Duchess of Gloucester’s Tiaras

Happy Birthday to HRH the Duchess of Gloucester! The Danish-born Birgitte Eva Henriksen didn’t expect to become Duchess when she married Prince Richard of Gloucester, a cousin of the Queen Elisabeth II, in 1972, but the death of his brother, Prince William, six weeks after the wedding, and his father two years later, brought the couple to the center of the Royal stage. They have supported the Queen ever since. As Duchess of Gloucester, Birgitte has attended many official events and represented the Queen on foreign visits. The Gloucester’s have managed to keep their jewel collection almost intact, unlike their cousins the Kents. The Duchess has worn the many Gloucester Tiaras at State events for over 40 years.

Gloucester Honeysuckle Tiara

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Commissioned by Queen Mary from E. Wolff & Co in 1913-14, this tiara, consisting of a diamond frame of honeysuckle or palmette motifs that leads up to a larger interchangeable center, was given it as a wedding present to her daughter-in-law, Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, in 1935, and worn to a plethora of important events, including the Coronation of King George VI in 1937, a Gala Performance at Covent Garden in 1950, yje Opening of the Festival of Britain in 1951, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, the RAF 40th Anniversary Banquet in 1958, the Order of the British Empire Service in 1960, the Silver Jubilee Gala at Covent Garden in 1977, and the Order of the Bath Service in 1982.

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By the late 1970s, the Princess Alice gave the Tiara to her daughter-in-law, the current Duchess, in the 1970s, who has made use of three interchangeable centers: the diamond honeysuckle, the pink topaz, and an emerald surrounded by diamonds, and it remains her most worn tiara to this day.

Teck Turquoise Tiara

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Made around 1850, the Teck Turquoise Tiara is composed of diamonds and turquoise stones set in a central sunburst motif surrounded by rococo scrolls, and was a wedding gift to Queen Mary by her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Teck. After wearing it quite a few times in the early years of her marriage, she gifted the parure to  it as a wedding present to Lady Alice Montagu Douglas Scott when she married Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester in 1935. As the secondary tiara, Princess Alice wore the Teck Turquoise Parure for a plethora of occasions including a Gala Performance at Covent Garden in 1939, the Givenchy Fashion Show at The Dorchester in 1955, a Gala at Covent Garden in 1960, and the Dutch State Visit in 1972.

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The current Duchess of Gloucester has also worn the Teck Turquoise Parure for quite a few portraits and events, notably at Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik’s 25th Wedding Anniversary in 1992, nowadays usually when the Duke and Duchess represent the Queen at the City of London’s Guildhall Banquets during State Visits.

Cartier Indian Tiara

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Created by Cartier, this early 20th century tiara, rendered solidly in diamonds, sapphires, and pearls, was originally bought by the Countess of Granard in 1923, but had been returned to Cartier by 1937, when it was bought by Princess Marie Louise for the Coronation of King George VI. Princess Marie Louise  bequeathed it to her godson, Prince Richard, at her death in 1965. This tiara is occasionally worn by the Duchess, often with one from her large collection of pearl chokers. It was also ‘worn’ by her daughter, Lady Davina, in a fun portrait in the 1980s.

Iveagh Tiara

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This tiara, a tightly packed design of diamond scrolls and foliage in a kokoshnik shape, was given as a wedding gift to Queen Mary by the Earl and Countess of Iveagh in 1893, and managed to escape being redesigned. After Queen Mary’s death, she bequeathed the Tiara to her daughter-in-law, Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, who wore it sparsely and passed it on to the current Duchess, who wears it in her regular rotation, but not too often. The Iveagh was also worn by her daughter, Lady Rose Gilman, at her wedding in 2008.

Other Gloucester Tiaras

In 1935, Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester was given a bandeau tiara, formed of diamond and platinum wide bandeau with clusters of large diamonds and alternative centres forming emerald and diamond brooches, as wedding gift from her father, the Duke of Buccleuch, which she often wore with a splendid emerald necklace. The current Duchess was photographed in the piece in the 1970s and 80s. The Duchess also wore her spectacular Diamond Necklace as a Tiara, most notably for King Carl Gustaf of Sweden’s Pre-Wedding Ball in 1976.

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