The Royal family has an unending amount of beautiful jewels but one tiara in particular has been labelled as “haunted” and causing “bad luck” to anyone who wears it or even owns it.
The Strawberry Leaf Tiara (several pictures can be seen here) has a long and tragic history. It began as a beautiful wedding gift designed by Prince Albert to his daughter Princess Alice when she married Prince Louis of Hesse in 1861. Unfortunately, Prince Albert passed away before the wedding happened and the diamond tiara was given to the princess by her mother, Queen Victoria.
Princess Alice wore the tiara on her wedding day and then brought it to her new residence in the German grand duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt. The “curse” took the princess exactly 17 years to the day of her father’s passing when she died from diphtheria at the young age of 35. One of her daughters named Marie also passed away.
Her son Ernst (or better known as “Ernie”) took possession of the tiara and grew up to become the new Hessian grand duke. He married his first cousin, Princess Victoria Melita in 1894 and she would often wear the tiara until their divorce in 1901. Ernie’s second wife, Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich, was the next one to wear the tiara. In fact, she and her daughter-in-law named Princess Cecilie were both photographed wearing it.
Unfortunately, a tragic plane crash occurred in 1937 that killed several members of the Hesse family (including both Eleonore and Cecilie). “Cecilie was pregnant and she must have given birth during the flight or the crash because the baby is also found,” a historian noted. The tiara was on the plane but incredibly it wasn’t damaged by the wreck or the fire.
The crash left the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Hesse’s daughter Johanna orphaned so she went to live with her uncle Prince Louis of Hesse and his wife Margaret Campbell Geddes who adopted their niece after the accident. But tragedy struck again as Johanna passed away in 1939 from meningitis just one month prior to her third birthday. It is believed that the tiara was then given to Princess Margaret although she was never photographed wearing it (can you blame her?).
The tiara is sometimes put on public display at exhibits but it’s not usually worn. It is believed that the “Hessian House Foundation” is now in possession of it.
The Strawberry Leaf Tiara has been connected to several deaths, divorce, a plane crash, and just pure bad luck. It’s not surprising that the Royal family refuses to wear it.