This October, we’re going to be delving into the bejeweled history of one of the most intriguing royal women of the twentieth century: Farah Pahlavi, the former empress of Iran. We’re beginning with the jewels she wore on the day she joined the imperial family: her wedding day.
Farah (who was born Farah Diba) was the third wife of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran. He had been married and divorced twice before, and his third marriage was motivated in part by his need for a male heir. His only daughter, Princess Shahnaz, helped coordinate his relationship with Farah, who was a twenty-one-year old architecture student in Paris when they met. They were engaged in November 1959, and their wedding was held that December.
Farah wore a wedding gown designed by Yves Saint Laurent, who was working at the time for Dior. The heavily-embroidered gown was sleeveless but featured a matching coat.
With her gown, Farah wore diamonds, including the most impressive diamond tiara in the Iranian imperial collection: the Noor-ol-Ain Tiara.
The tiara was commissioned by the Shah from Harry Winston in 1958. The piece is set with white, pink and yellow diamonds. The largest stone in the tiara is one of the largest pink diamonds in the world: the 60-carat Noor-ol-Ain Diamond. It was brought to present-day Iran from India in the 18th century by Persian soldiers. The diamond’s name means “the light of the eye.”
When the Pahlavi family was exiled from Iran in the late 1970s, this tiara stayed behind. It is state property, and today, it’s held in the Central Bank in Tehran with the rest of the nation’s crown jewels.
Farah also wore a diamond necklace, a diamond bracelet, and earrings with large, pear-shaped yellow diamond drops.