For many years, tradition held that a young woman would first wear a tiara on her wedding day. It is a custom that has lasted long in Britain’s royal family. When Queen Elizabeth II came to marry Prince Philip in November 1947, her mother lent her the Fringe Tiara, a Garrard jewel originally commissioned by her grandmother, Queen Mary. Despite the fact that it dates back to 1919, the tiara’s design is strikingly modern, with 47 tall bars of white diamonds separated by a series of smaller, thinner bars. Its lightness of scale and simplicity of impact was well suited to the young princess’s choice of gown and slim stature. From that day on, she would be photographed at many occasions with tiaras from the royal collection. At balls, visits to the theatre, birthday celebrations, state dinners, and more. The Fringe Tiara was also worn, but in another way: as a necklace.
Versatility is a quality that Garrard’s creative team still seeks to achieve in House designs. It is realised to great effect in the collection of Princess Tiaras (Beatrice, Alice and Charlotte), each of which features a centrepiece that can be worn as a pendant. Their versatility - as well as their use of white diamonds - links these jewels back to the Fringe Tiara. Their designs offer more than a nod to Britain’s royal palaces, and the young women who grew up in them.
Through intricate ironwork gates, down winding paths and along avenues of clipped hedges, the gardens of Britain’s palaces are renowned for their harmonious proportions and symmetrical layouts. These bold, ornamental patterns are repeated in the Princess Tiaras, creating headpieces that are light in weight, balanced in scale and featuring the finest white diamonds.
Just as a dress is only chosen when it is seen and tried on, so too does the same apply to a tiara. This collection includes a set of three repeatable designs, with differences in height and style offering choice and variety. All are available to try on at a visit to the House, providing an opportunity to bring along a guest who can help make this big decision. Even when worn for a wedding a Princess Tiara remains relevant, thanks to its removable centrepiece. This pendant can be worn on days that have no call for such formality. More than that, it can be worn as a personal reminder of that special day, and as private message of love, its meaning known only to the married couple. As the years pass, it could then become part of a family tradition itself.