Today marks the 165th Anniversary of the Birth of Princess Beatrice, who was born on this day in 1857. The youngest daughter of Queen Victoria, she inherited some beautiful jewels, including Queen Victoria’s Sunray Fringe Tiara and Queen Victoria’s Strawberry Leaf Tiara, but today we are focusing on one of ehr mystery wedding gifts: The Diamond Star Tiara!
When Princess Beatrice married Prince Henry of Battenberg in 1885, she received a ‘diamond circlet and diamond stars’ as a Wedding gift from her mother, Queen Victoria, composed of five diamond stars on a diamond base. The Tiara was notably worn by Princess Beatrice on her Wedding Day at Osbourne House, with ‘diamond collet drop earrings, a diamond collet necklace with a very large diamond cross suspended from it, a diamond bee brooch, a diamond rose brooch, and a large diamond butterfly brooch’.
Princess Beatrice was pictured wearing the Diamond Star Tiara in a portrait and in a miniature painting done in the late 1880s or the early 1890s. The Stars would also be taken off their frame, as worn by the Princess in her hair in the portrait.
The eventual fate of the Diamond Star Tiara is unknown, as Princess Beatrice was not pictured wearing it after the 1890s. However, in 1892, Princess Beatrice accidentally set fire to her room as Heiligenberg Castle in Germany, the home of her parents-in-law, and lost many of her jewels, as described by her sister-in-law and niece, Princess Victoria, Marchioness of Milford Haven:
Aunt Beatrice’s losses were great, for the jewels she had in a little case in her bedroom were nearly all destroyed. The fine pearls, which had belonged to her Grandmother, the Duchess of Kent, were so damaged that they looked like parched peas. Some that were set in a bracelet looked all right, though their colour had turned grey from white, but when you rubbed them with your finger they dissolved into powdered chalk. A pair of lovely emerald drops were split in two. I am glad to say that Grandmama gave her another set of pearls to replace the lost ones.