: The jewels of this thread are no longer,
: unfortunately, in the possession of the
: Portuguese Royal House. Yesterday, Ella
: published a post named The Daily Diadem: The
: Order of Christ Tiara with a famous Laszlo
: portrait of Queen D.Augusta, wife of King
: D.Manuel II of Portugal.
: I am going to make a resume of the
: portuguese history until the first
: appearance of the tiara and then continue to
: talk about the tiara itself and its symbols.
: Be ready because is a looong post. Hope you
: After the assassination of King D.Carlos I
: of Portugal and of Crown Prince D.Luis
: Filipe in 1/02/1908, the younger son of
: D.Carlos I and Queen D.Amelia ascend to the
: Portuguese Throne with just 18 years old as
: D.Manuel II. With the royal family reduced
: to only 4 members (The King; The
: Queen-Mother D.Amelia, The Dowager Queen
: D.Maria Pia and the bachelor D. Afonso, the
: King’s uncle) the marriage of the new king
: became a state matter of huge importance.
: It began an intense diplomatic “battle” in
: order to find a suitable princess. Several
: princesses were thought, many of them
: belonging or connected to the British Royal
: Family. The most famous of them was Louise
: Mountbatten, that later became Queen Consort
: of Sweden, but others were seen like good
: candidates like the Princesses of Connaught.
: Such approximation of the Portuguese Royal
: Family to the British Royal Family was not
: seen with good eyes by the republican
: movement in Portugal. Some say that they
: were responsible for failure of these
: attempts of marriage. Not sure if this is
: truth but the fact is that King D.Manuel did
: not marry before the end of the monarchy in
: In 5/10/1910 a “revolution” ended with the
: monarchy and exiled the Royal Family. With
: the exile, D.Manuel lost one of his main
: advantages to get a good marriage: he was no
: longer a reigning king. The attempts to get
: a marriage, while forging an “alliance” with
: a reigning house, continue, but in vain.
: Meanwhile D.Manuel never forgets that, with
: or without a throne, he is THE King of
: Portugal and suffers with the increasingly
: worst political and social situation in
: Portugal. The relation between D.Manuel II
: and the 1st republic is not very good: the
: king’s assets in Portugal became frozen for
: much time, leaving the king in a precarious
: financial situation. This was not a good
: propaganda for a young king that wants to
: In 1912 he met Princess Augusta Viktoria of
: Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen while visiting his
: aunt Infanta Antónia of Portugal (she was
: the grandmother of Princess Augusta and
: sister of the grandfather of D.Manuel).
: They became in love. The marriage between
: the two cousins is set to 4 September 1913
: in the Sigmaringen Castle and was conducted
: by the also exiled Cardinal Patriarch of
: Lisbon José Neto.
: The Order of Christ Tiara was a wedding
: present from King D.Manuel II to D.Augusta.
: As far as I know, the tiara has the option
: to close in order to be worn as a coronet.
: When we see this jewel, the first thing we
: note is the “Crosses of Christ”. But the
: tiara is pure symbolism: “portugueseness” in
: every inch. The Crosses of Christ remembers,
: indeed, the Military Order of Christ. But
: why this symbol, and not another, like the
: one from the Military Order of Avis? The
: reason is simple: the Cross of Christ is
: intimately linked to the Portuguese Golden
: Age: the discoveries. At the time (beginning
: of XV century) the Order of Christ, headed
: by Infante D.Henrique, “sponsored” the
: discoveries (its beginning at least).
: Although “sponsored” by the Order, the
: discoveries voyages had the approval of
: D.Henrique’s father – King D.João I, married
: to Philippa of Lancaster, an English
: princess – and later of his brother, King
: D.Duarte. So, since the beginning this cross
: was present in the caravels’ sails. Even
: now, this cross is a much cherished
: Portuguese symbol. The history behind the
: Order of Christ is very interesting and
: deserves a thread on its own, but not in
: this board. I can, shortly, say that it has
: origin in the Templar’s. Nowadays the Order
: of Christ is the second highest order in the
: portuguese honorific system.
: But wait, the symbols in the tiara go even
: beyond that: the base of the tiara was made
: to resemble the Manueline style. This style
: is the only one named to honour a portuguese
: king: D.Manuel I (so, a king namesake of
: D.Manuel II). King D.Manuel I was the
: great-grandson of D.João I and reigned in
: the most glorious Portuguese era (Manueline
: Era). In fact he was one of the most (if not
: the most) powerful and prestigious King in
: the western world of his time. He even
: minted a famous coin to celebrate that era –
: O Português (“The Portuguese”) – that was
: one of the heaviest in the world (35 gr of
: solid gold). In the picture below you can
: see that even the coin included the Cross of
: Christ. The moto inscribed in the face of
: the coin with the cross is the latin
: sentence “In hoc signo vinces”, which means
: “Through this symbol you shall win” (even
: today this is the moto of the Order of
: Christ). The importance of this symbol in
: the Portuguese culture and history is
: immense as you see.
: “The Portuguese” was so prestigious that was
: imitated throughout the Europe, giving
: origin to the Portugaloser. But I am
: digressing … sorry …
: The Manueline style has lots of references
: and symbols of the portuguese discoveries.
: This sumptuous style is a derivation of the
: gothic and is characterized mainly for
: incorporating maritime elements and
: representations of the discoveries: the
: armillary sphere ; anchor chains, ropes ,
: cables, the cross of the Order of Christ ,
: This style is present in famous portuguese
: monuments like the Belém Tower and the
: Jerónimos Monastery, both in Lisbon. In the
: jewellery department it is visible in the
: famous Custódia de Belém (you can see it
: live in the National Museum of Ancient Art
: in Lisbon).
: Allegedly all of this symbolism was demanded
: by King D.Manuel himself, with some imputs
: of Queen Amélia, to the makers. Some people
: say this piece was commissioned to “Leitão e
: Irmão”, the Crown Jewelers, but, even
: thought they were contacted to project a
: tiara, the truth is that their project and
: the real piece are not a match. Did the
: Crown Jewelers changed their project or was
: another jeweler to make the tiara?
: Unfortunately the makers of the piece remain
: All of this symbolism is not surprising: as
: I said previously D.Manuel II married in
: 1913, 3 years after he went to exile.
: Through the long 22 years of exile, D.
: Manuel II always looked for things that
: remind him his beloved country. He wanted to
: be surrounded by everything that could
: remind him his homeland.
: This tiara actually still exists in the
: Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen’s vaults.
: Accordingly to the bibliography I have, it
: is in the Sigmaringen Castle, now a museum.
: I can conclude, thus, that this piece is in
: the possession of the Prince of
: The choker was, for sure, made of diamonds
: and 11 rubies. It was ordered by Queen D.
: Amelia, mother of D.Manuel II, to Cartier
: (which makes sense since D.Amelia was a
: French Princess by birth). It was the
: wedding present from the Queen to her new
: daughter-in-law. I read somewhere that the
: stones resulted from dismantling some of
: Queen D.Amelia’s personal jewels. Do not
: remember the source, so I cannot swear this
: is truth. The choker and the tiara were
: thought from the beginning to form a set, so
: I really believe the tiara is also made of
: diamonds and rubies. Unfortunately I saw
: somewhere a black and white picture of the
: choker that was taken from an auction
: catalog. This means that this necklace may
: or may not exist anymore.
: The earrings are probably made of rubies too
: and I think that there is a good chance that
: they were wedding gifts too.
: To my knowledge, Queen D.Augusta only wore
: the tiara in for the famous Lazlo portrait.
: The choker, however, was worn very often,
: paired with D.Augusta’s others tiara (a
: Boucheron one):
: D.Manuel II died in 1932 in strange
: circumstances without children. D.Augusta,
: shocking the Portuguese monarchists and
: mainly D.Amelia, decided to marry again in
: 1939 with Count Douglas. She died in 1966,
: childless and widow again. Some of his
: possessions (namely her Portuguese
: possessions inherited from D.Manuel II) were
: used to form the “D.Manuel II Foundation”,
: now run by the Duke of Braganza. Did she
: leave some jewels to the Duke? Do not know,
: but I believe most of her jewels were left
: to her nephews, especially to the Head of
: the House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.
: More pictures at:
« Back to index | View thread »