29 October 2015

Tiara Thursday: The Iveagh Tiara

The Chinese state banquet in Britain last week provided us with a good, albeit brief, look at the Duchess of Gloucester. The Gloucesters are regular attendees at such functions but they aren’t always pictured, which is a shame for several reasons. One of those reasons? My need to see the wonderful jewel collection of the Duchess in action, of course.
The Duchess of Gloucester (Birgitte) wearing the Iveagh Tiara
The wedding gifts of Queen Mary (1867-1953) are truly the gifts that keep on giving, keeping the Windsor women sparkling for over a century and counting. One of the tiaras given to Princess Victoria Mary (“May”) of Teck, as the bride was known before marrying the future George V, has since become one of the best known tiaras in the British royal collection: the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara. She also received this diamond tiara, a tightly packed design of scrolls and foliage in a kokoshnik shape, from Lord and Lady Iveagh. The holders of those titles at the time of Mary’s marriage were Edward and Adelaide Guinness. He was then Baron Iveagh, later to be named Earl of Iveagh, and thanks to the family brewing business, he was one of the richest men in the land.
Queen Mary (as Duchess of York) and the Duchess of Gloucester (Alice)
Mary appears to have enjoyed her Iveagh Tiara; at least, she managed not to tear it apart to provide diamonds for new designs, as she was wont to do. She kept this one until she passed away, at which time it was inherited by her daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Gloucester (Alice, 1901-2004). Alice later passed it on to her own daughter-in-law, the current Duchess of Gloucester (Birgitte). It remains with the family today.
Lady Rose Gilman
The Iveagh Tiara is actually a pretty big tiara, though it can easily be hidden in the hair. Its true size was probably best shown by Lady Rose Gilman (née Windsor), daughter of the current Duke and Duchess, who wore it on her 2008 wedding day. Her styling of the tiara combined with her soft Franka Couture wedding gown is my favorite use yet, but any appearance is a treat.

Which Gloucester family tiara is your favorite?
(Others previously covered, though this is not all: the Gloucester Honeysuckle Tiara, the Teck Turquoise Tiara, and the Cartier Indian Tiara)

P.S.: Two post day! Keep scrolling. 

Photos: British Pathe screencaps, and via Getty Images