08 December 2020

Diamond Tiara Tournament: Mary's Fringe vs Floral Aigrette

Will it be the fringe or the flowers?

Benjamin Wheeler/Press Association, Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara vs. The Danish Floral Aigrette

Benjamin Wheeler/Press Association

Queen Mary commissioned this classic diamond fringe tiara in 1919 as an alternative to the older and more unwieldy Queen Adelaide Fringe. The new fringe tiara later became a favorite of the Queen Mother, who loaned it to a pair of royal brides: Queen Elizabeth II in 1947 and Princess Anne in 1973. In 2020, it was used as a bridal tiara again by the Queen's granddaughter, Princess Beatrice of York.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Some believe that this incredible, flexible floral ornament originally belonged to Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia, grandmother of King Frederik IX. We know for sure, though, that in the 1960s it belonged to a famous Danish-American tenor, Lauritz Melchior. He sold it to King Frederik in 1963, and it's been sparkling on the heads of Queen Ingrid and Queen Margrethe II ever since. Queen Margrethe is especially inventive in the ways she wears the three-sectioned tiara.