Unidentified, Mystery and Lost Royal Jewels

If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.
I have to agree with all of you, I'd like to see more jewelry! But it is a shame that the royal heritage gets auctioned off by the more remote, less well-to-do members of the family. A foundation that loans the jewels out but retains ownership sounds like an excellent idea.

And what was Princess Beatrice thinking when she created her Greek key tiara? Yikes.
At least, given the fact that Linley didn't sell them, it appears that the tiaras that Princess Margaret had with royal provenance have been returned to the vaults. It seems safe to assume that Lady Sarah has the Snowdon Floral Tiara & Lady Linley has the Fan Tiara that she wore at her wedding. Therefore the Flames of Love Turquoise Tiara, The Scroll Tiara & the Teck Circle necklace/tiara have gone back to the BP vaults.
Also in the the pictures of Queen Alexandra in this link:
Queen Alexandra pictures from fashion photos on webshots
(I hope I posted right) there is a photo of Alexandra wearing a tiara with several ovals. Where is that tiara and was it the predecessor of the necklace that diana used to wear that looked like amethyst beads with an oval center piece of diamonds?[/quote]

The picture is on the third page, second row, second from left.

I was actually quite shocked to see the Delhi Durbar tiara after all these years. I was sure it had been quietly sold off along with many other royal pieces. If the BRF actually still owns even a portion of the pieces that Queen Mary, Queen Alexandra and the Queen Mum used to wear but have not seen daylight in decades- then that is QUITE a stash. It would undoubtedly mean that the BRF has the most vast jewel collection in the world- which is probably why it doesn't see the light of day - TAXES!

I don't understand why Sophie cannot borrow pieces for occasions and return them, without a family foundation being created?
In that picture Queen Alexandra is wearing what is said to be a diamond and emerald tiara. Someone may have more details.

The Delhi Durbar tiara worn by Camilla is one of the last things they would sell off; in effect it is Queen Mary's Empress of India 'coronation diadem'.

Most of the serious British jewels which have been unsighted for decades are more than likely to be found in the vaults underneath Buckingham Palace, an unimaginable treasure trove indeed. When jewels and other objet d'art pass from 'sovereign to sovereign' (eg Queen Mary to EIIR, Queen Mother to EIIR) there are no death duties or taxes.

Sophie could no doubt borrow jewels if she so desired, but it depends on the Queen's willingness to lend them. Realistically, as Sophie has three tiaras that we know of (more than Diana and Sarah combined!), it's unlikely she would be asking HM for more.
Thanks for the info. Wonder where that tiara is now? Tell me, do they dust down there? If yes, I'd like to apply for the job.

Sophie doesn't need tiaras, she needs necklaces, pearls, earrings and bracelets. She has been very loyal to the performance of her royal duties in the absence of more royal ladies and I think she needs more pizzaz.
The BRF is very good about using pieces that connect them to their immediate ancestors and past monarchs. However, I do wonder how many tiaras are shoved away in vaults somewhere. I read once that HM the Queen didn't know about the base of the Ladies of GB and Ireland tiara until it was "discovered" in a vault years later--and now she's worn it many times. I wonder how many more items are simply forgotten such as that...and, for that matter, how many of the tiaras we look at in old photographs have been dismantled to create some of the more recent fabulous jewels we drool over.
I would imagine that there are catalogues of the Jewels. I know Queen Mary had catalogues. Otherwise it would be hard to keep track of just the brooches alone.
Dear Members,

If I may throw my two pence in (ie four cents American), I think part of the problem (and what a "problem") is that the dear Queen has worn all these jewels all her life. It is like putting on another pair of shoes or your dress uniform. You just get used to it. Queen Mary of the Brazen Slendor whom we all love and adore was known to complain bitterly about how heavy her tiara was.

So you have all these vaults and vaults of jewels gathered over centuries of being empire and world superpower and those seeing these goodies, unlike the fresh eyed and innocent members of the RF, have become jaded. "What, doesn't everybody have at least two tiaras?" is the unspoken assumption. So they take all of the for granted and forget just what it is exactly that they have. And so I do not doubt all kinds of goodies are stored away and may someday again see the light. I personally would love to see somebody, Camilla???, wearing the lovely Teck crescent moon (???) tiara. But Queen EII has her favorites that she keeps on wearing, just like her favorite and most comfortable shoes. But wouldn't you just love to see a complete catalogue or better still have a guided tour. Cheers.
Oh Thomas, I love to hear a reference to one of my very favorite tiaras, the Teck Crescent Moon (See my avatar!). I know that it isn't the typical design for a tiara, but it is a stunner and you are quite right--dear Camilla has the hair and presence to pull the piece off right. Sophie can't pull it off (not enough hair) but Camilla has the presence AND the hair. I also would love to see the Surrey tiara make a re-emergence, but who knows?
I get the hint ;)!
While I agree somewhat, I highly doubt that royals assume that everyone has access to tiaras. We are seeing that many royal families have opted to use tiaras less frequently, so as not to appear ostentatious or out of touch. Tiaras are a symbol of the monarchy as well, and so it is understandable that the British monarch should choose her tiaras--and those of her family--very carefully. Her Majesty has faced criticism during her reign, as well, so every choice down to wardrobe (and especially jewels) must be made with much consideration. I doubt that she actually assumes that anyone has a collection of tiaras like her own...but at the same time, it is not really the job of the queen to know each piece in her catalogue. Care of the jewels belongs to someone else entirely, so chances are if the queen is not already familiar with a piece, she doesn't know everything about it. I don't imagine all the jewels in the royal collection are displayed in glass cases in some room where she might stop and consider them; in all likelihood they are in their respective boxes in some sort of vault, perhaps even many separate vaults. I would guess that HM considers several of her tiaras rather like signature pieces, and is saving the others less seen for members of the family yet to come. As far as specific pieces (like the Teck tiara), one can conjecture possible reasons why it has not been seen of late. My own guess is that it has a very wide base (as many tiaras of the period do), and is therefore difficult to wear with the more modern hairstyles of to-day. I believe that this was the reason that the Queen Mother rarely wore this tiara as well. However, I think that the possibility of it coming back into the spotlight within a decade or so are very good, and I do look forward to that.
Lady K, were we that obvious??? I'm afraid I don't hide my intense need to see Camilla in that wonderful tiara!
I suppose if there is any royal head (or shall I say "hair") in the BRF that can pull off tiaras of such wide frame, Camilla has proven herself able (I refer, of course, to her wonderful job of reviving the rather demanding Dhurbar Tiara). Both of the tiaras (not counting those of her own collection) she has worn have been VERY large. The Teck tiara would be a much more subdued look, which might be quite refreshing.
Dear Members,

My understanding is that Queen Mary had a rather large head and thus had no problem wearing these larger contraptions. Plus they added what were called, ever so quaintly 'transformations' which added more hair and support so that a kind of platform was created for these goodies which could be quite heavy indeed.

As for the Queen Maud thing, was it the one they send over to Garrards to have cleaned a few years back and the thing was stolen???

Of Course QEII does not believe everybody has two tiaras, that was merely poetic license. But I am quite sure that she does not really know everything that is in those vaults. I read somewhere-here my memory is playing tricks-that somebody -was it Queen Victoria on coming to the throne-remarked on rooms of incredible goodies. so what wouldn't we give to have a royal tour of those vaults.
Thomas Parkman said:
Dear Members,
As for the Queen Maud thing, was it the one they send over to Garrards to have cleaned a few years back and the thing was stolen???

This is definitley not the one that was stolen.
Dear Wymanda,

I have checked with the issue of April 2005 in which the various Norweigan jewels are discussed. The tiara that was stolen was one given to the then princess Maud by her parents the Prince and Princess of Wales. it was of diamonds and pearls and a replacement copy was made. . I cannot tell how closely it resembles this tiara. Perhaps the version that has been pictured here is without the centro pearl setting, which appears could have been able to be removed. I saw no other reference to any other diamond and pearl tiara in that collection. This is indeed a mystery. Cheers.
wymanda said:
This is definitley not the one that was stolen.

It is the diamond and pearl tiara often worn by Queen Sonja who was stolen. Garrards made a ciopy of it which was first worn by Queen Sonja on the State Visit to the Netherlands in the late 90's. And Princess Märtha Louise wore it in the simpler version on her wedding Day.
The question, dear members, to which I do not have the answer, is are we talking about one tiara or two. The one pictured on somebody's neck above with an overdone pearl choker is gorgeous but I cannot tell whether it is the same one as worn quite often by Queen Sonja (or rather the original of which Queen Sophia wears a copy). these nitpicking details.
But then i am a librarian you know. In any case the thingie pictured above is a lovely thing indeed. Cheers.
They are talking about 2 different tiaras. The one that is featured on that website is a tiara that has supposedly been lost and never seen on a Norwegian royal since. And that somebody was Queen Maud....it appeared to be a mannequin likeness showing the dress and jewels she wore on her coronation.

The necklace that was stolen from Garrods appears to be one that Queen Sonja has worn and that Princess Martha-Louise has worn, albeit in a copy form.
Well, it is a shame that it was stolen, but may I just congratulate them on the copy! It is one of my favourite Norwegian pieces.

As for the issue of late Victorian and Edwardian English pieces, I might cite the example of the recently-sold Poltimore tiara owned by the late Princess Margaret. If you look at photographs of the original owner (Lady Poltimore) wearing it, it is quite spread out over a wide base to balance her large "Gibson Girl"-esque hairdo. For the wedding of Prss Margaret and Lord Snowdon, the tiara was placed on a much smaller base, which the princess appears to have used until the late 1970's or early 1980's, at which point the larger hairstyles of the 80's allowed her to use it in a wider format again. However, you can see from photographs of the time that the princess actually leaned the tiara backward on her head a bit to compensate for its incredibly large size. Even still, when I look at it I sometimes think it's a little bit too big...but it is so beautiful.
I finally have the pictures I was looking for of Lilians (of Belgium) lost tiara's. They were provided by Hans on the Royal Jewels MB.

First a flower diademe, some thought it came from Queen Maria-Hendrika, others say only the flower came from her and other say that nothing at all was inhertited from the Queen.

Lilian wearing the tiara
picture of the tiara

Princess Lilian owned a sketch of this tiara. It is unknown if she actually owned the tiara itself too.

Some say that this brooch might be a part of the above tiara.

Here some pictures of Lilian with a tiara that she wore quite frequently, it is unknown what happened to it.
Lilian 1
Lilian 2
Lilian 3
As posted by Laurent on the Royal Jewels MB: the sapphire tiara of Princess Louise of Belgium (daughter of Leopold II).
One humdinger of a tiara

Dear Members,

I love and adore sapphires, along of course with diamonds etc. so I am delighted when the noble Marengo has shown us yet another sapphire goodie. It is a superb little trinket. Do you know whatever happened too it.
the Ghastly Lilllian didn't get her money grubbing claws on it and sell it did she?? I cannot wonder but is the head on which this particular contraption is perched real or shaved or a stuffed trophy. While it certainly looks a lot better than many of the heads currently walking the streets, one wonders?

I am wondering if any of the members has a picture of the honeysuckle tiara of Queen Mary currently in the possesion of the wondrous Duchess of Glouchester. She insists on wearing it with that abminable kunzite, probably some gift from one of the Australian miners or some such who dug the thing up and didn't have a clue of what to do with the ugly thing and so gave it to the RF. It is nevertheless a magnificent indeed wonderful contraption. There is a version of it with a diamond and sapphire setting as the central jewel. I wonder does anybody have a picture of that. If so could you please post that picture to this tiara deprived lunatic. Cheers.

PS. I also adore chocolate and regret that they cannot wear that in tiaras too. As you can see my current state of chocolate deprivation has gone to the remnants of my head, ie brain. Cheers and cheers again.
Thomas Parkman said:
I love and adore sapphires, along of course with diamonds etc. so I am delighted when the noble Marengo has shown us yet another sapphire goodie. It is a superb little trinket. Do you know whatever happened too it.
the Ghastly Lilllian didn't get her money grubbing claws on it and sell it did she??

The tiara belonged to Princess Louise of Saxe-Coburg, nee Princess of Belgium, eldest daughter of King Leopold II. My guess is that her only surviving daughter (Duchess Dorothea of Schleswig-Holstein, nee Pss of Saxe-Coburg) inherited it or that Louise already sold the tiara during her lifetime, as she was usually in need of money. She and her two sisters (Archduchess Stephanie and Princess Clementine Napoleon) sold their mothers jewels in an auction when Leopold II died. This was much against Leopold II's wishes as in his last will he donated them to his nephew King Albert I. His three daughters however went to court and got their hands on most of Leopold II's money and jewels and thus leaving poor Queen Elisabeth with very little jewelry.
There is a great site you may have seen before with separate pages for the various stones:

Beryl Beryls
Kunzite Kunzite

They seem to be different classifications of stones.

Last edited by a moderator:
I was just doing some web surfing and was looking at jeweller Fred Leighton's site when I came across pics of the Archduchess Isabelle of Austria's peridot parure.

Fred Leighton - Rare and Collectible Jewels

(Choose "Fred Leighton Collection", then "Antique Grandeur" - pics are on #10 and #11.)

Notice how the tiara is worn as a belt.
All of those pieces were just breathtaking! I really loved that splendid three strand ruby necklace and that RIVIERE! OH MY. What a piece--what was it, 145 carats of diamonds? Amazing. Worthy of Queen Mary herself.
On the last page, the lady dressed in white with the teased out hair who was wearing the white ballgown with the peridot tiara as a belt--she reminded me of Princess Gloria of Thurn und Taxis--I wonder if she was the inspiration for the look?
Leighton has a beautiful tiara on page 3. It's just leaves. Very pretty! If anyone wants to buy me an August birthday present, give me the leaves instead of the peridots.

And I'm wondering why Leighton didn't show the peridot tiara?
Top Bottom