Today marks the Anniversary of the Death of Princess Chichibu of Japan, who passed away on this day in 1995! The British-born Japanese aristocrat who married a Prince, became a popular and widely regarded royal diplomat and the beloved aunt of Emperor Akihito, Princess Chichibu wore some splendid jewels, which included his splendid Pearl Tiara!
A striking Art Deco Diamond and Pearl Tiara composed of hanging Pearls set in Diamond Arches, this Tiara was commissioned by Prince and Princess Chichibu from Mikimoto around 1936.
One of the earliest appearances of the Tiara came in 1937, when Prince and Princess Chichibu joined the Duke of Kent for a Festival Banquet of the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, at Mansion House in London, while they were in the United Kingdom for the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
In the 1960s, Princess Chichibu wore the Pearl Tiara with her Pearl Necklace, which is now worn by Empress Masako, for a Dinner with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, as well as for a Malaysian State Visit in 1964.
Princess Chichibu also wore the Pearl Tiara for a Portrait taken after she received the British Order of St Michael and St George from Princess Margaret in 1975 (that was recently displayed at Buckingham Palace), and also for a Return Banquet during the Danish State Visit to Japan in 1981.
After Princess Chichibu’s death in 1995, her Diamond Honeysuckle Tiara was worn by Empress Michiko and the Pearl Tiara was worn by her sister-in-law, Princess Mikasa, at the New Year’s Court in 1997. The Tiara likely belongs to the Imperial Household Agency but has not been worn for over two decades.