Today marks the Anniversary of the birth of Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood, who was born on this day in 1897. As the only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary, she had an enormous jewellery collection, which included Queen Victoria’s Sapphire Tiara and a Fringe Tiara, but the highlight of which we are featuring today, the Harewood Scroll Tiara-
Featuring a large detachable diamond cluster within an ornate scroll design, the Tiara is said to have a Russian Provenance, possibly bought from an exiled Romanov relative, around the time of Princess Mary’s Wedding to Viscount Lascelles, the later 6th Earl of Harewood in 1922. The Tiara was frequently used with a sapphire and diamond cluster brooch, which was a wedding gift from Queen Mary, and often paired with the necklace from Queen Victoria’s Sapphire Parure and a devant de corsage formerly in the collection of the Grand Duchess Olga Feodorovna, which was a wedding gift from the groom.
The sapphire version of Harewood Scroll Tiara, with the necklace and devant de corsage, were notably worn by Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood at the Coronation of her brother, King George VI, in 1937 and the Coronation of her niece, Queen Elizabeth II, in 1953, as well as a variety of glittering events.
Following Princess Mary’s death in 1965, the Harewood Scroll Tiara, in the diamond version, was auction in 1970 for £9,500 while the sapphire and diamond brooch was sold for £10,500. The devant de corsage had been sold for £28,000 in 1960, during her lifetime, while the Queen Victoria’s sapphire necklace sold for £8,000. More recently, after remaining in the family for decades, Queen Victoria’s Sapphire Coronet was sold, but unlike the other pieces which disappeared, it has just gone on display the Victoria & Albert Museum this month.