This tiara is made up of diamonds in a traditional Greey key pattern that features a central diamond surrounded by a laurel wreath. The wreath is flanked by two honeysuckle motifs. According to the wonderful book Tiaras, A History of Splendour by Geoffrey C. Munn, the tiara is believed to be French and was made circa 1900, possibly by Cartier.
The tiara belonged to Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg (also known as Princess Andrew of Greece, after her husband’s title). She passed the tiara over to Queen Elizabeth as a wedding present in 1947, which is how the tiara came to be part of the British Royal Family’s collection.
And a side view which also shows off her delightful hair comb:
Princess Alice was the great-grandaughter of Queen Victoria and was born in Windsor Castle; it is through her that the Queen and Prince Philip are related. She had a very eventful life which included being diagnosed with deafness as a toddler, a severe nervous breakdown as an adult which led to an extended stay in a sanatorium in Berlin, and she has posthumously been named a British Hero of the Holocaust by the UK government for sheltering Jews during WWII. When the Greek royal family was overthrown in 1967, the Queen and Prince Philip extended an invitation for her to live in London. She lived in Buckingham Palace until her death in 1969.
As far as we know, the Queen has never been seen wearing this tiara in public. It was passed to Princess Anne in the early 1970’s and she has worn it often over the last forty or so years.
Love the hair here:
Mum & Daughter all dolled up:
Here’s a more recent photo. Perhaps one of the reasons she still keeps her hair so long is so that she’s ready to tiara it up like this?
Princess Anne also wore the tiara in her official 50th birthday portrait taken by John Swannell, below. We’ve always thought this was a bit of an out there choice of dress and pose for Anne but she must have loved it:
Anne lent the tiara to her daughter, Zara, for her wedding to Mike Tindall. This is the first time we’ve seen Zara in a tiara and sadly it may well be the last so let’s soak it up:
So, tell us. What do you think of the Meander Tiara? Are there any other tiaras you’d like us to feature in a post?