PRINCESS DIANA TIARA APPRECIATION
Princess Diana preferred two tiaras when attending royal functions.
The Cambridge Lovers Knot tiara was commissioned from Garrard in 1913/1914 by Queen Mary. She modeled it off of a tiara owned by her grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse. It wasn’t a unique design to begin with; several others exist that are quite similar. The piece passed from Princess Augusta to her daughter (also named Augusta), who became Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
Swinging pearls hang from 19 diamond arches capped with lover’s knots. The piece was composed of existing jewels Queen Mary had in her collection: the dismantled Some Ladies of England Tiara plus the original pearl uprights from the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara and pearls off of a couple brooches belonging to Mary which were ultimately returned. Originally, the design included upright pearls on top of the arches, but Mary had them removed eventually.
After Mary died in 1953, the tiara passed to Queen Elizabeth II. She wore it with some regularity in the early 1950s, but it eventually went back to storage as she narrowed down her favorite tiaras to the ones we see with regularity today.
Next up, the best known part of our tale: Queen Elizabeth gave the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara to Diana, Princess of Wales as a wedding present in 1981. It was returned to the Queen after the divorce.
The Spencer Tiara is mounted in gold in the form of stylised flowers decorated in diamonds in silver settings. The tiara is entirely composite and not an heirloom as has been previously suggested.
The central element was a gift from Lady Sarah Spencer to Cynthia, Viscountess Althorpe as a wedding present in 1919.
It was later remounted. Four other elements were made to match it in 1937. Only the two elements at the end are old and are said to have come from a tiara owned by Francis, Viscountess Montagu and left to Lady Sarah Spencer in 1875.
It was worn by Lady Diana Spencer when she married the Prince of Wales in 1981 and was subsequently used by Victoria Lockwood when she married the 9th Earl in 1989 (The Earl Spencer)