Vestey Tiara

Happy Birthday to Crown Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, the Duchess of Brabant, who turns 21 today! The Heir to the Belgian Throne, who is set to become the first Queen Regnant of the Belgians, the Duchess will inherit one of the smallest Royal Jewellery Collections, so her first Tiara, which was revealed earlier this year, likely comes from a British Aristocratic Family; The Vestey Tiara!

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A Belle Époque Diamond Tiara of ornate swags and festoons, the Tiara is of unknown origin but is almost identical to a Fabergé Tiara belonging to Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, which was hidden in Tobolsk in 1918 before being discovered in 1933, when it disappeared. 

This Tiara first appeared on Evelene Brodstone, the wife of the 1st Baron Vestey, who wore it for a Court Presentation in 1925, which may have been when the Tiara was acquired, just a few years after the creation of the Barony. 

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The Tiara remained a Family Heirloom and was worn by the The Hon. Saffron Vestey, daughter of the 3rd Baron, for her Wedding to Matthew Charles Idiens in 1997, when it appears that the Tiara was topped with pearls.

Pamela, Lady Vestey, the mother of the 3rd Baron, was the granddaughter of Dame Nellie Melba, and the family appear to have sold several jewels from her collection in recent years, though the Vestey Family remains among the richest in the country, 199th on the 2020 Sunday Times Rich List. The current Lady Vestey (whose jewels were stolen by her daughter’s nanny) and her sister-in-law wore other Tiaras at their Wedding, so it is unknown when or if the family sold the Tiara directly to King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium. UPDATE: It has been revealed today that the family had to pay taxes of around two thirds of the late Lord Vestey’s estate.

Earlier this year, the Duchess of Brabant first wore a Tiara for Princess Ingrid Alexandra’s 18th Birthday Banquet at the Royal Palace of Oslo, which remained a mystery for a few days until Russian Treasure on Instagram posted their findings.

   

A few days later, the Belgian Royal Court confirmed that the Duchess of Brabant’s Tiara is a “gift from the King and Queen for her 18th birthday. An antique piece bought for her that will remain in the family.” It is unknown that the Duchess of Brabant’s Tiara is the Tiara of the Vestey Family, though there s no doubt we will continue to see it worn for years to come! 

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