|Princess Augusta of Cambridge, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz|
|Princess Marina wears the tiara to the State Opening of Parliament in 1960|
British Pathé screencaps
Princess Marina in the original tiaraAccording to Leslie Field's The Queen's Jewels, the oldest parts of the set date from approximately 1800, and originally included a tiara, a necklace, and a stomacher that could be separated into three brooches. Queen Mary added to the rest of the set and increased its flexibility. The Cambridge Sapphire Parure Tiara consisted of a substantial tiara of graduated sapphire and diamond clusters set on top of sapphire and diamond scroll designs; given the difference between the tiara in the portrait above and the later photographs, the number of sapphire elements appears to have changed over time. The accompanying parure, at its most extensive, allowed that tiara to be worn a pair of earrings, a long necklace or a shorter choker necklace, a stomacher, smaller brooches, and bracelets. Some of those pieces included detachable pendants, and the overall flexibility means some pieces may have done double duty.
The Duchess of Kent wears the new Cambridge Sapphire Parure TiaraIn lieu of the grander tiara, a smaller one was created by using five large sapphire and diamond clusters from the long necklace and arranging them on a frame, button style. The Duchess of Kent wore this version of the tiara with the shorter necklace, earrings, and a brooch. Even this reduced set has basically ceased to be seen in public, however, as the Duchess withdrew from many official royal events. She hasn't been seen in a tiara in years. Even in a reduced state, the Cambridge Sapphire Parure is a grand set of jewels, and one that would be nice to see worn again.
New style or old style tiara, what's your pick?