Happy Birthday to Lady Pamela Hicks, who turns 90 today! The younger daughter of Lord Mountbatten, first cousin of the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen’s bridesmaid and lady-in-waiting, who married a influential interior designer, Lady Pamela has had a fascinating life, and after featuring a Tiara she reportedly still owns, today we are taking a look at an illustrious jewel no longer in her possession, the Mountbatten Tiara-
Made by Chaumet or Cartier around 1910, the Mountbatten Tiara featured diamond scroll motifs topped with diamond trefoils, and is thought to have been acquired by the then Lady Louis Mountbatten, who was a wealthy Heiress, in the 1930s.
The Tiara was worn by Lady Louis at the Coronation of her husband’s cousin, King George VI in 1937, and a few years later, in a series of official portraits taken to mark her husband’s appointment as the last Viceroy of India, after which he was made Earl Mountbatten of Burma. The Tiara was frequently worn in India, rotated with her Pearl and Diamond Tiara, because “she could not be seen twice in the same one.” Lady Mountbatten wore her Tiara at the Coronation of her niece-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II, in 1953, and continued to wear it for gala events through the 1950s. Lady Mountbatten died soon after her younger daughter’s wedding in 1960, and the tiara was inherited by Lady Pamela.
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“After marrying Lady Pamela Mountbatten in 1960, David Hicks has fun arranging brightly coloured luxury objects in his drawing room at Britwell Salome, Oxfordshire, here including two ducal couples and some Yugoslav royalty.” • @ashleyhicks1970 opens the scrapbooks of his father David Hicks, Britain's foremost postwar decorator. Read more about this story on the link in profile. • #DavidHicks #davidhicksscrapbooks #ashleyhicks #interiordesign
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We were crisscrossing London in search of my mother’s jewels. She has not been robbed, it was just that she could not remember in which exact bank they had been left. We went to the first bank – when they offered us cappuccinos and custard creams I thought something was up, they were apologetic “So sorry Lady Pamela but we don’t seem be holding anything more than this box” we opened the box. It was a strange ornate headdress “when on earth do you wear THAT?” I asked, apparently it was for when you did not want to wear your tiara. Tiara’s are heavy, require hairdressers and lots of insurance. Once traveling from England to Sweden for a grand ball my mother wore her tiara under a huge hat – in order to make certain she did not loose it. Traditionally tiaras also require you to be married to wear them. I will never get to wear my mother’s Tiara because I remain a sinful unmarried woman, but the Tiara got sold a few years ago anyway so that is the end of that. To read more about my mother searching through bank bat caves click the link in my profile…and always more action on my Insta Story.
While she was no longer the Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting, Lady Pamela and her husband, influential interior designer David Hicks, had a very busy social life in the 1960s and 1970s, and she had wore the Mountbatten Tiara for a plethora of events and portraits, but in 2002, she put it on auction at Sotheby’s. Lady Pamela said:
We’re not pop stars, so we need the money. I am sad to have to sell it as it belonged to my mother and it’s very precious to me. It has, however, come to the point where I have to sell something.”
The Tiara was sold for £149,650, well above the estimate of £100,000-150,000 and was purchased by a private collector, and hasn’t been publicly seen since. However, it was recreated for the film, Viceroy’s House, released in 2017.