Elisabeth in Bavaria

The Year of Empress Elisabeth – “A miserable, languishing creature” (Part one)

Shortly after marrying her first cousin Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, Elisabeth reluctantly began to follow court protocol while lamenting the loss of her former “carefree, innocent existence of Possenhofen.” In Vienna, her health quickly deteriorated, and she suffered from coughing fits and anxiety attacks. These ailments were possibly psychosomatic. In those early years of [read more]

queen sonja

A look at Queen Sonja of Norway

Norway’s Queen Sonja is celebrating her 85th birthday today. From a commoner to a Queen consort, let’s take a look at the life of the Queen of Norway. Sonja Haraldsen was born on 4 July 1937 to Karl and Dagny Haraldsen in Oslo. She grew up with an older brother and an older sister, Haakon [read more]

queen elizabeth lily brooch
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon

Royal Jewels – The Cartier Lily Brooch

The Lily Brooch was made for Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother) in 1938 by Cartier from six drops and 197 brilliants, which were already in the Queen’s collection. The result was quite a large and interesting brooch in the form of “a stem of lilies, with two open flowers, claw- and pavé-set with brilliants, [read more]