Our final Sparkling Spotlight post of the week focuses on an entirely new style of royal portraiture, featuring Cecil Beaton’s photographs of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother wearing Queen Victoria’s royal heirloom tiara and jewels.
Today marks the 122nd anniversary of the birth of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, one of the most important royal figures of the 20th century. To celebrate, we’re devoting the month of August to a survey of her most important private jewelry collection: the Greville Bequest. But first, today we’re looking at the unlikely friendship between Dame Margaret Greville and the royal family, and the way that the jewels made their way from Polesden Lacey to Buckingham Palace.
When King George VI unexpectedly ascended to the throne in the wake of his brother’s abdication in 1936, the Duchess of York had to adjust to her new life as Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom. With her new title came new formal portraits—and grand new jewels fit for a queen.