soon. Let's find out which among the beautiful diadems above is her top choice.  

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