Happy Birthday to the Duchess of Cornwall, who turns 75 today! While the future Queen can beautifully carry off some massive Tiaras and has a large collection of chokers and modern jewels among a series of royal heirlooms, she also wears some spectacular heirlooms from her own family, which include the Cubitt-Shand Tiara!
Composed of an large diamond floral spray in the middle of a diamond floral bandeau, this Tiara originally belonged to the Duchess’ grandmother, Sonia Keppel Cubitt, the daughter of Alice Keppel, the last mistress of King Edward VII, who was married to the 3rd Baron Ashcombe. Sonia Cubitt likely wore the Tiara at the Coming-Out Ball for her daughter, The Hon. Rosalind Cubitt, at Holland House, which was the highlight of the London Season of 1939, attended by the King and Queen, a year before the House was destroyed during the Blitz.
In 1973, the Sonia Cubitt loaned the Tiara to her granddaughter, Camilla Shand, the daughter of the aforementioned Rosalind, for her Wedding to Andrew Parker Bowles at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks, which was attended by the Queen Mother and Princess Anne. The Tiara was inherited by Rosalind Shand after her mother’s death in 1986, and by the then Camilla Parker Bowles after her mother’s death in 1994.
The Cubitt-Shand Tiara was not publicly worn again until 2005, a few months after the Wedding of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, when the Duchess, who had already worn the Delhi Durbar Tiara, chose to wear her Tiara at the Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace, continuing a tradition of royal brides wearing a jewel from their own family at royal events, like the Teck Turquoise Tiara for Queen Mary, the Kent Pearl Bandeau for Princess Marina, the Strathmore Rose Tiara for the Queen Mother, or the Spencer Tiara for Diana, Princess of Wales.
Continuing the family tradition, the Cubitt-Shand Tiara was worn by Laura Parker Bowles, the only daughter of the Duchess and Andrew Parker Bowles, for her Wedding to Harry Lopes, grandson of the 2nd Baron Roborough and the 2nd Baron Astor of Hever, at St Cyriac’s Church in Lacock, Wiltshire.
While the Duchess of Cornwall mainly wears the Greville Tiara these days, the Cubitt-Shand Tiara has been worn a few times in recent years, like for the Diplomatic Reception in 2014, and when the Duchess attended the Royal Academy of Arts Annual Dinner at the Royal Academy of Arts at Burlington House in London. There is no doubt we will continue to see this spectacular heirloom for years to come!
Cubitt-Shand Tiara | Greville Tiara | Delhi Durbar Tiara | Tiaras | Greville Festoon Necklace | Modern Diamond Suite | Chokers | Princess Marie Louise’s Diamond Sunburst Brooch | Diamond Thistle Brooch | Ladies of North Wales Leek Brooch | Queen Victoria’s Hessian Diamond Jubilee Brooch