The late Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon would have turned 87 next week. As the only sister of Queen Elizabeth II, she attended countless glittering events from the 1940s until her death in 2002. In honour of her birthday, we are featuring her trademark Poltimore Tiara-
Composed of of diamonds in clusters and scroll motifs, the Poltimore Tiara was made by Garrards in the 1870s for Florence, Lady Poltimore, wife of the second Baron Poltimore. The large scrolls can be worn as brooches, and the clusters can also form a necklace.
In 1902, Lady Poltimore wore her tiara at the Coronation of King Edward VII in Westminster Abbey.
In 1953, at a Royal Opera Performance held on the eve of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the Poltimore Tiara was worn by an unknown lady, probably Lady Stucley, daughter of the 4th Baron Poltimore.
In 1959, Baron Poltimore auctioned the Tiara for £5,500, when it was bought by Princess Margaret, who wore it for the first time at an Opera Performance for the Shah of Iran.
The most famous occasion when Princess Margaret wore the Tiara was at her 1960 wedding to Antony Armstrong Jones at Westminster Abbey, when she paired the Tiara with her Norman Hartnell gown.
The Tiara became a favourite of Princess Margaret, who wore it as a necklace, and even in the bath. It suited her large 60s bouffant, and was the largest tiara in her collection.
Princess Margaret continued to wear the Poltimore Tiara during her separation and after her divorce.
A famous appearance was this portrait, taken in the 1980s.
The Poltimore Tiara, already a trademark, was worn to many of Princess Margaret’s final tiara events, including the Head’s of State Banquet for VE Day in 1995 and the State Opening of Parliament in 1996.
After her death in 2002, the Poltimore Tiara was inherited by her children, Lord Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto, who had to sell some of her jewels in order to pay the inheritance taxes on her estate. The Tiara headlined the sale, and was auctioned for £926,400 ($1,704,576) to a ‘private Asian buyer’. It hasn’t been seen since.