01 November 2012

Tiara Thursday: The Kent City of London Fringe Tiara

A royal wedding used to be the start of a royal lady's serious jewel collection; gems poured in from friends, family, and organizations and were proudly displayed in public among the wedding gifts. Times have changed, but I do love a look back to the good old days.
The Kent City of London Fringe Tiara
The City of London once provided some sparkling wedding gifts to the British royal brides. Princess Marina received a particularly grand gem, this classic tiara in the classic (and common) Russian fringe style. It features diamonds set in gold and silver, and unlike many of its fringe tiara counterparts, can't be worn as a necklace.
Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent
It was the perfect gift for this bride: a Russian-inspired design for the daughter of a Russian royal, and a basic diamond tiara to anchor a newly assembled jewel collection. Marina is often cited as having worn it on her wedding day in 1934, though some maintain she wore a fringe tiara belonging to her mother. She certainly wore it for many important events (such as the 1937 coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) and portraits throughout her life.
Princess Alexandra of Kent
Marina's daughter Princess Alexandra carried on the family wedding tiara tradition, wearing the City of London Fringe for her 1963 wedding, but the tiara was not left to her; after Marina's death in 1968, the diadem passed to her youngest child, Prince Michael.
Princess Michael of Kent
It is now worn by Michael's wife Marie Christine, who first donned it for the ball in Vienna held the night of their wedding in 1978. She's worn it mostly in its traditional style, but she's also paid tribute to the roots of the Russian design by backing it with a velvet kokoshnik topped with a string of diamonds. While I applaud jewel creativity, I think this one's best left as is.

How do you rate this one among all its sister fringes?

Photos: Geoffrey Munn/Corbis