Nepalese Diamond Tiara

Today marks the 90th Birthday of Queen Mother Ratna of Nepal, who is the most popular member of the recently abolished monarchy. To mark the day, we are taking a look at the glittering Nepalese Diamond Tiara.

This glittering Tiara, of Art Deco design, was first seen on Queen Ratna at King Mahendra’s Coronation in 1956, and she was crowned using the piece. The structure of the piece seems like it was a new acquisition at the time, or might have been inherited by Queen Ratna’s predecessor (and sister), Crown Princess Indra , or her mothers-in-law, Queen Kanti and Queen Ishwari, though I have not found any photographic evidence.

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Queen Ratna wore the Nepalese Diamond Tiara at glittering State Banquets and Galas on State Visits at home and abroad, including a State Visit to Britain in 1960 and the Return Visit by Queen Elizabeth II the following year.

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In 1972, Queen Ratna passed the Nepalese Diamond Tiara to her daughter-in-law, Queen Aishwarya, who was crowned with the piece at the Coronation of King Birendra in 1975.

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The Nepalese Diamond Tiara become Queen Aishwarya’s trademark Tiara, worn for glittering Official Portraits and State Visits from Britain and Spain. In 2001, Queen Aishwarya was among the 10 members of the family allegedly killed by her son, Crown Prince Dipendra, and was the last Queen to be pictured in the piece. Her successor, and sister, Queen Komal was also shot during the massacre and was in hospital at the time of her husband’s Coronation, and was also not pictured in the Nepalese Diamond Tiara during her short tenure as Queen, instead preferring a personal Tiara. The present whereabouts of the Tiara are unknown, but it is probably with Queen Ratna, who resides her private house in the former Royal Palace. Hopefully we will see the Tiara soon on other members of the family, preferably Crown Princess Himani Shah.

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UPDATE- The Nepalese Diamond Tiara has gone on display at the Narayanhiti Palace Museum, the former home of the Royal Family, along the magnificent King’s Crown, scepter and sword. Like the Crown and Regalia, it is presumed that the Tiara has been kept at the Palace since the fall of the Monarchy ten years ago, and belongs to the State rather than the Royal Family.

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