Today marks the 125th Anniversary of the Death of Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, the Duchess of Teck, who died on this day in 1897! The granddaughter of King George III, who married a cousin of the King of Württemberg, and became the mother of Queen Mary, Princess Mary Adelaide possessed a spectacular Jewellery Collection, the highlight of which was the Teck Crescent Tiara!
Featuring three wild diamond roses separated by 20 diamond crescents, the Tiara was made by Princess Mary Adelaide from jewels inherited from her aunt, Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester, the daughter of King George III.
The Duchess of Teck began wearing the Tiara soon after the Duchess’ death in 1857, for the Wedding of Victoria, Princess Royal and Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia in 1858, and it remained her primary Tiara after her wedding to the Duke of Teck, with notable appearances at the Wedding of her daughter, Princess May, to the Duke of York, later King George V, in 1893 and the Wedding of Prince Carl of Denmark and Princess Maud of Wales in 1896 as well as a series of portraits, usually with her Diamond Hoop Necklace and the Cambridge Emeralds, as well as the Teck Sapphire Stomacher.
After the Duchess of Teck’s death in 1897, the Crescent Tiara and Diamond Hoop Necklace were inherited by her elder son, Prince Adolphus, the 2nd Duke of Teck and later the 1st Marquess of Cambridge, while the Cambridge Emeralds were inherited by Prince Francis and the Teck Ears of Wheat Tiara and Teck Sapphire Stomacher went to Prince Alexander (later the Earl of Athlone). The Tiara and Diamond Hoop Necklace were pictured on the 2nd Duchess of Teck at the Coronation of King George V in 1911, though it is not known if both jewels were still in her possession or on loan from Queen Mary, who acquired both pieces from her brother and sister-in-law at some point before the 1920s.
Queen Mary was not pictured wearing either the Crescent Tiara or the Diamond Hoop Necklace, and she passed them both to her daughter-in-law, Queen Elizabeth, at the time of her accession in 1936. She began wearing the Teck Crescent Tiara in the late 1930s, including for a Banquet at the Guildhall and a couple of appearances on the Royal Tour of Canada in 1939, as well as an appearance in the 1950s with the Greville Emerald Necklace.
After the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, the Teck Crescent Tiara, like all her jewels, was inherited by the Queen, and it was stated a few years ago that the tiara is on loan to the now Queen Camilla, who has yet to wear the piece publicly. Lets hope the Tiara makes a reappearance soon!