Towards the end of Queen Victoria’s long reign, her grandson married a princess who would eventually become Queen Mary. This young woman had a deep understanding of the role jewellery could play in creating a sense of majesty and occasion. Over the years she was given many important jewels and commissioned others, building a collection of lasting significance. Among its highlights are Garrard designs that use the symbols of love to great effect.
The lover’s knot
Perhaps the most iconic is the Lover’s Knot Tiara, which has proved popular with every succeeding generation of the royal family. It was both one of Princess Diana’s favourite pieces, and has been worn more recently by the Duchess of Cambridge.
There is no beginning or end to the sweep of diamonds that loop around the tiara, designed in 1913. They overlap to create a series of heart-shaped knots, which evoke the strength and constancy of love. Baroque pearls hang from each knot, their different shapes and sizes reinforcing the uniqueness of the headpiece. From this inspiration came Entanglement, a Garrard collection as symbolic of eternity as the diamonds in which it is realised.
There is no beginning or end to the sweep of diamonds that loop around the tiara…They overlap to create a series of heart-shaped knots, which evoke the strength and constancy of love.
A diamond heart
In 1910, Queen Mary received a diamond heart to rival all others: the 18.8 carat Cullinan V. This extraordinary gift of the South African Government was one of several cut from the Cullinan Diamond, the largest ever found. In Garrard’s setting of 1911, the heart-shaped stone is surrounded by a series of radiating platinum lines, and enclosed by a curling border of smaller diamonds, so emphasising its shape.
The House’s versatile design meant the Cullinan V could be worn as a brooch, as part of a stomacher, set in a tiara or hung as a pendant. It is as a brooch that it is most frequently seen these days, on visits made by HM The Queen.