09 February 2015

The Top Ten: Princess Margaret's Jewels

Thirteen years ago on this day, Princess Margaret died in London. To remember her today, here's a list of my ten favorite pieces of her jewelry. Feel free to chime in with your favorites in the comments!

10. Ruby and Diamond Girandole Earrings

Margaret wore these girandole earrings, which are made of rubies and diamonds set in silver and gold, throughout her lifetime. After her death, the earrings fetched nearly $100,000 at the Christie's auction of her jewelry and possessions.

9. The Cartier Diamond Rose Brooch

A princess whose middle name is Rose obviously needs a gorgeous brooch with a rose motif. Margaret's was made in 1938 by Cartier. Its most famous outing was at the 1953 coronation of her sister, Queen Elizabeth II. It was also offered at the Christie's auction, where it sold for more than $280,000.

8.  The Snowdon Floral Tiara

In 1960, Antony Armstrong-Jones gave Margaret three diamond floral brooches as a wedding present. When their daughter, Sarah, married in 1994, Wartski combined the brooches to make a tiara. Sarah wore the piece on her wedding day, and in 2002, she inherited it from her mother.

7. The Cartier Halo Tiara

Although it's best known today as the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding tiara, Margaret wore the Cartier Halo Tiara numerous times as a young woman. She even wore the tiara with her coronet at her sister's coronation.

6. Pearl Choker with Diamond Clasp

Margaret was one of many Windsor women to embrace the multi-stranded pearl choker with a bejeweled clasp. This one is now worn by her daughter, Lady Sarah.

5.  The Lotus Flower Tiara

Also sometimes called the Papyrus Tiara, this is one of the tiaras that belonged to the young Queen Mum. Margaret wore it throughout her life, and her daughter-in-law, Viscountess Linley, wore it as a wedding tiara. After Margaret's death, it apparently returned to the royal vaults, resurfacing again recently when it was worn by the Duchess of Cambridge.

4. The Teck Diamond Hoop Necklace

Margaret often paired tiaras with this necklace of diamond circles that once belonged to Queen Mary's mother, the Duchess of Teck. The piece, which can also be worn on a tiara frame, is now owned by Margaret's son, Viscount Linley.

3.  Queen Mary's Diamond Riviere

This gorgeous necklace of large collet-set diamonds was bequeathed to Queen Mary by Lady Mount Stephen in 1933; in turn, Mary gave it to Margaret. It was one of her most-worn pieces throughout her lifetime. In 2006, it was sold at Christie's, fetching an astonishing $1.8 million.

2. The Persian Turquoises

Made by Garrard, this suite of turquoise jewels was given by Queen Mary to the Queen Mum as a wedding gift. The tiara includes numerous symbolic motifs, including true lover's knots, lamps of love, and triumphal wreaths of laurel. The parure includes a tiara, a necklace, earrings, and a brooch. The whereabouts of the set is not precisely known, but there are hopes that this set, like the Lotus Flower Tiara, was returned to the palace vaults after Margaret's death.

1. The Poltimore Tiara

Purchased by Margaret herself, this large diamond tiara was worn by the princess on her wedding day. It could also be converted into a necklace or numerous brooches. After her death, the piece was auctioned at Christie's, where it sold for $1.7 million.