Thursday Reading Links #3


It’s almost the weekend! One more sleep until it is party central at my house. Just kidding! My weekends are all about books, tea and walks.

Here are some interesting reading links.

This Vanity Fair article is from 2008, but it’s a fascinating read about the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Greece (a defunct monarchy abolished in the 1970s). Talk about a charmed life: yachts, multiple homes, millions of dollars, designer clothes, entitlement. (“In some ways I’m lucky to have the opportunity to go out and create my own future. On the other hand, it would be nice to follow the career that I was born to, where I could serve my people the best way I can.”) It made me a bit nauseous reading about it all, but it makes for good book characters research.

What I’m reading right now. It’s so good and fluffy, airy and romantic. Perfect for Spring/Summer reading. Also, if you are going on a 4-plus hour flight, then this is the perfect book to be engrossed in. You’ll be able to finish reading it and still have time for a free plane movie.

I just ordered this Topshop purse. Normally I’m more on the conservative side with my handbags, but I’m ready for something different and fun!

I bought this necklace and earrings set and I love, love, love wearing it.

“We made more than five billion teabags last year.”

I love reading about what women keep in their bags.

The release date for Downton Abbey (the movie) is September 20, 2019. I am so excited. Will you see it?

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links. Thank you for reading my blog. xoxo, Jane


Trinket Tuesday: Queen Victoria’s Emerald Tiara

Victoria Revealed Exhibit at Kensington Palace.

There is no bigger trinket in my life than a tiara! This tiara belonged to Queen Victoria and was designed by her beloved Prince Albert. The tiara remains a part of her emerald and diamond parure. Today the set belongs to the 3rd Duke of Fife (her descendant).

This is my final Trinket Tuesday post because in 2019 I want to focus on different projects. Thank you for reading along and Happy Holidays! May your stockings be filled with diamond tiaras and may your 2019 be prosperous, happy and joyful. xoxo

Trinket Tuesday: The Fife Diamond Tiara

I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to the holiday season. It’s my favorite time of year. I love everything about Christmas! The decor, the sparkles, the festivities, the music, the food, the romantic holiday tv movies…I could go on and on.  Speaking of sparkles…

The Fife Diamond Tiara at Kensington Palace

Today’s trinket is another tiara, the Fife Diamond Tiara made in 1887. It was given to Princess Louise on her wedding day by her husband, the Duke of Fife. Princess Louise was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

All husbands should buy their spouses diamond tiaras! {I hope my husband is reading this post.}

Trinket Tuesday is where I share some of the lovely things I discover during my travels, research or around town. All pictures are my own (unless I state otherwise). I hope you enjoy!

Trinket Tuesday: Cut-Steel Jewelry

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has a fabulous permanent exhibit on jewelry and gemstones.  I especially enjoyed viewing their cut-steel jewelry. I learned that cut-steel jewelry is a unique type of jewelry that glitters without a single gemstone in the settings.

V&A’s exhibit on cut-steel jewelry. I was especially taken by the beautiful bracelets, seen above.

According to Geoffrey Munn in his fabulous book Tiaras – A History of Splendor, this type of jewelry was popular from the second half of the eighteenth century until 1900. When worn in candlelight (can you imagine a 19th century ball lit by candlelight?), the polished facets of the metal sparkled like diamonds. Munn stressed that cut-steel jewelry was not considered paste and would have been quite valuable in its day.

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Napoleon’s first consort, Josephine, owned cut-steel jewelry. It’s possible that Josephine’s cut-steel tiaras are the same ones worn today by the ladies of the Swedish royal family. This might be because Empress Josephine’s granddaughter and namesake, Josephine of Leuchtenberg (the child of her son Eugène de Beauharnais), married Crown Prince Oskar of Sweden, eventually becoming Queen Josephine of Sweden. Eugène’s sister, Hortense de Beauharnais, did not have any daughters. Presumably the future Queen Josephine inherited her aunt’s jewels.

The Napoleonic Cut-Steel Tiara, worn today by the ladies of the Swedish royal family, might have been one of them.

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Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden wearing her family’s Napoleonic Cut-Steel Tiara.

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A close-up of the Napoleonic Cut-Steel Tiara.

In an interesting twist of history, Crown Prince Oskar of Sweden was the son of Queen Desideria (Désirée Clary), the French-born, ex-fiancée of Napoleon. Napoleon callously ended their engagement to marry Josephine de Beauharnais. Désirée may not have been heartbroken for too long because, via her marriage to Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, she became Queen of Sweden. This, however, is a story for another day.


Links for your enjoyment: Josefina (Joséphine) of Leuchtenberg, Queen Desideria, the Swedish Royal Family, V&A.

Trinket Tuesday is where I share some of the lovely things I discover during my travels, research or around town. All pictures are my own (unless I state otherwise). I hope you enjoy!

Trinket Tuesday: Necklace and earrings of the Empress Marie-Louise

For today’s trinket we travel back to the Louvre to admire the necklace and earrings of the Empress Marie-Louise.

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This emerald and diamond necklace and matching earrings also included a comb and a tiara, but the tiara is now at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Sadly, the tiara no longer matches the necklace and earrings because, somewhere along the way, someone swapped out the emeralds for turquoise stones. As for the comb, according to the Louvre, “it was transformed.” I think that means that the comb doesn’t exist in its original state and the emeralds from the comb may be lost to history.

This parure* was a gift from Napoleon to his second wife, Marie-Louise, on the occasion of their marriage in 1810. According to the Louvre, the necklace comprises of 32 emeralds, 874 brilliants, and 264 rose diamonds. The Louvre acquired this set in 2004.

Links for your enjoyment: More details on the Louvre’s website, the tiara, Marie-Louise bio.

*Parure: a set of jewels intended to be worn together.

Trinket Tuesday is where I share some of the lovely things I discover during my travels, research or around town. All pictures are my own (unless I state otherwise). I hope you enjoy!

Trinket Tuesday: Bapst Emerald and Diamond Tiara


I love jewelry and the history of jewelry so I thought I’d briefly chat with you about it.

When visiting museums I always make a beeline for the decorative arts section, leaving my poor husband in the dust. It’s so wonderful to see in person the royal jewelry I read about, such as this magnificent emerald tiara at the Louvre.

It was made in 1820 for the Duchesse d’Angoulême (eldest daughter of Marie Antoinette) by Evrard and Frederick Bapst.  The tiara is made of gold and set with 1031 diamonds and 40 emeralds.  Seeing the emeralds up close was incredible. The emerald stone is one of my favorite gems.


The tiara became the favorite tiara of Empress Eugénie, consort of Napoleon III.  The French then sold it in 1887. After a very long absence, the tiara returned home to France where it now rests at the Louvre Museum.

xoxo, Jane