20 June 2015

The Duke of Wellington's Waterloo Banquet

On Thursday, the Duke and Duchess of Wellington held a black-tie banquet at Apsley House to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. And there were tiaras!

The Duchess of Cornwall wore her Old Faithful tiara to the banquet: the Greville Tiara, also known as the Boucheron Honeycomb Tiara. It was one of the many jewels that came to the Windsor collection as a part of the Hon. Mrs. Greville's bequest to the Queen Mother.

The magnificent necklace that Camilla wore is also from the Greville bequest.

The Duchess of Wellington isn't just your garden-variety aristocrat. Born Princess Antonia of Prussia, she is a great-granddaughter of the last German kaiser, which also makes her a descendant of Queen Victoria. (And even better, her mother was Lady Brigid Guinness, which makes her a descendant of the Earls of Iveagh. Remember their contribution to British royal jewelry?)

The impressive diamond circlet tiara worn by Antonia, however, is a Wellesley family heirloom. It's the tiara she wore on her wedding day, and it's been worn by generations of Wellington duchesses. Here's Kathleen Williams, wife of the 4th Duke, wearing both the tiara and the necklace worn by Antonia at the banquet.