Today marks the 175th Anniversary of the Birth of Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom, the Danish Princess who was the longest-serving Princess of Wales and then a trendsetting Queen Consort, and to mark the occasion, we are taking a look at her versatile Amethyst Tiara-
Featuring “seven oval amethysts graduating from the centre of flowers, supported by twin leaves and single diamonds within a graduated oval diamond frame, each intersected by diamond bars, with single diamond tops, and supported by twin diamond semi-circles, with single line diamond base”, the Diamond and Amethyst Tiara was a gift to Queen Alexandra (then Princess of Wales) from her brother-in-law, Tsar Alexander III of Russia. The amethysts could be replaced with sugar-loaf cabochon sapphires, which came from a necklace given by the Tsar and Tsarina as a Silver Anniversary present (discovered by the wonderful Beth). Queen Alexandra most notably wore the Tiara at the wedding of her elder daughter, Princess Louise, to the Duke of Fife, in 1889.
After her death, the Amethyst Tiara, and it’s accompanying necklace which had been specially made for the Queen Alexandra, was inherited by Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife, who left them to her younger daughter, Princess Maud, Countess of Southesk, who wore the Tiara and necklace to the coronation of her cousin, King George VI in 1937.
After Princess Maud’s death, her jewels were auctioned by her son, the 3rd Duke of Fife, with the the necklace was sold by her family and then sold at various auctions since, the most recent being 2007. The sapphire and diamond necklace fetching £4900, the Amethyst Tiara being sold for £1750, and the diamond and amethyst necklace was sold for £580, along with a Diamond, Turquoise and Pearl Tiara. Queen Alexandra’s wedding gift to Princess Maud. Both necklaces have reappeared at auctions several times since the original sale, with Queen Alexandra’s Amethyst Necklace being sold as recently as 2007, after being worn by many prominent society figures.