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Tiaras of Downton Abbey

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A lot of you have been leaving comments and sending messages asking for a post about the tiaras featured in the recent Downton Abbey movie -- and you're in luck! I got to see the movie on Friday evening, and today, I've got a little sneak peek at some of the royal (and non-royal) tiaras featured in the film.




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There are several scenes in the movie that feature tiaras, and the poster even gives you a peek at some of your favorite Downton characters dressed for dinner. I think my favorite tiara of the entire film might be the starry bandeau worn in the background here by Lady Edith -- so unusual and so perfect for a movie set in 1927.


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But I know you're all most interested in the royal tiaras depicted in the film. During the movie, the Granthams host King George V and Queen Mary for an evening at Downton Abbey, and at dinner, Queen Mary wears the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara. She's wearing gold on the right of the image; the replica tiara appears to be constructed without the bandeau base.


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For comparison's sake, here's a portrait of Mary from 1912 featuring the tiara without its base (and with its original pearl toppers).


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For a scene depicting a ball held at Harewood House (the Yorkshire home of Princess Mary's in-laws), Mary is shown wearing a replica of the Vladimir Tiara with its Cambridge emerald drops, as well as pieces from the Delhi Durbar Parure. The film's costume designer, Anna Robinson, recently gave an interview to Town and Country, which included a detailed conversation about the process of replicating this particular tiara.


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For the sake of reference, here's a portrait of Mary wearing very similar jewels in 1934.


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There's also one more tiara-wearer in the film: Princess Mary, George and Mary's daughter. You'll spot her on the left-hand side of this image, dancing at the Harewood House ball with Lord Lascelles. The costume designers put her in her diamond fringe tiara for the ball. (The purple sash she wears confounded me a little in the film, but it turns out it's the sash of the Order of the British Empire, which she received in the spring of 1927. The color of the sash wasn't changed to today's crimson shade until 1935.)


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Here's a look at the real Mary (much later, during the Greek state visit in 1963) wearing her fringe tiara. The fringe was one of her wedding gifts; it was sold after her death, and today it belongs to the Grosvenor family.


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Here are a few more glimpses at some of the tiaras worn by the main Downton characters. Cora wore this spiky tiara (which reminds me a bit of this Swedish sparkler).


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Lady Mary wore a bandeau that reminds me quite a lot of this British royal tiara.


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And finally, here's the Dowager Countess in an appropriately Victorian-style tiara. This one reminds me a lot of one royal tiara in particular.


What did you think of the Downton Abbey film, jewels and all? Try to keep your discussion fairly general (avoiding big spoilers)!