Sorry this took so long, but I tripped and fell headlong into a tiara wormhole. There are worse wormholes, for sure, but you can get lost in the tiara ones for DAYS. However: FINALLY, we are here, replete with State Dinner regalia, most notably the Stuart Tiara in its fullest splendor. Believe me when I say that in Royal Bling circles, this has been hotly anticipated ever since Maxima dug the smaller version out of storage in May.
Let’s go through the jewels here so that we don’t have to eat up slide caption space. There’s a LOT to cover.
The Stuart Diamond is so named after the dynasty that once ruled England — specifically, it was owned by King William III and Queen Mary II. It weighs FORTY CARATS. It was first a brooch, then a pendant, culminating in being placed in a tiara shortly before the turn of the 19th century. The former Queen Juliana is the one who favored the full Stuart and all its attendant baubles the most, so it hasn’t been seen since she abdicated in 1980. The Stuart Tiara has different versions, the smaller of which lacks the actual Stuart Diamond and some of the framing, and which is the one Max wore in May. This marks the first time she’s worked the whole shebang, and it is MIGHTY.
The Queen, of course, is in the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, her very favorite — it was a wedding gift from her grandmother Mary of Teck — and the one frequently seen on the money and on stamps. The George VI festoon necklace was a gift from her beloved father and is another frequently seen item, and she’s also sporting the Cullinan III and IV brooch, a.k.a. “Granny’s chips,” which we recently saw in the Coronation documentary. There is a Dutch connection because the Cullinan was cut by Asscher in the early 1900s.
Kate snagged the Queen Mary Lovers’ Knot, or simply the Lovers’ Knot, or… I did not know this, but apparently — per Ella Kay — there is some disagreement about whether it’s been incorrectly confused with the Cambridge Lovers’ Knot and/or treated as synonymous. (Read through her piece, where she breaks it down and then has an infographic at the end; see what you think.) Whatever the truth, it is the one Diana made iconic but reportedly disliked because of the weight and noise, and Kate has worn it on a few occasions before. What’s new is the necklace. It’s called the Queen Alexandra’s Wedding Gift Parure, and the Queen Mum loved it dearly, so it hasn’t been seen since she died in 2002. That’s quite a loaner. She’s also in pearl earrings that belonged to Diana, and a (relatively) brand new order. The yellow ribbon with the portrait of the Queen is the Queen’s Royal Family Order, which Kate reportedly received in December and wore to a Diplomatic Corps reception (but outside the view of our eyeballs, so this is our first sighting of it). And this is significant: They are traditionally made of ivory, but the Cambridges have come out strongly against poaching and the use of ivory, so they made her one in glass. Hopefully that will be the way going forward, and it’s nice to see their stances being folded into the otherwise seemingly rigid traditions.
Camilla has on her signature Greville tiara, and Sophie was spotted in The Five Aquamarine Tiara — not to be confused with the Aquamarine Tiara she already has. If you click on that first Sophie link, it’s a screengrab photo in which you can see she’s wearing a gorgeous blue dress. And, you can pop down to the bottom of Ella Kay’s post here to see that racist bag Princess Michael, as well as the Duchess of Gloucester.
PHEW. That was a lot of sparkle.