We couldn’t do a week-long series on Princess Margaret’s tiaras without talking about this one, could we? Today, we’ve got a glimpse of the Poltimore Tiara sparkling during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977 (plus a few more royal tiaras worn for the same event!).
Princess Margaret was part of a very large royal family party in attendance at a special Silver Jubilee gala performance at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden on May 30, 1977. The performance, which showcased stars from both the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet, featured excerpts from famous works like Fidelio (featuring Gwyneth Jones) and Otello (featuring Placido Domingo). A ballet selection from Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana, which debuted in 1953 during the Queen’s coronation celebrations, was also performed. And, thrillingly, Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn performed the world debut of a new pas de deux, The Hamlet Prelude, composed specially for the event. The gala was televised in Britain on the BBC and around the world on other television networks, including PBS in the United States.
For the gala performance, Princess Margaret wore a white dress that sparkled with beaded embellishments. She added diamonds to the ensemble, wearing the grand Poltimore Tiara (tilted quite far back on her head). She finished off the look with a diamond rivière necklace (the Lady Mount Stephen Necklace, I believe) and a smaller setting of the antique diamond earrings we saw her wear in an article earlier this week. All three of the jewels pictured—tiara, earrings, and necklace—were auctioned at Christie’s after her death.
There was a huge contingent of royal present at this particular gala. Along with Princess Margaret, the roster included the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh; the Queen Mother; the Prince of Wales; Princess Anne; the Duke and Duchess of Kent; the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester; Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester; Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone; and Princess Alexandra and Angus Ogilvy. I can highlight a few more jewels worn by some of the royal attendees. (You’ll also be able to spot others, including Princess Anne in her Diamond Festoon Tiara, in this photograph.)
The Queen wore her newest tiara, the Burmese Ruby Tiara, for the performance. She paired it with other diamond and ruby jewels, including the Ruby Floret Earrings (most recently seen on the Countess of Wessex), the Baring Ruby Necklace, and the Diamond and Ruby Art Deco Bracelet. Like her sister, the Queen chose a white evening gown with beaded accents for the gala.
The Queen Mother, shown here speaking with dancers backstage after the performance, wore one of her favorite jewelry combinations for the gala: the Greville Tiara, the Greville Peardrop Earrings, and Queen Alexandra’s Wedding Necklace.
And here’s a view of the two Princess Alices arriving for the gala performance. Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester wears Queen Mary’s Honeysuckle Tiara with its pink gemstone centerpiece, plus diamond earrings and the coordinating necklace that also features a central pink gem. All of the jewels Alice wears here are now worn by her daughter-in-law, the present Duchess of Gloucester. Beside her, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone wears diamonds and pearls, including her Diamond Palmette Tiara.