This tiara, considered the most important diadem of their collection, called “La Buena” (The Good one) and only worn by the Queens of Spain, was a wedding present from King Alfonso XIII to his bride, Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg. Made in 1906 by Ansorena with more than 500 diamonds set in platinum, it features the Fleur de Lys, the Bourbon’s emblem.
The following photo shows some of the wedding presents the Princess received, on the upper right corner, the Fleur de Lys tiara in its original, closed form:
From the beginning, this diadem became one of the favorites of the young Queen, who was married wearing it and chose it for her first photo session as Queen of Spain in 1906:
Drawing of Queen Ena at her wedding
HM the Queen of Spain, 1906, wearing the tiara in the original form.
Her Majesty was photographed and painted with the Fleur de Lys on numerous occasions. Shortly after her wedding the Queen opened the tiara and started wearing it in its current form:
HM the Queen of Spain
Queen Ena of Spain
HM the Queen
Queen Victoria used the tiara throughout her life, and unlike many of her tiaras and jewels, she never lent it to her daughters, the Infantas Beatriz and María Cristina.
Photo session in Lausanne
Wedding of her granddaughter, the Infanta Pilar in Estoril in 1967.
Queen Victoria Eugenia lent the tiara to her daughter-in-law, the wife of the Head of the Family, on a few occasions, one of them for the coronation of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom in 1953.
The Countess of Barcelona at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
The Countess of Barcelona with the tiara
In her will, the late Queen Victoria Eugenia left the Fleur de Lys tiara to her son Don Juan, Count of Barcelona and pretender to the Spanish throne. The tiara was left for the exclusive use of the Queens so when King Juan Carlos was proclaimed King in 1975, his mother, the Countess of Barcelona passed the tiara to the new Queen, Sofía of Greece and Denmark. The first time Queen Sofía wore the tiara was in 1983 during a State Visit from the King and Queen of Sweden:
HM Queen Sofía wore the tiara for the first time in 1983
Queen Sofía at the Royal Palace during the State Visit of Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom
The Queen in 1985
On the left in Madrid during a Greek Sate Visit, on the right in 2006 in Thailand
Queen Sofía has used the Fleur de Lys tiara on the grandest occasions, like State Visits from other Monarchies or the 60th Jubilee of the King of Thailand in 2006, the last time she wore the tiara. Following tradition, the next wearer of the tiara would be the Princess of Asturias after her husband becomes Felipe VI, King of Spain.