Belonging to the Anglo-Irish Marquess Dufferin & Ava, the Dufferin Tiara was commissioned in the 1860s for the wife of the first Marquess, and has subsequently been worn by Marchionesses of Dufferin at grand events. It is composed of large diamond shamrocks over a diamond base with pear-shaped pearls over diamond floral clusters.
Harriet, Marchioness of Dufferin & Ava, was the wife of the 1st Marquess, who was Viceroy of India and Governor General of Canada in the 1870s. She is best known for her charity work for women in British India, and gives her name to the famous Lady Dufferin Hospital in Karachi. She wore the tiara at many occasions during the course of her colonial life, at grand receptions, balls, and for official portraits.
The next Lady Dufferin to wear the Tiara was Maureen Guinness, the 4th Marchioness. She was a fascinating figure, she came from the famous Irish family, got widowed during WWII, and threw famous parties until her death in 1996. One of her daughters was the famous Lady Caroline Blackwood, the first wife of artist Lucien Freud. Maureen wore the tiara throughout her life: at the Coronation of 1937, State Openings of Parliament, and at her infamous parties.
Maureen loaned the Tiara to her daughter-in-law, Lindy, for the latter’s wedding in 1960. Lindy, hailing from the famous Rutland family, married Sheridan, the 5th Marquess, who was homosexual. They couple had no children, threw popular parties at their homes in London and Northern Ireland, and on his death, in 1988, the title became extinct . Lindy inherited the Family Seat, Clandeboye in Northern Ireland, and became an artist, conservationist and businesswoman.
Today, the Dufferin Tiara is loaned to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London by Lindy, Marchioness of Dufferin. It is unclear who will inherit the piece on her death, as there are no direct heirs of the 5th Marquess, or of Lindy herself.
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