Our sparkling spotlight focus on the tiaras of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother wraps up today with a rare outing from the original setting of one of her favorite diamond tiaras.
On November 22, 1950, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth arrived at Claridge’s in London for a banquet. The dinner was given for them by Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, who were on a state visit to the United Kingdom. More than a thousand dark red roses were brought over from the Netherlands for the table decorations, and the tableware and all of the food were also Dutch. Here, the King, the Queen, and Princess Margaret are greeted by the Dutch ambassador.
For the dinner, the Queen wore one of her famous crinoline gowns. The press described it as made of “lemon-coloured tulle, with scintillating silver and gold embroideries.”
And her jewels were absolutely scintillating as well. In 1942, Dame Margaret Greville had bequeathed her incredible jewelry collection to the Queen. Among the pieces Elizabeth received were an incredible diamond honeycomb tiara, made by Boucheron, and an astonishing diamond festoon necklace, made by Cartier. Queen Elizabeth wore both of them for this dinner, pairing them with the Coronation Earrings and Queen Victoria’s Diamond Bracelet. You can’t see it in these photos, but she also wore the Duchess of Teck’s Flower Brooch pinned to her order sash. (You can see the brooch and sash here.)
If the Greville Tiara looks a little different to you here, there’s good reason. This is the setting of the tiara that Queen Elizabeth inherited from Mrs. Greville: a large diamond kokoshnik. Later, in 1953, Elizabeth had the tiara upgraded. She turned to Cartier, who supplemented the top line of the tiara with more diamonds. (You can get a good close-up look at the new additions in this earlier article.)
And what about the other royals at the banquet? Here’s a look at a few of their ensembles. Queen Juliana wore a silk evening gown, the color of which reporters described as “light almond.” She also wore the grand full setting of the Württemberg Ornate Pearl Tiara.
Princess Elizabeth arrived for the banquet wearing the Nizam of Hyderabad Tiara and its coordinating necklace, the Dorset Bow Brooch, the Diplomatic Corps Floral Earrings, and the Edinburgh Wedding Bracelet. The jewels adorned a dress of “pale cyclamen pink satin with a panel of powder-blue satin draped across the corsage over her right shoulder and continuing down the left side of the skirt.”
And you get a peek of Princess Margaret’s gown and jewels behind her parents in this photograph. She wore Queen Mary’s Diamond Lozenge Tiara and pearls with a dress of “multi-colored flowered satin in tones of pink, blue and mauve.” She secured her order sash, not shown here, with one of her diamond cross brooches.