14 July 2011

Tiara Thursday: The Aquamarine Pineflower Tiara

Are you ready to switch gears from all the Monegasque tiaras we've chatted about lately? I hope so, because it's time to ramp up for Zara Phillips' wedding. And you may have guessed what that means: Princess Anne's tiara collection. (Since we already covered a whole bunch of possibilities Zara could borrow from the Queen back before William and Kate's wedding, we're moving on! You can see all of those on the Jewel Central page, by the way.)

Our first tiara out of the Princess Royal's jewelry box (er, vault) makes my list of Most Curious Diadems. We'll call this one the Aquamarine Pineflower tiara.
Cartier is responsible for this gem and it features aquamarines set in a pine cone motif interspersed with rectangular stones.

This piece originally belonged to the Queen Mother. It was an anniversary gift from her husband, King George VI.
Among her collection, this wasn't a real favorite. She didn't wear it often before gifting it to her granddaughter, Princess Anne. (Some say it went to the Queen first, though I have never seen a photo of her wearing it.)
Anne had the gem altered at some point; she shortened it to make it easier to wear. (No surprise there, considering her own unchanging hairstyle. Tiaras will be made to accommodate Anne's barnet, not the other way around!) Above and below are the longer version.
The tiara-only photo at the top is the shortened version. You can see the central motif has changed from two pine cones to one of the emerald-cut aquamarines. Oddly, I think she's worn it less often since the shortening. I don't have any pictures of her wearing the short version, at least. Anne had the remainders of the tiara made into other jewelry, as you can see below.
Have you figured out why this one makes my list of Most Curious Diadems yet? It's because of the pine cones, obviously. Tiaras are romantic things. Fairy tales come to life. You know what isn't romantic? PINE CONES. There are tiaras with stranger motifs, sure, but this one is still a head-scratcher for me.

Would you put this pine cone wreath on top of your head?

Photos: Getty Images/IBL/queensimages.com