|The Mountbatten Tiara|
The Mountbattens in their splendor in IndiaHeiress Edwina Ashley (1901-1960) married Mountbatten in 1922. She dug right in when it came to helping with the war effort and with efforts while the family was in India, developing a knack for assessing situations in which aid was needed and helping to get the right aid distributed. The couple's unconventional marriage adds another layer of interest to these well known figures; Mountbatten himself allowed that "Edwina and I spent all our married lives getting into other people's beds." He remained devoted to her until the end, when she was buried at sea after her death in 1960. ("Dear Edwina," the Queen Mother said, "she always liked to make a splash.")
|Dressed for the 1953 coronation|
Lady Pamela Hicks wears the Mountbatten TiaraThe tiara passed to the couple's younger daughter, Lady Pamela Hicks. Lady Pamela sold the tiara at Sotheby's in 2002, where it drew a price of £149,650 after an estimate of £100,000-150,000 and was reportedly purchased by a private collector. She said of the sale, "We're not pop stars, so we need the money. I am sad to have to sell it as it belonged to my mother and it's very precious to me. It has, however, come to the point where I have to sell something." I'm sad she had to sell it too, but I have to say I am charmed by her forthright style in addressing the sale. That's just how it goes sometimes. (Lady Pamela has written a couple of books on her life, for those who want to read more: Daughter of Empire and India Remembered.)
Is this a favorite Mountbatten diadem for you?
(At least one other was worn by Edwina, a diamond and pearl tiara, in addition to the Mountbatten Tutti Frutti Bandeau and those from other branches of the family.)