In the 1960s, Princess Margaret was a fixture at royal film premieres, often wearing grand jewels and tiaras. Today’s jewel, the Persian Turquoise Tiara, accompanied her to a Shakespearean movie premiere.
On February 27, 1967, Princess Margaret headed to the Odeon Leicester Square for the Royal Film Performance of The Taming of the Shrew. She met with stars of the film at the screening, including Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, as well as other actors like Laurence Harvey, Mia Farrow, Christopher Plummer, and Gina Lollobrigida. Margaret was a smiling professional during the event, though papers were simultaneously publishing headlines speculating about an impending divorce from Lord Snowdon. (Tony publicly denied the rumors, but it’s true that their relationship was already fracturing. They would officially separate in 1976 and divorce two years later.)
For the premiere, Princess Margaret (seen here chatting with Lollobrigida and Plummer) wore a dress made of white satin, trimmed at the hem with white mink in a nod to the winter season.
She accessorized with diamond and turquoise jewels that had originally belonged to her mother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. The Persian Turquoise Parure was given to Elizabeth as a wedding present in 1923 by her new father-in-law, King George V. The set had been purchased from Garrard by Queen Mary. The tiara, which originally featured a thin top border of diamonds that gave it a traditional kokoshnik shape, features various symbols of love and victory in its design, including laurel wreaths, torches, and lovers’ knots. (You’ll sometimes see it called the “Triumph of Love Tiara” as a nod to those design motifs.)
Princess Margaret began wearing the set in 1951. That year, the Queen Mother reportedly gave her the entire parure (which also includes earrings, a necklace, and a brooch) as a 21st birthday present. Margaret’s wearing the entire suite here, with the brooch pinned at the center of her bodice. You can see the set in color here.
The Queen Mother ultimately wasn’t a huge fan of the turquoise tiara, wearing it only rarely, but it proved to be a lovely match for Princess Margaret’s swinging ’60s hairdo. The tiara is framed particularly nicely by her towering updo on this occasion. We don’t know the location of the turquoises today. They weren’t sold in the auction of Margaret’s estate at Christie’s, so many—including me!—are hoping the jewels may have been returned to Buckingham Palace, just waiting for another royal lady to come along and take them out for a spin. (It’s definitely possible: the Lotus Flower Tiara made a similar reappearance!)
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