The olive wreath tiara was commissioned from Cartier by Princess Marie Bonaparte on the occasion of her marriage to Prince George of Greece and Denmark in 1907.
Marie was both a princess and an heiress. She was descended from French royalty by way of Lucien Bonapart (a younger brother of Napoleon) as well as being the granddaughter of François Blanc (a real estate developer whose casino projects included the famous Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco). Prince George of Greece and Denmark was one of the sons of King George I of the Hellenes.
The tiara, designed by Cartier, was a nod to Marie’s imperial heritage. Diamond olive leaves with eleven diamond “olives", which could be swapped out for other stones at will. Apparently the original “olives” were emeralds which Marie switched out in favor of rubies occasionally.
In the center of the already magnificent tiara was a jaw dropping enormous pear-shaped diamond set en tremblant.
Princess Marie died in 1962. Approximately thirty years later the tiara went up for auction without the central diamond or the emerald and ruby stones. The tiara was purchased in 1999 by the Albion Art Institute and the central diamond was replaced.
The marriage between Marie and George was…complicated (for lack of a better term). Suffice to say as a result of her marriage she became a devout follower of Sigmund Freud. I won’t go into the sordid details here but, if you’re curious take a minute to google them.