Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, was born at Windsor Castle on this day in 1883. An active, full-time working member of the Royal Family for 98 years, Princess Alice attended countless glittering occasions for decades, often wearing this Diamond Palmette Tiara!
Of unknown provenance, the Diamond Palmette Tiara, featuring large, swinging yellow diamonds, began to be worn in the 1920s and 30s, and is thought to be a purchase from that time, during which the Earl and Countess of Athlone served as Viceroy and Viceregal Consort of South Africa and Canada. As the sister of the last reigning Grand Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, she also wore the Tiara at the Wedding Ball of her niece, Princess Sibylla, and Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden, and the Coronation of the Queen in 1953.
After WWII, and her return to the UK, Princess Alice continued to wear her Diamond Palmette Tiara at glittering events for decades, remaining an active, through largely out of the limelight, member of the royal family. The Tiara was seen at various State Openings of Parliament, State Banquets, and the 50th Anniversary Service of the Order of the British Empire.
After Princess Alice’s death in 1981, the Diamond Palmette Tiara was inherited by Princess Alice’s only surviving child, Lady May Abel Smith, who auctioned it at Christie’s in 1984, for $33,696. It’s present location is unknown.
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