The Delhi Durbar Tiara

(public domain)

The Delhi Durbar Tiara was made in 1911 for Queen Mary and was the centrepiece of an emerald and diamond parure for the Delhi Durbar ceremony, meant to mark the succession of an Emperor of India.

The entire parure included the tiara, a necklace, a stomacher, a brooch and earrings. Most of the diamonds were taken from a tiara by Boucheron in 1902. The emeralds came from a necklace that had belonged to Queen Mary’s grandmother, the Duchess of Cambridge. However, the emeralds were removed from the Delhi Durbar tiara in 1922 and were later converted to mounts, which could be used on the Vladimir tiara.

In 1912, the jeweller altered the tiara twice to take either or both Cullinan III and IV.

The Delhi Durbar Tiara including the Cullinan III (top) and Cullinan IV (public domain)

Queen Mary loaned the tiara to the future Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1947 after undergoing slight alterations. It remained with her until her death in 2002. In 2005, Queen Elizabeth II loaned the tiara to the then Duchess of Cornwall.

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