23 November 2020

Diamond Tiara Tournament: Iveagh vs Akishino


This one's a battle of the floral sparklers!

Stefan Rousseau/PA Images/Alamy, Carlos Bergamín/Alamy

The Iveagh Tiara vs. The Akishino Tiara

Stefan Rousseau/PA Images/Alamy

This lovely kokoshnik-style tiara was given to Queen Mary as a wedding present by Lord and Lady Iveagh in 1893. It's one of the only pieces of wedding-gift jewelry that she never significantly altered; with its beautiful, balanced shape, she didn't really need to. Mary bequeathed the tiara to her daughter-in-law, Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester. Today, it's still worn by Alice's daughter-in-law, Birgitte, and it was also a wedding tiara for Alice's granddaughter, Lady Rose Gilman.

Carlos Bergamín/Alamy

When Prince Fumihito and Kiko Kawashima married in 1990, Emperor Akihito granted them their own household and the titles of Prince and Princess Akishino. Kiko also gained her own imperial symbol, the iris setosa. Her diamond wedding parure, which includes the Akishino Tiara, incorporates iris flowers in its complicated design. For three decades, the Akishino Tiara was the only diadem that Kiko wore for gala events, including state banquets and the family's annual New Year audience. Now that she's Japan's crown princess, however, her tiara options have expanded.