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British Royals

The royal blue tiaras of the House of Windsor

Sapphires have been one of the favourite jewels of the modern House of Windsor. The famous engagement ring, worn now by two Princesses of Wales, is one of the best known regal gems in the world. Meanwhile, Queen Camilla has made a sapphire tiara the symbol of her first months as consort, choosing it for the first State Banquet of her husband’s reign.

The Royal Family has several other sapphire pieces in its collection, several of which are rarely seen.

Queen Mary’s Russian Bandeau

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Queen Mary purchased this Russian sapphire bandeau tiara from the collection of Empress Marie Feodorovna at a Paris auction in 1921. It also came with a sapphire brooch. Queen Mary wore it with some regularity in her lifetime, but after her death, included it in the bequeathal to her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen has never publicly worn this tiara, and instead lent it to Princess Margaret throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s. The tiara has not been worn in public since Princess Margaret’s heyday.

Cartier Indian Tiara

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One of the tiaras at the disposal of The Duchess of Gloucester, the Cartier Indian Tiara is an intricate jewellery piece that features diamonds, sapphires and pearls in a traditional Indian design.

Originally owned by Princess Marie Louise, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, this tiara was created at the turn of the century in the 1900s by jewellers at Cartier. The most famous occasion Princess Marie Louise wore this spectacular creation was at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953. Upon her death, her tiara collection was inherited by her godson, Prince Richard, later The Duke of Gloucester, and his wife, Birgitte, has worn it regularly.

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.