The signature piece of the Queen’s parure of diamond and aquamarine jewels has evolved over the decades, from a smaller bandeau-style tiara to the imposing diadem she wears today. In today’s article, we’re taking a closer look at an appearance from the set’s original tiara.
In November 1967, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh made an official visit to Malta. The island was important to both of them: they’d spent time together there in the early years of their marriage when Philip was stationed there with the navy. On the first evening of the visit, they were guests at a grand banquet at the palace in Valletta.
Their host for the evening was Malta’s governor general, Sir Maurice Henry Dorman. He served in the role from 1964 until 1971. He’d previously been the Governor General of Sierra Leone.
For the banquet, the Queen wore a gown embellished with crystals, plus several royal decorations: the sash and star of the Order of the Garter, and the Royal Family Orders of her father, King George VI, and her grandfather, King George V. She also wore pieces from her married parure of aquamarine jewels, in their original, pre-renovation settings. The necklace and earrings were a coronation gift from the people of Brazil in 1953. She commissioned the tiara in 1957 from Garrard to match them.
The bracelet was added to the set in 1958. The necklace also had a large pendant in its original setting; the Queen wore it on this occasion without that pendant.
In the 1970s, the parure had a significant facelift. The original pendant from the necklace was used as the centerpiece of a larger tiara, which also incorporated some of the elements from the original bandeau. The bandeau tiara’s center stone was used to make a new pendant for the necklace. Here, the Queen wears the renovated tiara and jewels for a state banquet in honor of the President of Mexico in 2009.