Sunday, May 1, 2011

Lilian's Jewels

An enjoyable display. (I wasn't too thrilled by all the comments that follow, though; there is the usual anti-Lilian venom and some of the facts are garbled. Why do so many people think that Lilian was pregnant when she secretly married King Leopold III in September, 1941? No, Prince Alexandre was born ten months after the wedding...)

Princess Lilian apparently attracted a great deal of popular ire by wearing jewelry which had belonged to her husband's tragically deceased first wife, Queen Astrid, so idolized by the Belgians. I do not quite grasp why wearing Astrid's jewels is supposed to have been so outrageous; after all, Lilian had "inherited" the Queen's husband, so why should she not have "inherited" some of her accessories, too? Still, it was clearly a psychological error. Be that as it may, however, here are pictures illustrating Lilian's use of Astrid's jewels. Above, we see Astrid wearing a diamond and emerald tiara, a gift from her parents-in-law, King Albert I and Queen Elisabeth, on the birth of her eldest son, Prince Baudouin. Below, we see Lilian wearing the same piece, as a necklace.


Melissa said...

I have often seen people on forums and message boards criticizing Princess Lilian for selling many jewels that had previously belonged to Queen Elizabeth or Queen Astrid but the only piece of jewellery that I am aware of her selling is the Cartier diamond scroll tiara. People on the internet say that she sold many jewels but I have never been able to find any evidence of that. Do you know of any other Belgian jewels that were sold by Princess Lilian?

May said...

Melissa, I think the only specific example I have seen discussed is the Cartier tiara. It may just be another exaggerated rumor about Lilian that she sold *many* jewels. But perhaps there were others. I will post more if I ever find more information n it.