Today marks the Anniversary of the Death of Hannah de Rothschild, Countess of Rosebery, the wealthy Rothschild Heiress who married the Earl of Rosebery. The 5th Earl and Countess of Rosebery were very influential in society, but she suddenly died in 1890, four years before her husband was made Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. To mark the Anniversary, we are taking a look at the Countess of Rosebery’s Tiaras, an article which I’ve had written for over three years-
Featuring diamond daisies set in a diamond wreath, the Primrose Tiara was described in Diana Scarisbrick’s Ancestral Jewels as “the Rosebery family diamond tiara of daisies; it is a Primrose heirloom”. Dating from the 19th century, the piece belonged to the Primrose family before the marriage of Hannah de Rothschild to the Earl of Rosebery, though she was never pictured in the piece. In 1955, the Primrose Tiara was worn by Deidre Reid, when she married Neil, Lord Primrose, the Heir to the Earldom. The couple became the Earl and Countess of Rosebery in 1974, but I could not find pictures of the Countess wearing the Primrose Tiara in recent years.
The Primrose Tiara was worn a couple of times by Caroline, Lady Dalmeny, the former wife of Lord Dalmeny, heir to the Earldom, and Lady Emma Mehmood, third daughter of the Earl and Countess, at the Royal Caledonian Ball, which is held annually in London for the benefit of Scottish charities, with many members of the Scottish aristocracy usually in attendance. The Countess of Rosebery, Lady Dalmeny, and Lady Emma were a Patronesses of the Ball.
Made by a French jeweller in 1878, the Rosebery Tiara features ornate scrolls and spikes featuring several large diamonds and was commissioned by the 5th Earl of Rosebery as a wedding gift for his bride Hannah de Rothschild, the great heiress said to be the richest women in England. The Rosebery Tiara has passed down the family and was worn by current Countess of Rosebery at the Royal Caledonian Ball in 2010. The Rosebery Tiara was often worn by Caroline, Lady Dalmeny at quite a few Royal Caledonian Balls, most notably in her portrait taken as the Chairman of the Royal Caledonian Ball.
UPDATE: The Rosebery Tiara was worn by Harriet Clapham for her Wedding to Lord Dalmeny at Barnbougle Castle in 2022.
Lady Dalmeny also wore an antique Diamond Palmette Tiara, of unknown provenance, which was worn at the Royal Caledonian Ball in 2015, the year after her divorce. The piece may come from her own family, or it may be borrowed. The Pearl drop Tiara later in the Westminster collection was also once in the Rosebery collection.
The Tiaras are currently on display at ‘Power & Image: Royal & Aristocratic Tiaras’ at Sotheby’s in London