Princess Louise of France was the youngest daughter of Philippe d’Orléans 1838–1894, Count of Paris and claimant to the French throne as „Philippe VII“. Her mother was Princess Marie Isabelle d’Orléans 1848–1919, daughter of Antoine, Duke of Montpensier, and Infanta Luisa Fernanda of Spain.
In the year 1907, Princess Louise of Orleans married Infant Carlos Prince of Bourbon Two Sicilies and widower of María de las Mercedes, Princess of Asturias.
The barely seventeen-year-old Princess Cecilia of Baden (1839-1891) married on August 16, 1857 the Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolayevich Romanov (1832-1909), the youngest son of Tsar Nicholas I and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna. Prior to marrying, it was necessary for Cecilia to accept the Russian Orthodox faith. So she was baptized on August 15, 1857 in a ceremony, being given the name Olga Feodorovna Ольга Фёдоровна.
Her jewelry is famous, and her sapphire parure was later owned by two of her children the Grand Duchess Anastasia Michaelovna Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg Schwerin and her Grand Duke Mikhail Mikhailovich Romanov, who sells them to Henry Lascelles, later the Earl of Harewood, it was his wedding gift to Princess Mary of Great Britain, see in the picture below.
She wore it as stomacher and devante de corsage, or used single ornaments as brooches. The Princess Royal had no pierced ears, so she wore no earrings.
The Romanov sapphire and diamond necklace, was sold, but two items in knot design are still worn by the Countess Harewood, Andrea Lascelles on her wedding day and later when she was seen with Queen Victoria’s Sapphire Coronet, probably as earrings.
Two more of the wedding gift of Tsar Nikolas II and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna to Grand Duchess Marie Georgievna Romanov:
From her jewel album, we see on the kokoshnik eight diamond buttons as center of the stars, a sautoir – link chain in diamond as frame on the kokoshnik from the Empress Dowager Marie Feodorovna, and the hanging 4-rows of pearls with a large sapphire and diamond clasp(not seen) from the Emperor and Empress of Russia.
The pearl choker on her neck is also with a matching clasp, a cluster with sapphire cabochon and double row of diamonds.
On top an four pedal clover on large diamonds, a earlier present of the groom.
In front of her gown are also diamond buttons from the grooms mother Empress Olga Feodorovna, in total 16 in two sizes. On the head we could see a link chain in large diamond, probably the present of Empress Dowager Marie Feodorovna.
The ruby and diamond stomacher is an heirloom of Grand Duchess Olga Feodorovna Romanov, she left it to her son Grand Duke Georg Mihailovich.
A cord in writing, found between the boxes of jewels, stated that these sapphire jewels were given to Grand Duchess Stephanie of Baden, by her cousin Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland.
Such an origin is very likely. In many paintings Queen Hortense of Holland, and her mother Empress Josephine, can be seen wearing precious belts. Furthermore, Hortense’s financial papers, which are kept in the Napoléon archive in Paris, give evidence of her fortune between 1817 and 1837, the year she passed away. They show that she left Paris in 1816 with little money, but a lot of jewellery.
After Grand Duchess Stephanie’s of Baden death in 1860 the sapphire parure described as
‘necklace, pendant, earrings, seven pins and a belt’
was inherited by Stephanie’s second daughter, Josephine, Princess of Hohenzollern Sigmaringen.
See at the coronation picture, the sisters of Napoleon Caroline, Pauline, Elise and Hortense are in court gown with „jeweled belts“ and „bandeau head ornaments“ also stetted with large pins of precious centers, like the brooches and pins.
Under Napoléon’s court, belts decorated with precious stones were part of any jewellery parure, as fashion dictated that the waist was very high on dresses and court ladies needed a belt which was placed just under the décolleté. More about the history:
Queen Alexandra, at the Duchess of Devonshire’s costume ball, is wearing another wedding present.
In 1863, she received from Queen Victoria this suite of Indian ornaments, comprising a collar, armlet and two bracelets, made from uncut emeralds, diamonds and pearls. The seven-row collar of pearl and emerald beads was hung with a multitude of pearl drops and diamond pendants, which were enamelled on the back.