You mean this one? It’s actually got a piece of velvet behind the tiara which the row of diamonds are glued to :)
On the occasion of Edward VII’s and Queen Alexandra’s silver wedding (oh to be give a tiara for a wedding anniversary), Lady Salisbury presented this magnificent tiara to Their Majesties on behalf of 365 peeresses of the United Kingdom. Yet it wasn’t much of a surprise, as The Queen herself was asked on what she wanted, and so this tiara, inspired from traditional Russian headpieces, was born.
A kokoshnik is a traditional fabric Russian head-dress, and in their latest imperial form were worn by the Romanovs for costume balls. Some say that Alexandra based the design on a kokoshnik owned by her sister- Dagmar, the Tsarina. The fringe design was not original, it was actually the norm for tiaras at the time. Yet unlike many other fringe tiaras, it took a more rounded, circular form, so it was named after the kokoshnik. The tiara was commissioned from Garrard Jewellers and supervised by Lady Salisbury.
In total, a whopping 488 diamonds bejewel this tiara, which create quite a stunning effect. Each column of diamonds is pave-set with brilliant cut diamonds, set on white and yellow gold. On Alexandra’s death, Queen Mary inherited the tiara, and did wear it, although she already had quite a substantial jewel collection. Once again, when Queen Mary passed away, the tiara fell into Queen Elizabeth’s hands. It has made regular appearances during The Queen’s reign, and I personally find it the most blingy and full-on tiara she wears. But I like it that way, and nothing screams “I’M THE FREAKING QUEEN!” better than a huge wall of diamonds on your head.
Honestly, I could see this tiara sitting perfectly well in the Duchess of Cornwall’s hair- she can pull of a huge tiara quite unlike anybody else!
Pictures: Plaid Petticoats/Tiara Mania/Royal Collection/The Royal Universe
Eager to make use of some 239 diamond collets casually inherited, George VI commissioned a necklace using 105 of the gems. So in 1947, a three-strand necklace was created, which were hung between two diamond triangles at either ends. The weight of the necklace is a whopping 170 carats. Could these gems on Queen Mary have anything to do with this?
The Queen tends to wear the Festoon Necklace on more formal engagements. It has made regular appearances at State Opening of Parliaments, and is also whipped out on State Visits and receptions.
This has always been one of my favourite diamonds in The Queen’s collection, and has also remained as one of HM’s as well, possibly due to the sentimental nature of it, originating from her beloved papa, sigh…
Pictures: cbs/jewelsnext/tiarasandtrianon/suedonnelly.com/The Royal Firm/Mad Hattery
The Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara is one of the most famous and recognisable pieces in the Royal Collection. Garrard was commissioned to design and produce the tiara in 1913, by none other than Queen Mary, for who we all know had a love for bling.
The design took inspiration from Mary’s grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse, who owned a similar tiara with huge pearls lining its top. The most recognisable element of the tiara is its fabulous pearls, which hang nineteen diamond frames which are topped off with ‘true lover’s knots’, symbolising friendship, love and affection. The tiara borrowed a portion of the pearls evident on the original version of the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, along with a few pearls from Mary’s brooches.
Queen Elizabeth inherited the tiara upon her grandmother’s death in 1953- the year of her coronation. The tiara made numerous appearances at formal engagements and receptions in the 1950’s, but was not worn until it was loaned out to The Queen’s daughter-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales. Diana wore it quite regularly throughout the years, but also complained that the tiara was quite heavy, and gave her headaches.
Personally, I love this tiara, but I think the swinging pearls are a bit too much. However, this features DOES make the Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara famous. An interesting question- who wore it the best? Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth or Princess Diana?
Pictures: The Rhinestone Collection/about.com/chezchiara/britishroyalty.com/internetstones.com/tiaramania
A rare sight in the Queen’s Personal Jewel Collection- one specially made for her. Most tiaras in her vault have been inherited from the crown, or given as gifts. Many have previously belonged to Queen Mary and The Queen Mother. But the Burmese Ruby Tiara was specially commissioned for The Queen by Garrard in 1973. The tiara was made using jewels in The Queen’s possession, including 96 rubies presented ‘by the people of Burma.’ Most notably (to my dismay), the diamonds on the tiara have been taken from the Nizam of Hyderabad Tiara.
From The Order of Splendour, ‘The rubies which give us our name were a symbolic gift: according to traditional Burmese beliefs, rubies are meant to protect their owner from evil and illness, and there are 96 diseases that can affect humans.’
Clusters of rubies shaped as roses are joined by lines of the same gem, with their petals made of diamonds. Bursts of diamonds also fan out from the lines of rubies. The Queen wears the tiara along with three ruby necklaces and other jewels in her possession. Before the tiara, The Queen’s collection was devoid of a ruby tiara, and it’s good to see her take initiative and order a new one- a rare occurrence for such a frugal monarch.
That said, I have to say that this tiara is certainly not one of my favourites. From afar it looks nice, but close up the bursts of diamonds look too manufactured to me. But the main reason I don’t have a fondness for the piece is that the Nizam of Hyderabad Tiara (one of my favourites), pictured below, was dismantled for this piece. It was such an elegant piece, and looked oh so lovely on the young Queen. But this tiara is pleasant enough, and was certainly needed to add a touch of red to HM’s jewel collection.
Pictures: Getty Images/bijoussimo/Order of Splendour/master-zoro/Mad Hattery
Sigh.. the days where gigantic bling giving was utilised for jubilees… This necklace originated when Queen Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 1887. Of course, at the time Britain still ruled a large portion of the world, and the “Women of the Empire” banded together and many donated a penny to mark the Jubilee. Much of the money went to the creation of the necklace, which was presented to Victoria on the 24th June, 1887.
The design of the necklace is of ‘graduated diamond trefoils’ which surround a main quatrefoil. Each of them contain a pearl in their centres. The centre quatrefoil is topped with a another pearl and diamond creation- a crown. Upon her death, Victoria left the necklace to the crown, and Queen Elizabeth II has worn it on many occasions, including a large number of State Openings of Parliament.
Picture: Order of Splendor
Are you a fan of this piece?
The Greek Meander Tiara originally belonged to Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice or Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark. For yet another wedding gift, she gave her daughter-in-law, Princess Elizabeth. Whilst in her possession, Elizabeth has never worn the tiara, (I agree, it would have looked bizarre on her). Fortunately, the tiara didn’t go to waste in the vaults, and The Queen then passed it onto her daughter, Princess Anne.
In stark contrast to her mother, The Princess Royal has worn this tiara on many occasions, and suits her well! It’s modern, bold yet subtle and very unusual, in a good way. Most notably, Princess Anne’s daughter, Zara Philips wore the Greek Meander Tiara for her wedding to Mike Tindall in 2011.
The tiara is purely made up of diamonds. The central feature is a wreath which encompasses a brilliant cut diamond. Two honeysuckle decorations also adorn both sides of the wreath, surrounded by the fabulous ‘key’ design. All in all a great, modern tiara with a nod to the Greek background of the Queen’s descendants.
Pictures: Zimbio/Getty Images/The Daily Mail/HiJi/The Telegraph
The Williamson Pink Diamond, year another gift given to Princess Elizabeth for her wedding in 1947, is so important it has its own Wikipedia page! It is a 23.6 carat round brilliant cut diamond and is certainly a gem. The diamond was discovered by children below a tree outside a mine operated by Dr. John Williamson.
With its amazing pink hue, it’s no surprise the Queen employed Briefel and Lemer to cut the diamond for its new setting- a brooch designed by Cartier. The brooch is formed by a flower with five petals. White diamonds cover the petals with baguette cut ones lining the stalk. The white diamonds were also provided by Williamson- what a generous man!
The Queen tends to wear this diamond on important occasions, maybe this is one of her favourites? She wore it for her Silver Jubilee, and the weddings of Charles and Sophie, as well as her audience with President Obama. According to orderofsplendor, this is a charming story which accompanies the brooch-
One of the children that Dr. Williamson asked to bless the original stone and wish the princess luck before sending it off grew up and earned himself the honor of an MBE and an invitation to an investiture with the queen. He wrote to the queen in advance of his ceremony and told her his story; on the big day, she wore the brooch just for him.
Pictures: demotix.com/The Royal Collection
In 1929, Mrs Greville, a British society hostess, ordered these striking earrings from Cartier in London. When she passed in 1942, Mrs Greville bequeathed her gems to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother- god bless her. Each earring is made up of 16 diamonds of varying cuts- pear shaped, half-moon, square, trapeze, baguette, baton and emerald-cut.
When Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, these earrings were giving to the young bridge as a wedding present from her parents. The Queen wore these earrings quite frequently in the early years of her reign, but now she prefers to wear pearl ones during formal occasions instead.
Pictures: The Royal Collection
Unfortunately, there is not much information on this piece, but I find it a wonderfully beautiful fringe. Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark received the tiara from the City of London as a wedding gift for her marriage to Prince George, Duke of Kent in 1934. Since Marina, almost all the Kent women have worn the piece during their weddings- Princess Michael for her wedding ball and Princess Alexandra for her wedding at Westminster Abbey. A necklace of diamonds can also be worn over its top, as Princess Michael did.