22 October 2018

The Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara Returns!


This weekend, a wedding of a descendant of the royal family of Wuerttemberg allowed several family tiaras to pop up in public -- including a very exciting appearance from the original Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara!

For the ball following the wedding of Duchess Sophie of Wuerttemberg and Maximilian d'Andigne, the bride's aunt, Duchess Mathilde, created a sensation when she appeared in the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara. Mathilde is married to Erich of Waldburg and Zeil. His parents, Georg and Marie Gabrielle, purchased the tiara at auction in Switzerland almost four decades ago. Vincent Meylan posted about the tiara on his (excellent!) Instagram feed, noting that this was the first time Mathilde has worn the Lover's Knot Tiara in public. (Vincent also has more tiara tidbits from the wedding on Instagram -- check it out!)

Princess Augusta, Duchess of Cambridge wears the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara

The tiara's history is much longer, though. It was made in 1818 for Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel, the wife of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge (a son of King George III of the United Kingdom).

The Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara (left); Queen Mary's Lover's Knot Tiara (right)

In 1858, Augusta gave the tiara to her daughter, Grand Duchess Augusta of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Her niece, the future Queen Mary of the United Kingdom, often admired her aunt's lover's knot tiara. But Mary didn't inherit the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara; that went to Augusta's granddaughter, and it was eventually sold. So Queen Mary did the next best thing, commissioning a replica version of the tiara. That sparkler, Queen Mary's Lover's Knot Tiara, has since been worn by Queen Elizabeth II, Diana, Princess of Wales, and now the current Duchess of Cambridge.

This weekend's reappearance of the real Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara gives us a good opportunity to revisit this helpful chart, which I created so that jewel lovers can tell the difference between the two. You'll note that there's also one quick visual difference: the Cambridge has pearl toppers, while the current iteration of the Queen Mary version does not. You can read more about the two tiaras in our comparison post here!