Princess Diana’s ‘priceless’ wedding tiara put on display for the first time in decades – Boston News, Weather, Sports

(CNN) — Over the centuries, the tiara, something of a little sister to the omnipotent symbol of the crown, has come to represent more than just membership in the monarchy. Closely connected to the romantic idea of ​​a princess, it is a cultural shorthand for youth and femininity, as well as status. From the plastic Cinderella tiaras worn by the millions of children who visit Disney theme parks each year, to the most recent Met Gala, where several celebrities, including Blake Lively and even Anna Wintour herself, wore jewel-encrusted versions. , the ancient accessory continues to be relevant today.

This summer, Sotheby’s auction house will put on display some of the most influential tiaras in history, many of which have not been seen by the public in decades, in a new exhibition called “Power and Image: Royal and Aristocratic Tiaras.” The event, which opens in London on May 28, is a celebratory retrospective of 50 tiaras, dedicated to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years since the British monarch took the throne in 1952.

Included in the lineup is The Spencer Tiara, made famous by Princess Diana during her wedding to Prince Charles at St. Paul’s Cathedral, a royal union watched by more than 750 million people in 74 countries. The garland-style tiara, which has a heart-shaped centerpiece and is set with diamonds, was loaned to Sotheby’s London by Lord Spencer, Diana’s younger brother, and will go on display for the first time since the 1960s, according to the auction. . House. It was a go-to accessory for Diana, who reportedly wore the piece seven times between her marriage in 1981 and her death in 1997.

It was probably given to Diana by her grandmother, Lady Cynthia Hamilton, who received the tiara as a wedding present in 1919. The family heirloom was thought to have been first forged in 1767, where it may have looked different than the version worn by Diana. her wedding day. It is believed that between 1919 and 1930 the accessory was added and modified, although none of the augmentation was officially recorded. According to the auction house, many tiaras similar to the Spencer family’s began as modest brooches or headbands, with decades of jewelers expanding the piece by adding more stones.

And it is, according to Kristian Spofforth, head of jewelery at Sotheby’s London, truly invaluable. “It’s one of those (items) that is impossible to value,” he said in a telephone interview. “Given the public interest in Diana, there is absolutely no way we can park a figure on her. It is one of those few objects that could be said to be, in a way, priceless.”

Alongside The Spencer Tiara, the exhibit will showcase one of Queen Victoria’s favorite pieces: an emerald and diamond crown given to her by Prince Albert when she was 26. Constructed in neo-Gothic style, the piece consists of 19 oval-shaped emeralds weighing up to 15 carats.

“The Queen’s Jubilee celebrations have provided us with the perfect opportunity to publicly display a fine selection of tiaras from noble and royal provenance,” said Spofforth, in a press release. “This is also a wonderful time for us to shine a special light on the dazzling craftsmanship delivered by generations of mainly British jewelers over several centuries of tiara making.”

Featured Image: Princess Diana wearing the Spencer tiara in a carriage returning to Buckingham Palace after her wedding in 1981.

The CNN Wire
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