09 February 2016

Jewels on Film: Princess Margaret, A Love Story

Today is the anniversary of the death of Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II. Enjoy the sparkling jewels and the bittersweet story of her romance with Group Captain Peter Townsend in this documentary from the BBC

07 February 2016

Kate Wears the Dacre Brooch

The Duchess of Cambridge performed her first official engagement today as the Honorary Air Commandant of the Air Cadets, attending a service to mark the organization's 75th anniversary. She wore an Alexander McQueen coat and a piece of jewelry long associated with the Air Cadets: the Dacre Brooch.

The brooch, which is set with diamonds and other gemstones, was traditionally presented each year to the best female cadet. That tradition began in 1982, the year that women were first admitted to the Air Cadets, and continued until last year. It was decided that the best female cadet should, like her male counterpart, instead receive the Dacre Sword.

Vintage Royals: Lilibet Glitters at Pinafore

February 7, 1962: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom wears major jewels to attend a performance of HMS Pinafore in London

06 February 2016

Saturday Sparkler: The Baden Sunburst Tiara

While star tiaras were perhaps more popular in the nineteenth century, there are also many antique pieces that incorporate sun and sunburst motifs. Today’s piece is the sunburst tiara of the Baden family. The family were the heads of the German grand duchy of Baden until 1918, when their titles were formally abolished following World War I. But although the Badens lost their titles, they managed to keep their tiaras, including this one.

The piece consists of seven diamond sunburst brooches of varying sizes set on a tiara frame; as you might expect, the piece can also be broken down so that the brooches can be worn separately. As with many heirloom tiaras from former royal families, the provenance with this one is a bit murky. No one seems to know precisely when or by whom the piece was made.