18 November 2020

Diamond Tiara Tournament: Imperial Chrysanthemum vs Delhi Durbar


This one's a match-up of tiaras made for empresses!

MAP/AFP via Getty Images, MATT DUNHAM/AFP via Getty Images

The Imperial Chrysanthemum Tiara vs. The Delhi Durbar Tiara

MAP/AFP via Getty Images

This all-diamond tiara features one of the most important symbols of the Japanese imperial family: the chrysanthemum flower. The piece was a favorite of Michiko's mother-in-law, Empress Nagako, who wore it on Akihito and Michiko's wedding day in 1959. Michiko has often chosen this piece for banquets. She also wore the tiara on the wedding day of her younger son, Crown Prince Fumihito, in 1990.

MATT DUNHAM/AFP via Getty Images

Queen Mary's husband, King George V, called this sparkler her "best tiara." It was made in 1911 for the Delhi Durbar, the celebration of the couple's coronation in India. Mary recycled diamonds from another dismantled tiara to make the piece, which was originally also set with some of the famous Cambridge emeralds. In 1912, Garrard altered the piece so that it could be worn with the Cullinan III and IV diamonds. Mary gave it as a long-term loan to the Queen Mother, who kept it until her death. Today, it's now on loan to the Duchess of Cornwall, who has so far only worn it in public once.