Sometimes its nice to group things together and I have often tried to assemble the complete collections owned or worn by some of our more illustrious Royals into one blog post. This however often leads to a post taking several weeks before it is finished. Today we feature the jewels worn by Her Imperial Highness Princess Augusta. As aunt to the Crown Prince Imperial she has not just played a pivotal roll in the tumultuous history of the Empire but also has had the privilege of wearing some of the most incredible jewellery. Many of these pieces are her private property and some belong to the Imperial Crown Collection and as such to posterity. Of her private pieces we are also left to speculate about their future as the Princess remains unmarried and has also passed the safe age for child bearing. So where might they end up after her passing? Regardless of the distant future, the Princess has hinted over the last year that a retirement might be on the cards sooner than we may think. But in the mean time let us take a look at one of the greatest collections worn by a "one-step-away-from-the-throne" Royal.
In 2012 at the Annual Knights Meeting Princess Augusta wore what may be considered her most sentimental set of jewellery. The Rubies has been a firm favourite of the princess since before the 96 Revolution was a gift from her brother who became Emperor of Scot-Britania, to celebrate her elevation from Royal Princess to Imperial Princess.
This Diamond Tiara is the one most worn by the Princess and has become a bit of a signature piece. It was momentously worn at the Crown Prince Imperial's Birthday Ball in 2009, making it a kind of "first impression" tiara as that event relaunched the Imperial Family onto the world stage. In this photo we see her wearing it at the 2012 Christmas Ball paired with its matching earrings and the Princess' favourite necklace. The necklace is not part of a set but does match the tiara. The simple design of the necklace allows it to be paired with most jewellery and almost any outfit. The origins of the necklace are reported as having belonged to Princess Augusta's mother, who passed it to her on her 16th birthday.
In the years of Pre-Revolution Scot-Britania, Princess Augusta eschewed the wearing of impressive jewels preferring a simple look and only wearing a tiara when protocol absolutely demanded it. However since the 2009 Imperial Birthday Ball, her role as the orchestrator of the new International Imperial Image, has required her to wear jewellery that portrayed that very image. As an Antique Jewellery Dealer it was easy for the Princess to acquire such jewels and even to use the wearing of them as advertising for her business while projecting the image of the quintessential Princess. Here we see exactly such a set of jewellery, acquired by the Princess and often worn by her to occasions requiring more impressive tiaras. The Drop Sapphire parure is reputedly of Ruskian origin based on its distinct Ruskian inspired Kokoshnik design. The craftsmanship is said to date late 19th century. More detailed information as to the origins are unsure as the Princess acquired it from a deceased estate without more documentation.
Princess Augusta officially attends many events requiring her to wear a tiara. As such she has served her need for some variety by acquiring several coloured stone jewellery sets like these emeralds. After the revolution, those nobles who weren't killed were often completely dispossessed. Some had to sell their jewels to survive and Princess Augusta helped many of them through her international jewellery business to gain good prices. This emerald set used to belong to a Scot-Britanian Baronial Family and ended up being kept by the Princess as a personal acquisition. The set is dated to the late 1800's and was made for the 10th Baroness Bunting. The last Baron Bunting was killed during the revolution but his wife and daughter escaped to Americania where they sold the parure to Princess Augusta.
The Princess' first ever Parure of Royal jewels was this Amethyst set given to her by her father on her 18th birthday. In her young days she refused to wear any other set for many years. Due to the Princess' rank and copious formal engagements we still see the little Amethyst tiara worn but very rarely these days.
The Augusta 18th Birthday Parure as it is officially referred to has two necklaces of varying design. The collar necklace, pictured in the center, was added at a later stage to add some sophistication to the otherwise very discreet set.
The Imperial wedding in 2010 saw Princess Augusta wearing a small diamond fringe that she has worn very rarely. The tiara is actually a necklace that is placed on a rigid tiara frame giving it the dual purpose. The Princess has never worn it as a necklace but seems to wear the tiara version when she wanted to defer attention away from herself at events like the wedding. The origins of the necklace are presumed to be a new piece that princess Augusta had especially made for the Imperial Wedding.
Even at work in the office Princess Augusta may wear very expensive and stylish jewels. Here we see her with the Duchess Di Giorgio and Madame Frumsetta where her skills were required in the Duchess' "makeover". Princess Augusta is wearing the earrings from the Black Pearl and Yellow Diamond Suite.
The Black Pearl and Yellow Diamond Suite is another "new" set of jewellery that the Princess acquired in 2009. The set, along with some other new pieces are presumably worn by the Princess for publicity purposes to advertise her jewellery business.
There is another set of jewellery that the Princess has worn on very specific occasions. Her rank as aunt to the Crown Prince Imperial gives her legal access to some parts of the Imperial Crown Jewel Collection. In the above picture the Princess wears The Princess of the Blood Tiara, reserved for the closest female blood relation to the Imperial throne. Until the current Crown Prince Imperial has a daughter, this tiara will be available to Princess Augusta to wear. She pairs it with her own blue pearl necklace and earrings.
This close-up archive photo shows the Princess of the Blood Tiara in all its glorious detail. the tiara is part of a parure that includes earrings and a necklace.
We hope that this expose of one of the more impressive collections has been informative and enjoyable.