16 May 2015

Saturday Sparkler Special: Queen Mary's Tiaras (Part 2)


Time for the second installment of our survey of Queen Mary's impressive tiara collection! If you missed part one, hop over here to read about the all-diamond tiaras in Mary's jewelry box. Today, we're looking at her cache of sparklers that combined diamonds and pearls...



The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara

Current Owner: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Original Owner: Queen Mary of the United Kingdom
Maker: E. Wolff and Co. for Garrard, 1893

One of the most classic and beautiful tiaras in the British collection, Queen Mary received this one as a wedding present. And although it is an all-diamond tiara today, it was originally topped by fourteen large pearls. Mary later had those pearls replaced with diamonds and used the pearls on her new Lover's Knot Tiara. Mary gave the tiara to her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II, as a wedding present, and it's still one of the Queen's most-worn tiaras today.
 
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Queen Mary's Lover's Knot Tiara

Current Owner: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Original Owner: Queen Mary of the United Kingdom
Maker: E. Wolff and Co. for Garrard, 1913

Mary commissioned this tiara to mimic the design of a sparkler that belonged to her grandmother, the Duchess of Cambridge. The new lover's knot tiara recycled pearls that had once been atop the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, as well as other pearls from Mary's collection. The tiara once also had upright pearls fixed atop the piece, although those have since been permanently removed. The Queen inherited the tiara from her grandmother in 1953, but today, it's probably most associated with another wearer: Diana, Princess of Wales.

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The Vladimir Tiara

Current Owner: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Original Owner: Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia
Maker: Likely Bolin, ca. 1874

This diamond tiara of interlocking circles and pearl pendants was made for Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, sister-in-law of Czar Alexander III of Russia. After the revolution, her daughter sold the tiara to Queen Mary, who had it adapted to take either the original pearl drops or a set of drops from the Cambridge emerald collection. Queen Elizabeth II inherited the piece in 1953, and she still wears it regularly today.

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The Diamond Diadem

Current Owner: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Original Owner: King George IV of the United Kingdom
Maker: Rundell, Bridge, and Rundell, ca. 1820

Made for George IV to wear at his coronation, this diamond and pearl diadem is really more crown than tiara. The diadem includes symbols of England, Scotland, and Ireland and features two rows of pearls at its base. It's been in the collections of all subsequent queens and queens consort: Adelaide, Victoria, Alexandra, Mary, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth II. Today, the Queen wears the diadem every year during part of the State Opening of Parliament ceremonies.


Which of these tiaras is your favorite? Weigh in below, and stay tuned next week for another group of Queen Mary's tiaras!