31 August 2020

The Princess Royal's Tiaras


We're closing out the month of August here at The Court Jeweller with a bit of a bejeweled tribute to a royal who just marked an important milestone: the Princess Royal, who celebrated her 70th birthday on August 15. Today, we've got a look at all of the tiaras she's worn in public!

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Like two other members of the royal family -- Princess Margaret and the Duchess of Cambridge -- Princess Anne's very first tiara was the delicate scrolling halo tiara made by Cartier for the Queen Mother. The piece was loaned to Anne by her mother, Queen Elizabeth II, and she wore it often in her teen years for events like the State Opening of Parliament (pictured above, October 1967)

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Princess Anne has been wearing this diamond bandeau, featuring laurel wreaths, anthemions, and a Greek Key (or meander) pattern, since she was a young woman. The tiara originally belonged to her grandmother, Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark, who had given it to Queen Elizabeth II as a wedding present. The Queen loaned it to Princess Anne for some of her early tiara appearances (including this state visit to Austria in May 1969) before giving her the tiara in 1972. Anne still wears it regularly today, and she also loaned it to her daughter, Zara, as a bridal tiara in 2011.

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The Birthday Portrait Tiara

For her twenty-first birthday, Princess Anne sat for a series of official commemorative portraits. She wore an ice green gown with a diamond scroll tiara and posed in front of a background specially painted by Gordon Davies for the portrait session. The tiara has never been seen on a royal woman before or since, so there's a general consensus that it was probably a loan. (Why would the Brits borrow a tiara? Hard to know. Perhaps they wanted a specific look?) The images were published in British newspapers in August 1971.

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This delicate diamond festoon tiara was given to Princess Anne in 1973 when she christened a ship. (Not a bad thank-you present!) It's intricate and pretty, which made it a perfect wedding tiara for Anne's daughter-in-law in 2008. Anne still wears it regularly, including an appearance at a Guildhall banquet during the Spanish state visit in July 2017 (pictured above).

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In November 1973, Princess Anne borrowed Queen Mary's diamond fringe tiara from her grandmother, the Queen Mother, for her wedding to Mark Phillips. Anne was the second royal bride to wear the tiara after her mother, Queen Elizabeth II (who now owns it). Most recently, it was worn by another family bride: Princess Beatrice of York.

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This Cartier diamond and aquamarine tiara, which has a unique pinecone design theme, was a wedding anniversary gift from King George VI to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in the 1940s. In November 1973, the Queen Mother offered it to Princess Anne as a wedding present. She's been wearing it ever since (including at a state banquet in June 2019, pictured above), and has even made a few design tweaks along the way. 

The Queen Mother's Double Meander Tiara

This diamond kokoshnik tiara, made of two rows of Greek Key (or meander) patterns, is a little bit of a mystery. Made in the nineteenth-century, it originally also accommodated an aigrette plume. It belonged to the Queen Mother, but we've only seen it worn once by a royal woman: Princess Anne's outing in the tiara for a state banquet at Buckingham Palace during the Chinese state visit in November 2005 (above).

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Princess Anne's Pearl Bandeau

Princess Anne has also worn one more mystery tiara in recent memory: a gold-hued bandeau, which appears to be set with large pearls. She donned the tiara for a state banquet at Windsor Castle during the Indian state visit in October 2009. We still don't know anything more about it, including its provenance, and we haven't seen it in public since.