The Vladimir Tiara

(public domain)

The Vladimir Tiara is described as follows, “The intersecting brilliant-set circles of the frame are hung with 15 large claw-set pendant pearls, which can be replaced with emerald drops.”1

The tiara was created for Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna (born Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin), probably around the time of her marriage to Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia in 1874. It was made by the Russian court jeweller Bolin.

Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna wearing the Vladimir tiara (public domain)

The tiara, along with other jewellery, was smuggled out of Russia during the Russian Revolution by the Grand Duchess’ friend Albert Henry Stopford. In 1921, her daughter, Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia, sold some of the jewels, including the tiara, to Queen Mary. It had been damaged during the journey and had to be repaired by the jeweller Garrard. Two of the brilliants were also missing.

Queen Mary wearing the tiara with the emeralds (public domain)

Queen Mary had the tiara adapted in 1924 so that the Cambridge emeralds could also be used. Some of these emeralds had come from the Delhi Durbar tiara.

Queen Elizabeth II inherited the tiara in 1953, and she wore it often. The frame of the tiara was remade entirely in 1988.

  1. The Queen’s Diamonds by Hugh Roberts p.196

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