Thursday, 12 May 2011

Queen Victoria's Diamond and Sapphire coronet

Diamond and Sapphire Tiara of Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria's Diamond and Sapphire Tiara

Queen Victoria's
tiara was designed by Prince Albert as a gift in 1842 and made at a cost of £415.

It is "a small flexible tiara in the Gothic taste with kite- and cushion-shaped sapphires and diamonds. The sapphires are set in gold and the diamonds in silver."
The tiara is also depicted in the portrait by Henry Richard Graves in 1874.

Queen Victoria
Above, an early painting of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and North Ireland wearing part of her sapphire parure. She always wore the same tiara but in different ways. The tiara, along with a coronet and brooch were designed for Victoria by her husband Prince Albert which she wore as he had arranged for her.

The Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood
Princess Mary received the tiara from her father King George V as part of the sapphire parure as a wedding present. Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary didn't use the sapphire coronet. But, it was worn by the Princess Royal on numerous public occasions and after her death it disappeared from the public eye.

HRH Princess Mary, Princess Royal

When Geoffrey Munn was assembling the tiaras which appeared at the loan exhibition in aid of The Samaritans at Wartski in London in 1997, he wrote to the Countess of Harewood to inquire as to whether they had any tiaras which had been the property of the late Princess Royal. Her reply was that there was only one and it was visible in the Winterhalter. The Samaritan exhibition was its first public exhibition in many years. It was also a highlight of the tiara exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2002.

Sources: Munn, Geoffrey. Tiaras A History of Splendour. Wartski. One Hundred Tiaras: An Evolution of Style 1800 - 1990.
Countess of Harewood
The current Countess of Harewood has worn the tiara, as well as Andrea wife of Mark, 4th son of the Earl of Harewood in August 1992, at the occasion of her wedding.

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