Delhi Durbar Tiara

Today marks the 155th Anniversary of the Birth of Queen Mary, who was born on this day in 1867! The Teck Princess who lived through the reigns of six monarchs and was the Queen Consort for 25 years, as well as a Queen Mother and Queen Grandmother, Queen Mary assembled much of the British Royal Family’s spectacular Jewellery Collection, which includes the Delhi Durbar Tiara!

Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Tiara | Fringe Tiara | Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara | Vladimir Tiara | Delhi Durbar TiaraKokoshnik Tiara | Cambridge Sapphire Parure | Amethyst Tiara | Cambridge Emerald Parure | Diamond Bandeau | Sapphire Bandeau | Cambridge Emerald Parure | Pearl and Diamond Rivière | City of London Choker | 11-row Pearl Choker | Pearl Necklace | Art Deco Emerald Choker | Cullinan Diamond | Diamond Stomacher | Diamond Thistle Brooch | Diamond Clips | Diamond Pendant

When the new Imperial Crown of India was created for King George V to wear at the Delhi Durbar in 1911, Queen Mary commissioned a new Tiara from a dismantled Boucheron Tiara and other jewels, set in platinum and gold, with diamonds forming lyres and s-scrolls, overlapped by diamond festoons, in a complete circlet, wrapping entirely around the head. The Tiara originally held ten of the Cambridge Emeralds, and was later adapted to be used with the Cullinan II & IV Diamonds.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

After the spectacular Delhi Durbar in 1911, King George V wrote to his mother, Queen Alexandra that ‘May had worn her best Tiara’, which complemented the Delhi Durbar Parure. Queen Mary had worn the entire suite for the first time at the State Opening of Parliament before leaving London and was also pictured wearing the original version of the tiara in 1912 and 1913.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty ImagesEmbed from Getty Images

Queen Mary wore the Delhi Durbar Tiara in a variety of versatile configurations through the 1920s and 30s, for a series of portraits, including ones in which the Cullinan II & IV Diamonds were attached to the central element, as well as for the British State Banquet at the Royal Palace of Brussels in 1922 and a Gala Performance at Covent Garden, held during the French State Visit in 1939. By then, the Cambridge Emeralds had been permanently removed and put into the Vladimir Tiara.

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When the Royal Family went on an extensive three-month Tour of South Africa in 1947, the official reason for the visit was for the King and Queen to open the 1947 session of the Union Parliament in Cape Town, for which Queen Mary loaned the Delhi Durbar Tiara to her daughter-in-law, Queen Elizabeth, after which it is believed to have remained in her possession, but was not publicly worn for the rest of her long life.

Embed from Getty Images

After the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, all of her jewels were inherited by the Queen, but as the wife of the late Queen Mother’s favourite grandson, the Prince of Wales, many of them have been loaned to the Duchess of Cornwall. Just months after her wedding in 2005, the Duchess of Cornwall wore the Delhi Durbar Tiara for the splendid State Banquet during the Norwegian Official Visit to Britain, which remains its one and only public appearance on the Duchess.

Embed from Getty Images

However, the Delhi Durbar Tiara has been displayed at quite a few exhibitions at the Royal Palaces,  most notably the ‘Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration Exhibition’ at Buckingham Palace in 2012. Lets hope we see this spectacular Royal Heirloom worn again soon!

Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Tiara | Fringe Tiara | Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara | Vladimir Tiara | Delhi Durbar TiaraKokoshnik Tiara | Cambridge Sapphire Parure | Amethyst Tiara | Cambridge Emerald Parure | Diamond Bandeau | Sapphire Bandeau | Cambridge Emerald Parure | Pearl and Diamond Rivière | City of London Choker | 11-row Pearl Choker | Pearl Necklace | Art Deco Emerald Choker | Cullinan Diamond | Diamond Stomacher | Diamond Thistle Brooch | Diamond Clips | Diamond Pendant

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RCT

One thought on “Delhi Durbar Tiara

  1. I maintain that of this tiara was of a smaller scale, I would have loved it. It would have been a unique looking, airy tiara with lots of sparkle. As is or in any of the earlier configs, I am not a fan. At all.

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