Sunday, February 24, 2013

Focus on... Kent Jewels: Princess Alexandra’s Tiara & Parure

Princess Marina was apparently of the belief that a woman’s jewellery collection must be formed by gifts from the family she is marrying into, meaning she left very few jewels to her daughter. And so it happens there is only one tiara in Princess Alexandra’s personal possession – but it’s versatile and beautiful enough to count for two.
Princess Alexandra's Tiara (pearl setting)
Before her marriage, the Princess occasionally used tiaras from her mother’s collection, including the Festoon Tiara, City of London Fringe Tiara, and Diamond and Pearl Fringe Tiara. Indeed, for her marriage to Honourable Angus Ogilvy in 1963 she wore the lovely City of London Fringe Tiara

Angus Ogilvy wanted Alexandra to have a tiara all to her own though so shortly after their engagement was announced, he commissioned Collingwood to create a parure consisting of a tiara, a necklace, and two pairs of earrings. 
The star bandeau Alexandra wore in her youth: it was incorporated into the tiara
The base for tiara was the delicate bandeau of flowers of unknown provenance which Alexandra often wore in her youth. The diamond-encrusted flowers incorporated beautifully into the newly-created piece. The flowers were connected by ribbon bows, all set on a bandeau base. 

The Necklace is a copy of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Necklace, just without the crown on the top of the centrepiece. The first pair of earrings consists of a turquoise in a diamond frames, suspended from a smaller turquoise. The second pair features a pearl in a diamond setting. Years later, Angus Ogilvy added third pair to the set: it is a beautiful pair of diamond earrings in a seven-petal flower shape that compliments the flowers in the tiara.
Princess Alexandra wearing her tiara with pearls. In the picture on the left, she is also wearing her star earrings, in the picture in the middle, she wears the necklace and pearl earrings from the parure. In the picture on the right, she accessories the tiara with jewels not from the parure. 
The versatility of the parure comes from the interchangeability of the stones mounted in the tiara and the necklace. Alexandra has worn the turquoise and pearl versions most often, although it is believed that sapphires and diamonds (and possibly other stones too) can also be used. 

After Princess Marina’s death in 1968, this tiara became the only one Alexandra has access to since Marina chose to leave her tiaras to her sons. 
Princess Alexandra wearing the tiara, earrings and necklace from the parure in turquoise setting
In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful of the Kent tiaras. It is very feminine, and it’s amazing just how much a jewel’s appearance can change by a simple substitution of stones.

If you are interested in Kent Jewels, you are in luck because we have been covering Kent Jewels the whole week. Why not check out the list of Kent Jewels already covered here (scroll to the end of the post)?

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