July 1, 2020
French jeweler Boucheron has debuted fresh episodes in an engaging new podcast series on the most unexpected and thrilling wedding stories called “Boucheron True Stories: For Better and For Worse.”
The second episode titled “Money can’t buy love” narrates the life-changing encounter of Consuelo Vanderbilt, one of the wealthiest women of the United States, and Charles Richard John Spencer-Churchill, ninth Duke of Marlborough and then the most eligible bachelor in the United Kingdom (1895).
The podcast is a true story of their arranged marriage by Consuelo’s socially ambitious American mother, hoping to secure an aristocratic match for her daughter, and a husband intending to buy a love. Along with that came beautiful diamond tiaras and valuable emerald necklaces that the duke could never afford.
In the third episode titled "Love can cross borders," the focus is on the union of a “not-so-young and not-so-rich” English aristocrat, Lord Curzon, and a young and wealthy American woman, Mary Leiter, who became the second-highest ranked woman in the British Empire after the Queen. Her husband was viceroy and governor-general of India, the crown jewel in the British Empire.
This was a marriage of convenience that turned into an undeniable romance, as evidenced by their striking public appearances, both in spectacular attire and adorned with Boucheron's equally striking jewelry pieces.
The first episode from the Kering-owned Boucheron focuses on U.S. heiress Anna Gould and French aristocrat Count Boni de Castellane. The episode is aptly titled, “For Money’s Sake.”
The couple regularly visited Boucheron’s store on 26 Place Vendôme – where the 162-year-old jeweler is still based.
To all appearances, the couple should have been happy. He was a famous Parisian dandy, although his only ticket to high society was his title.
Gould, having left her native United States to live in Paris, was heiress to a fortune so large it would require more than one lifetime to spend.
It was in Paris’ Belle Epoque that the lives of Gould and Boni de Castellane would come together.
However, love was not the frame of reference, because their meeting in 1894 had nothing to do with the romanticism of the “City of Love.” He was broke and she was looking for a husband and a step on the social ladder that a title afforded.
In 1895, the two wed. It was the first of its kind wedding in France, uniting the new world of American wealth and the Old World of European nobility, that resulted in an impressive demonstration of the newlyweds’ wealth.
From a diamond necklace to a diamond and ruby tiara and one of the most important orders of Boucheron – a natural pearl necklace – was ordered by Boni for his wife in 1896.
Unfortunately, the story that followed this acquisition is not the romantic ending expected.
Boucheron is a Kering brand.