Most of the comments in the newspapers and on the web about the wedding of Princess Beatrice with Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi centered on the Norman Hartnell dress. Few, however, have underlined the choice to wear a tiara that has a long and surprising history. So, it is worth telling the story of the tiara worn by Princess Beatrice, daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York and second son of Queen Elizabeth.
The tiara that Beatrice wore is special: suffice it to say that it was in the hair of Queen Elizabeth on the day of her wedding with Philip, Prince of Edinburgh in 1947. It is the Queen Mary Fringe, who is over one hundred years old. The tiara, in fact, was made by the London jeweler Garrard on commission from Queen Mary in 1919. But it has an even older origin because it is made with diamonds of a necklace that Queen Victoria had given to Queen Mary in 1893 on the occasion of his marriage to what would become George V, and then he was the granddaughter of the tenant of Buckingham Palace.
One step back. The diamond necklace, which became tiara, was originally owned by George III and his wife, Queen Charlotte. Precisely for this reason the tiara is also called as a diadem of George III or Hanover, in the past the noble title of the royal family, which has German origins. But it was a necklace with an exotic shape and, above all, in a kokoshnik style: a word that indicates a traditional headdress of Russian women. The necklace, in fact, was convertible and could also be worn on the hair as a diadem.
The tiara, therefore, was worn by Queen Mary for her wedding and then by Queen Elizabeth for her wedding with Philip Mountbatten. But with a little drama: while Elizabeth was getting dressed for the ceremony, the mechanism that keeps the shape of the frame of the tiara was blocked. A problem solved, with some anxiety, after the jewel was hurriedly brought to the jeweler’s laboratory. Despite this, the central fringe of the tiara remained slightly tilted, as evidenced by the photos taken on the occasion.
The story of the tiara is not over. It was still worn, in fact, by Princess Anne in 1973, on the occasion of her marriage to Mark Phillips. Queen Elizabeth later inherited the tiara in 2020 when Queen Mother died and wore it in a Diamond Jubilee Portrait, an image taken in the Blue Room at Buckingham Palace by Julian Calder for the Governor General of New Zealand in 2011. And now it was Beatrice’s turn. Who will be next to wear the jewel?