07 April 2011

Tiara Thursday: The Teck Tiaras

It's a two-for-one tiara sale today! Celebrate appropriately.

The Teck Crescent Tiara
The Teck Crescent Tiara came into the British royal family by way of Queen Mary's mother, Princess Mary Adelaide, the Duchess of Teck. This diamond diadem, featuring three wild roses separated by 20 crescent shapes, was assembled by Mary Adelaide from various jewels she inherited from her aunt, Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester.
Mary Adelaide wore the tiara atop two rows of diamond rivieres for additional height. She's also demonstrating that the individual elements can be removed, as you can see that the crescents are facing a different direction in the first photograph than in the rest of the pictures. Once removed, the crescents and roses can be used as dress ornamentation.
Mary Adelaide's daughter-in-law, the next Duchess of Teck, was also seen wearing the tiara (above), but at some point it passed into the hands of Queen Mary, who gave it to Queen Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother). Somewhere along the road, the two rows of diamonds from the bottom were removed.
Queen Elizabeth did not wear this tiara very often. As you can see, it has a huge circumference, and she just didn't have the hair to fill it up. Elizabeth was the first queen to eschew the use of additional hair pieces to supplement her own locks, and this is certainly a tiara best worn with some major tiara hair, probably with fake additions.
The Queen Mother did lend this tiara out to be exhibited late in her life. It has now passed on to the current queen, who has loaned it to the Duchess of Cornwall. We've yet to see Camilla wear it publicly.

I've always found this one rather curious. The combination of crescents and roses baffles me. (There must be some sort of deep symbolism there that I'm missing.) And I must admit I don't find it tremendously pleasing in the aesthetic sense. I do think it deserves another go, though, and am eager to see Camilla try it out.

The Teck Circle Tiara
If that tiara isn't your style, the Teck suite has something else to offer for your consideration: the Teck Circle Necklace, which can also be worn as a tiara.
This is a set, although I must admit that it doesn't bear as much thematic resemblance to its tiara as you'd typically expect with such a pairing (think: the Nizam of Hyderabad set). Nevertheless, the two pieces historically went together. You can see it around the necks of Mary Adelaide and her daughter-in-law up there.

Where the set starts to break up is in the hands of the Queen Mother. She mixed the pieces with other jewels, and gave the necklace, but not the tiara, to Princess Margaret.
Queen Elizabeth is the only one we've seen wear it as a tiara. I'm sort of surprised I've never seen a photo of Princess Margaret wearing it in her hair; I can't help but think it would have gone well with those sky-high 1960s 'dos she favored. (Doesn't mean she didn't wear it as such of course.)
As a tiara, I think it's quite modern. Certainly a very different piece than the Crescent Tiara. I'd also imagine it must encircle the head completely, or nearly completely. (But of course we have so very few pictures of it worn as a tiara at all, let alone a back view.) If true, that would make it almost as difficult to wear as the Crescent Tiara. This one was in Princess Margaret's hands, and is now with her son, Viscount Linley.

So, what's your preference: the Crescent Tiara, or the Circle Tiara? If one of these pieces was scheduled for a reappearance, which one would you place your bets on?