Princess Andrew’s Meander Tiara

Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the death of Princess Alice of Greece, the fascinating mother of the Duke of Edinburgh, who was born a Battenberg Princess before marrying Prince Andrew of Greece. To mark the Anniversary, we are featuring her last surviving jewel, the Meander Tiara now belonging to Princess Anne, which is one of my own personal favourite designs.

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Princess Alice of Battenberg, the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh . . Her life during WWII continued. . . In September 1943, the German Army occupied Athens, where a minority of Greek Jews had sought refuge. . The majority (about 60,000 out of a total population of 75,000) were deported to Nazi concentration camps, where all but 2,000 died. During this period, the Princess hid Jewish widow Rachel Cohen and two of her five children, who sought to evade the Gestapo and deportation to the death camps. . Even though Athens was liberated in October, by early December 1944 the situation in Athens had far from improved; as Communist guerillas (ELAS) were fighting the British for control of the capital. . During the fighting, to the dismay of the British, she insisted on walking the streets distributing rations to policemen and children in contravention of the curfew order. . When told that she might have been shot by a stray bullet, she replied "they tell me that you don't hear the shot that kills you and in any case I am deaf. So, why worry about that?" . I must say Alice was a hero and an inspiration. she had so much trauma in her life and suffered with mental health issues but constantly worked to help others less fortunate. God Bless Her . . . #PrincessAliceofBattenberg #PrincessAlice #AliceofBattenberg #Greece #Denmark #England #Greekroyalfamily #History #PrincePhilipsMother #Royalty #RoyalFamily #BritishMonarchy #WWII #Athens #Jews #Jewish #Refugees #GreekJews

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Featuring diamonds in a Greek key design, with a central laurel wreath and a large diamond, and two diamond honeysuckles, the Meander Tiara was probably made by Cartier, and while it is unknown how it was acquired, the Tiara was earliest worn for a series of portraits in 1914, a year after the death of her father-in-law, King George I of Greece, when Prince Andrew would have received an inheritance. The Meander Tiara remained with Princess Andrew through the Greek Royal Families frequent exiles, remaining in a Bank Vault in London during the period she was incarcerated at at asylum in Switzerland, though it was probably worn after her return to Greece in the late 1930s, before being sent back to London.

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After her Aquamarine Tiara (a wedding gift from her uncle, the Tsar) was dismantled to create the Engagement Ring and Wedding Bracelet, Princess Andrew gave her Meander Tiara to her daughter-in-law, the current Queen Elizabeth II, who was never publicly pictured wearing the piece. In the late 1960s, around the time Princess Alice came to live with the British Royal Family at Buckingham Palace, the Meander Tiara was given to Princess Anne, who wore the piece for many of her initial tiara appearances and in latter years.

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In 2011, Princess Anne loaned Princess Andrew’s Meander Tiara to her only daughter Zara Phillips, for her wedding to Mike Tindall in Edinburgh. The Princess Royal continues to wear the Meander Tiara, most recently at the Dutch State Banquet last year, and there is no doubt we will continue to see it for years to come.

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