Poltimore tiara: Expert on Princess Margaret’s wedding jewels
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The royal jewellery vault houses some of the most expensive jewels in the world, but three tiaras worn by Princess Diana, Queen Camilla and Princess Margaret are not actually owned by the Royal Family. Express.co.uk takes a look at the history, design and current whereabouts of three famous tiaras.
Princess Diana famously wore the Spencer Tiara to her 1981 wedding, and later at several engagements as a member of the Royal Family.
With trumpeting flower and star motifs, the Spencer Tiara is adorned with diamonds.
And while it is likely one of the most recognisable tiaras worn by a royal, it doesn’t actually belong to the Royal Family.
The Spencer Tiara is still thought to belong to Diana’s aristocratic family, and several Spencer brides have worn it to their weddings over the years.
Diana’s two elder sisters wore it, and most recently it was worn by Diana’s niece Celia McCorquodale to her 2018 wedding.
Diana’s brother Earl Spencer has a daughter, Lady Kitty Spencer, who chose not to wear the Spencer Tiara to her 2021 wedding.
But her sister Lady Amelia Spencer, who is engaged to Greg Mallett, may opt to wear it to her wedding next year.
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The Queen Consort often wore the Cubitt-Shand Tiara as the Duchess of Cornwall, but it isn’t a royal tiara.
The Cubitt-Shand Tiara is a family heirloom that belonged to Camilla’s grandmother Sonia Keppel, whose mother Alice Keppel was King Edward VII’s mistress.
This diamond-encrusted jewel features a higher section front and centre, and it was worn by Camilla to her first wedding to Andrew Parker Bowles in the 1970s.
Camilla was thought to have inherited the tiara when her mother died in 1994, and her daughter Laura Lopes also wore the family jewel to her 2006 wedding.
Princess Margaret, the late Queen’s only sister, wore the tall and grand Poltimore Tiara throughout her life.
She purchased it herself at auction for £5,500 in 1959 and added the jewel to her personal collection.
Sara Prentice, creative director at the House of Garrard, told Vogue of the Princess’ decision: “It’s such a modern thing.
“We’re finding more and more now that women are purchasing for themselves, but way back in 1959, she chose it for herself. She must have loved it to do that.”
Margaret later wore it to her 1960 wedding to Antony Armstrong-Jones, despite the fact she would have had her pick of the royal tiara collection as the daughter of the late King George VI.
Scandalously Margaret also wore the tiara in the bathtub, a moment which was captured by her renowned photographer husband and only shown to the public in 2006.
The Poltimore Tiara was passed to her children Earl Snowdon and Lady Sarah Chatto after Margaret died in 2002, but it was sold at auction by Christie’s for £926,400 to an unknown buyer.
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