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This tiara, created by Meller or Mellerio in 1867, is known as the Shell tiara for its shape and pearls. Made with dangling pear-shaped pearls and diamonds that tilt with the movement of the wearer, an extra diamond drop can be added in the middle. However, Queen Sofía has not worn the diamond drop in years.

Queen Isabel II bought it in 1868 for her daughter, the Infanta Isabel, Princess of Asturias, on the occasion of her wedding. Infanta Paz, one of the Princess’s younger sisters, was also pictured wearing the tiara in a  wedding. The Infanta died childless, and left the diadem to her nephew Alfonso XIII.

HRH the Infanta Isabel

HRH the Infanta Isabel

His wife Queen Victoria Eugenia used the Mellerio Shell tiara  in one public occasion, as only once did her daughter in law, the Countess of Barcelona, wear it.

HM Queen Victoria Eugenia

The tiara was a wedding present from Queen Ena and the Count and Countess of Barcelona to Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark, who was seen with the Shell tiara for the first time in her pre-wedding ball.

HRH Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark during her pre-wedding ball.

Since then, this tiara has become a favorite of Queen Sofía. The Mellerio is now the personal property of Her Majesty, who has lent it to her daughters, the Princess of Asturias and the Infanta Margarita. The Mellerio Shell tiara is also called La Chata, as its first owner, the Infanta Isabel, was known by that nickname.

boda beatrix netherlands diadema chata con gota

HRH Princess Sofía of Spain during the wedding celebrations of Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands wearing the tiara with the diamond drop.

Queen Sofía during a reception in London

With the Mellerio Shell tiara during a state visit to Denmark

HM Queen Sofía

Her Majesty wearing the tiara

Her Majesty wearing the tiara

Her Majesty at the wedding of Sweden’s Crown Princess, the last time we saw the tiara

The Infanta Margarita wore this tiara during a state visit from the President of Portugal to Spain:

HRH the Infanta Doña Margarita

She is not the only infanta who was worn the Mellerio in the last century:

HRH the Infanta Cristina, during a state visit

The Infanta Elena has never worn the tiara in public, but she wears it  in this portrait:

Portrait of a young Royal Family

The Princess of Asturias used the tiara during a state visit to Spain:

HRH the Princess of Asturias