Camilla has ‘personal connection’ to Queen Mother’s ‘revolutionary tiaras’


The Queen Mother, who died in 2002 at the age of 101, was a beautiful woman who always dressed impeccably.

Helen Dimmick, a leading gemologist and jewellery historian from Ainsworth’s Jewellers spoke exclusively to about style trends that Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon set during her lifetime.

She said: “Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was always age appropriate with her jewellery choices. She understood what suited her, but also subtly made her mark which was embodied by her love for tiaras.

“Although understated and demure, her choice of tiaras was elegant and sophisticated. This has to be the style trend that we most associate with her.

“In the 1920s she revolutionised how they were worn, removing the hairpiece and instead fashionably wearing it across her brow, most notably seen on her wedding day when she wore the delicate Strathmore Rose Tiara – a gift from her father to celebrate her marriage to the future King in 1923.

“As styles changed in the 1930s and hairstyles became softer, she adopted the ‘halo’ style – at this time worn at a steep angle at the front of her head.

“Her Cartier Halo Tiara from 1936 was a famous example, which was subsequently given to then-Princess Elizabeth on her 18th birthday and later loaned to Princess Kate for her marriage to Prince William in 2011.

“As she matured, the Queen Mother favoured the Greville Tiara, bequeathed to her in 1942 with a striking geometric honeycomb design.

“Later in 1953, the Queen Mother had the tiara slightly altered by Cartier, with additional height added by reconfiguring the top row and a large marquise-cut diamond along with four round diamonds added from a dismantled brooch.

“This is a much more mature style and as it was delicate and lightweight, she continued to wear it for the rest of her life. Today, this tiara is a favourite of Queen Camilla’s.

“This personal connection to the tiara and the Queen Mother is further represented by Queen Camilla’s five-carat Art Deco, emerald-cut diamond engagement ring.

“Originally belonging to his beloved grandmother, it can be no surprise that then-Prince Charles chose this heirloom as a significant jewel for his ‘darling wife’. When worn together they personify the symbols of love and royal duty that is the story of our Queen.”

Ms Dimmick further explained whether the Queen Mother’s style was similar to that of her frugal daughter Queen Elizabeth II.

“It was essentially through her royal marriage to Albert, Duke of York, that Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon experienced owning jewellery of distinction,” the jewellery expert claimed.

“As she grew in her role and following their second son’s accession to the throne as King George VI, she wore the heirloom Crown jewellery and represented the monarchy with her increased importance.

“Like other royal ladies, the Queen Mother used her jewellery to talk for her, at this time most especially to favourably represent the monarchy after the abdication of King Edward VIII.

“Before her marriage, her jewellery was sentimental and more modest. Throughout her life, her signature style was a simple pearl necklace and a favourite brooch.”


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