When the Queen passed away last month, there was much talk about the spectacular Heirloom Jewels which have now passed on to the next generation, but over the next three days, we are featuring the three Tiaras that the late Queen bought, designed or commissioned, adding to her massive jewellery collection, so thus, we are featuring the Brazilian Aquamarine Tiara!
To mark her Coronation in 1953, the Queen received a gift of a necklace and earrings from the President and people of Brazil, which featured large rectangular Brazilian aquamarines set in scrolled diamond and platinum by Mappin & Webb in Rio de Janiero. The necklace featured a large detachable pendant, and in 1958 Brazil presented the Queen with a large brooch and a bracelet to add to the Parure.
The Queen first wore the Parure during the Swedish State Visit to Britain in 1954, and it was also worn for the Commonwealth Prime Ministers Dinner at Buckingham Palace in 1955, a Gala Performance at the Drottningholm Palace Theatre in 1956, and at a Thanksgiving Dinner in London in 1958.
In 1957, the Queen commissioned a Tiara from Garrard to match the Aquamarine Suite, which was worn for several Gala Performances and less formal Dinners and Banquets through the 1950s and 1960s, including a visit to Malta in 1967, the Royal Film Performance of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in 1968, on a visit to Brazil in 1968, and the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1969.
In 1971, the Queen modified the Tiara by adding four fan shaped elements that may have been an aquamarine and diamond hair ornament presented to her by the Governor of São Paulo. The large pendant of the necklace was moved to the top of the Tiara while the top of the earlier Tiara became the pendant of the necklace.
The new version of the Tiara continued to be worn for Galas and less formal Dinners, from the Royal Film Premiere of ‘The Island at the Top of the World’ in 1974, on the British State Visit to Denmark in 1979, to the British State Visit to the US in 1983, and the Return Banquet on Royal Yacht Britannia in 1986.
In the 1990s, the Queen wore the Brazilian Aquamarine Tiara and Parure for a series of State Banquets in Russia and Eastern European Countries, and in the 2000s, there was a prominent appearance at a Brazilian State Banquet, while the Jewels also went on display at Buckingham Palace. The Queen wore the Brazilian Aquamarines for the CHOGM Banquet on her last visit to Australia in 2011 and the final public appearance came for the Spanish State Banquet at Buckingham Palace in 2017. Though the Tiara is quite divisive, the suite of jewels is quite splendid and would really suit the Countess of Wessex, who has already worn two Aquamarine Tiaras.