05 January 2017

Tiara Thursday: The Tiaras of Princess Alexandra of Kent

Princess Alexandra of Kent celebrated her 80th birthday on Christmas Day! Queen Elizabeth II honored her cousin back in November at a Buckingham Palace reception for Princess Alexandra's patronages and other areas of work. We have a more sparkly way to celebrate here (obviously), because such a lengthy history of royal engagements is bound to include several tiaras. A tiara retrospective, coming right up:

Queen Mary's Diamond Bandeau
In 1955 with her mother, Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent. See video here.
British Pathé
Princess Alexandra started attending royal events early on. She used a couple of smaller tiaras first, like this diamond bandeau that came from Queen Mary. The bandeau ended up with the Duke and Duchess of Kent (Alexandra's older brother and sister-in-law), and it was most likely redesigned into the Kent Diamond and Pearl Fringe Tiara.

The Diamond and Pearl Swirl Bandeau
This piece dates back to Grand Duchess Vladimir (yes, that Grand Duchess Vladimir), who was Princess Marina's grandmother. It served as a smaller tiara option for both Princess Marina and her daughter, but has since been sold.

The Kent Festoon Tiara
AP. See video here.
Princess Alexandra's royal tours started in her early 20s. Here, marking independence in Nigeria, she borrows her mother's pearl and diamond festoon tiara; this tiara is now with Prince and Princess Michael (Alexandra's younger brother and sister-in-law).

She echoed her mother's wedding look by borrowing this diamond fringe tiara to wear on her wedding day. The spiky diamond piece was the perfect counterpoint to the yards of lace in her dress and veil.

Finally, we arrive at the only tiara we see Princess Alexandra wear today. She gets three tiaras out of that one: the center of the flowers can be changed from pearls to sapphires or turquoise stones. (Bonus tiara, sort of: Alexandra wore these flowers in her hair in tiara fashion before the rest of the tiara.) She's still a regular attendee at state banquets, always wearing this tiara, though sadly we don't often get to see her at those events.
Video: A great look at the Ogilvy Tiara in action, 1965. Princess Alexandra arrives at 1:18.

Which is your favorite tiara on Princess Alexandra?