The Royal family on balcony of Buckingham Palace waving to the cheering crowds on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II Coronation, 2 June 1953. Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince Philip, Princess Anne falling, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Henry Duke of Gloucester.
The Strathmore Rose Tiara was a wedding gift to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (the future Queen Elizabeth) from her father, the Earl of Strathmore. The five roses can be used as brooches and it has two different frames, so it can be worn; across the forehead or on the top of the head. Queen Elizabeth used it, mostly, in her early years as a royal. It was inherited by Queen Elizabeth II at the death of her mother.
“The family [of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the Queen Mother] was a surprise to the King. I think he enjoyed going back there [to Glamis Castle]. It was a revelation to the King to see what a big family was like in its home. Being brought up by King George V and Queen Mary, they were very… I don’t know, I may be wrong, but it felt as if they were rather unloving, unshowing of love. And he saw this ebullient, wonderful Bowes-Lyon family of huge numbers, and they all got on quite well.” - The Hon. Margaret Rhodes, Queen Elizabeth II’s first cousin.
This tiara may go by many names, papyrus leaf and lotus flower being the main contenders, but no matter the name, it all began with a wedding. More specifically, a wedding present.
This tiara was made from a necklace Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon received upon her marriage to the then Duke of York, later King George VI. The necklace, pictured above, was a gift from her husband and featured a Greek key patterned base with triangle-shaped diamond outcroppings supporting pendant diamonds and pearls.
The then Duchess of York had royal jeweler Garrard dismantle the necklace and rework it into the lotus flower tiara we know today. This was her most used tiara when Duchess of York. Once she became Queen, however, the lotus flower was retired for bigger and more elaborate jewels. That is until 1959 when Queen Elizabeth gave it to her youngest daughter, Princess Margaret.
Princess Margaret, and all those after her, chose to wear the lotus tiara in the traditional crown style, unlike her mother who wore it in the across the forwhead, bandeau style of her time. The lotus tiara became a staple of Princess Margarets, though she did loan it out on one occasion. She lent it to her soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Serena Stanhope, for her wedding to Margaret’s son Viscount Linley.
After Princess Margaret’s death in 2002 many feared that the lotus tiara would end up on the auction block, just like her other tiara, the Poltimore. In 2013 their fears were put to rest when the Duchess of Cambridge wore the tiara in her first tiara event since her wedding to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. Since then the Duchess has also worn the lotus flower tiara for her first state dinner with China. It seems that we will be seeing the lotus flower tiara more often.
ROYAL JEWELLERY || The Lotus Flower Tiara This beautiful tiara originates some hundred years ago as a wedding gift, a Greek-style diamond and pearl necklace, from the Duke of York, the future King George VI, to his bride, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Since, it was dismantled by Garrard and transformed into the Lotus Flower Tiara as we know it today, a diamond tiara of five fanned motifs crowned by floating diamond arches and studded with two pearls at the base and a slightly larger one on the top. A frequently used piece when she was Duchess of York, once Elizabeth became Queen Consort and gained access to some of the larger tiaras, she used it less and less. In 1959, she passed it on to her youngest daughter, Princess Margaret, who herself used it frequently in her youth. In 1993, she notably lent it to her future daughter-in-law, Serena Stanhope, as her wedding tiara for her wedding to Margaret’s son, Viscount Linley. After Margaret’s death in 2002, several pieces of her jewellery, including the impressive Poltimore Tiara, was sold off but thankfully, the Lotus Flower Tiara was not amongst those items. In 2013, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, wore the tiara for the Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace on 3 December 2013, confirming the general assumption that it had been passed back to Queen Elizabeth II’s main collection. Catherine has since worn the tiara once more for her first state banquet in 2015.
Wouldn’t it be terrible if you’d spent all your life doing everything you were supposed to do, didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, didn’t eat things, took lots of exercise, all the things you didn’t want to do, and suddenly one day you were run over by a big red bus, and as the wheels were crunching into you you’d say ‘Oh my god, I could have got so drunk last night!’ That’s the way you should live your life, as if tomorrow you’ll be run over by a big red bus.
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (4 August 1900 - 30 March 2002) b. Lady Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon.
“Wouldn’t it be terrible if you’d spent all your life doing everything you were supposed to do, didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, didn’t eat things, took lots of exercise, and suddenly, one day, you were run over by a big red bus and, as the wheels were crunching into you, you’d say, ‘Oh my God, I could have got so drunk last night.’ That’s the way you should live your life, as if tomorrow you’ll be run over by a big red bus.”
The Persian Turquoise Tiara is often known as the Triumph of Love Tiara thanks to all the symbolism at hand: the turquoise - Persian, known for its high quality - stands for love, and it studs a delicate diamond structure of gold and platinum composed of laurel wreaths for triumph, true lovers’ knots, and torches of love. The tiara is part of a parure including a necklace, earrings, a brooch
and several hair pieces.
The Persian Tiara was created by Garrard’s in early 1900s. It was one of George V and Queen Mary’s presents to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on the occasion of her marriage to the Duke of York in 1923.
The original tiara was in Kokoshnik style but the Duchess of York had the tiara altered to remove the top diamond frame, giving the tiara a more open and contemporary look. Princess Margaret received the tiara in this form in 1951 from, now Queen, Elizabeth on the occasion of her 21st birthday.