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April Sparkle: Britain’s Best Diamonds Part II

Picture by i-Images / Pool

Now let’s take a look at five more of the British Royal Family’s best diamonds!

Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Tiara

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In 1913, Queen Mary dismantled several tiaras in order to have this, the Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Tiara created. Based on a similar tiara worn by her aunt, the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (the Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara), the Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot is one of the most recognisable tiaras in the world.

The tiara itself is made of diamond arches – with heart-shaped lovers knots linking each arch – and swinging pearls and was created by Garrard. After her death, Queen Elizabeth inherited the tiara, and she wore it regularly in the 1950s. It went back into the vaults again until the 1980s, when perhaps its most famous wearer was granted it as a loan.

Diana, Princess of Wales, regularly wore the Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Tiara in the ‘80s, though she often complained that it was heavy and gave her headaches. She was said to prefer her own family tiara, the Spencer Tiara, but this one is most closely associated with her today.

After Diana’s death in 1997, the tiara returned to the vaults once more until 2015, when her daughter-in-law, The Duchess of Cambridge, began wearing it to royal events.  

Vladimir Tiara

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This unique diamond tiara features interlocking circular diamonds that appear to be sewn together by a diamond ribbon and dates back to the 1800s. Its original owner, Grand Duchess Vladimir (or Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia) fled Russia following the revolution with this tiara in her possession. After her death, the tiara went to her daughter in Greece, who later sold it to Queen Mary.

Queen Mary left the tiara to Queen Elizabeth II, who wears it with pearl drops in the centre of each diamond circle; or with emerald settings (as she did for a state banquet for Ireland), or without any setting at all.

Wessex Wedding Tiara

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The Countess of Wessex received this tiara, thought to be made up of pieces from Queen Victoria’s jewellery collection, on her wedding day in 1999. The tiara was a gift from her new in-laws, Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh.

The diamond pieces are scroll patterns; and there appears to be four pieces, with two stacked on top of each other, on a delicate base. The tiara was refashioned in 2019 ahead of the State Banquet for the United States, with the diamond pieces clustered closer together on a new setting.

Iveagh Tiara

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Queen Mary received the Iveagh Tiara when she married the future King George V in 1893. The Iveagh Tiara, named for the Irish aristocrats who gifted her with it, is made entirely of diamonds in scrolls and floral patterns to create a kokoshnik shape.

Upon her death in 1953, the tiara passed to her daughter-in-law, Alice (The Duchess of Gloucester), and has remained in the Gloucester family to this day. Brigitte, the current Duchess of Gloucester, has worn it on occasion, as has her daughter, Lady Rose Gilman, on her wedding day.

Ogilvy Tiara

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Commissioned by Sir Angus Ogilvy for his new bride, Princess Alexandra of Kent, in 1963, this tiara is made of floral hair ornaments that she used to wear in her hair prior to marriage. The diamond flower petals come together on a band, and the stones in the centre of each flower can be changed out (Princess Alexandra has been photographed wearing pearls, sapphires and turquoises in the tiara).

Though Princess Alexandra has worn tiaras from the Kent line of the family throughout her life, she owns the Ogilvy Tiara outright.

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.