06 January 2021

Diamond Tiara Tournament: Meiji vs Vladimir

This contest is a heavyweight bout!

KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images, Dean Treml/Getty Images

The Meiji Tiara vs. The Vladimir Tiara

KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images

This classic diamond tiara was the first important Western-style diadem worn by the Empresses of Japan. Since the late nineteenth century, all Japanese empresses have worn the tiara, which has a set of interchangeable round and star diamond toppers. Today, the tiara is worn by Empress Masako.

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 Pavlovna 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.