Tiaras of Time
Date Posted:15 April 2018
With the royal wedding just around the corner, there is an endless list of finer details we are very eager to know! Who will design the dress? What will the guest list be? And of course, which tiara will Meghan wear? Whilst these details will remain a secret until the special day, a trip down memory lane will keep our excitement at bay! Tiaras have long been a tradition for royal weddings and the future princess has quite a spectacular selection of sparkling headwear to choose from. The royal collection boasts an impressive array of pieces which have stolen the spotlight on more than one occasion throughout the years.
CAMBRIDGE LOVER'S KNOT
One of our favourite tiaras of all time is the famed Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara, which at over a century old has sat upon the perfectly poised head of several royal women. Formally known as Queen Mary's Lover's Knot Tiara, the piece was commissioned in the early 1900's by Queen Mary and based on the original Cambridge Lover's Knot which belonged to her grandmother. The tiara features 19 delicate arches, 38 drop pearls and many round brilliant diamonds. Whilst rarely captured this way, 19 of the pearls can be worn upright as removable pearl spikes, making it a very large and striking piece.
In a nod to the royal women before her, Queen Mary sourced materials from other tiaras and brooches in the royal collection and commissioned famous court jewellers Garrard & Co. for the creation of this historic piece. In 1953 the tiara was left to Queen Elizabeth II where it saw many regal occasions throughout the 1950's. It then became a favourite of Princess Diana's after the Queen loaned it to her as a wedding present in 1981. Despite complaining it was extremely weighty on her head, Diana donned the beautiful tiara at countless formal events and paired it with many striking pearl and diamond pieces from her own personal collection. It was one of only two tiaras the late princess wore. After over twenty years in the Queens royal vault, the Duchess of Cambridge brought the tiara out into the spotlight in 2015 where it has since been the talking piece of Diplomatic Receptions in Buckingham Palace and royal enthusiasts all around the world.
THE NIZAM OF HYDERABAD ROSE
Although it has now been dismantled, we couldn't go past sharing with you the beautiful Nizam of Hyderabad Rose Tiara, famously gifted to then Princess Elizabeth on her wedding day and sourced from an existing collection of Cartier jewels. In 1947 the diamond tiara was given with an accompanying matching necklace by the Nizam of Hyderabad and features a design based on English roses. At the request of Nizam, both pieces were hand chosen by the bride and it is rumoured she quite fancied the idea of being able to detach the three brooches which made up the centre piece of the tiaras design. Eventually the tiara was dismantled and the diamonds used to create the Burmese Ruby Tiara, however the necklace and three brooches remained in the royal collection.
In her earlier years the Queen frequently wore the larger of the three brooches, and the two smaller rose brooches sometimes together as a set. The necklace was paired with many of her other extravagant tiaras, but always stood out as an impressive sparkler! It was eventually shortened to accommodate for HRH's preferred higher neckline, and still appears out of the royal vault from time to time. Recent years has seen it loaned to the Duchess of Cambridge for various formal occasions, first adorning Catherine's neck in 2014.
THE LOTUS FLOWER TIARA
Originally belonging the Queen Mother, the Lotus Flower Tiara was created using a diamond and pearl necklace Elizabeth received as a wedding gift from her husband in 1923. Only six months later she asked court jeweller Garrard to transform the piece into a tiara which would easily work into her fabulous style and outfits of the era, often wearing it down low across the forehead. Featured in the official portraits that were circulated in 1937, the tiara was not seen terribly much after this era until Princess Margaret received the sentimental heirloom from her mother in 1959. As if it was made just for her, the tiara perfectly suited Margaret's classic and feminine style and the sparkling piece of headwear often made an appearance at official and social outings throughout her life, always striking as a beautiful feature of her outfit.
The Princess opted to wear it in the more modern style of sitting atop the head, and this tradition continued when it reached the third generation, Margaret's daughter in law Serena Stanhope. Serena was loaned the sentimental piece in 1993 for her wedding to Margaret's only son, Viscount Linley. It is believed to have then been returned into the royal vaults and surprised everyone by making an appearance on the Duchess of Cambridge first in 2013, and then in 2015. The tiara has not been seen in public since this time. Out of the existing tiaras in the royal collection, the Lotus Flower is one of our favourites and we do hope it is in the running to be chosen for Harry and Meghan's wedding!