10 November 2020

Diamond Tiara Tournament: Vladimir vs Queen Mary's Honeysuckle


This one's a Queen Mary showdown!

Dean Treml/Getty Images, LEON NEAL/AFP via Getty Images

The Vladimir Tiara vs. Queen Mary's Honeysuckle Tiara

Dean Treml/Getty Images

Though this classic Romanov tiara is most recognizable with its pearl or emerald pendants, the sparkler can be worn in an all-diamond "widowed" version as well. Originally part of the collection of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlvona of Russia (wife of Grand Duke Vladimir), the tiara was smuggled out of the country during the revolution and later purchased by Queen Mary. The Queen, who inherited the tiara from Queen Mary in 1953, wears it in the all-diamond form on occasion.

LEON NEAL/AFP via Getty Images

Queen Mary commissioned this tiara, which features honeysuckle elements throughout in diamonds, in 1914. Later, she had the size of the tiara's peak reduced. Originally the piece was made to hold one of the Cullinan diamonds; that centerpiece stone was also interchangeable with a sapphire and diamond jewel. When Mary gifted the tiara to her daughter-in-law, Princess Alice, she had a new diamond center element made. Today, the piece is worn by the current Duchess of Gloucester in its all-diamond form, as well as with an emerald center element, or a third stone that is either a kunzite or a pink topaz.