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The Spencer tiara
The tiara comprises several parts that have been added over the years to make up what is known as the Spencer Tiara. Express reports that the central part of the tiara was a wedding gift from Lady Sarah Spencer to Lady Cynthia Hamilton, Princess Diana’s grandmother, in 1919 when she married Viscount Althorp. Although it is believed the piece was initially created in 1767 for Viscountess Montagu.
The rest of the tiara is formed of other jewels from Lady Sarah’s collection dating back to the late 19th century. In the 1930s, the family commissioned Garrard to turn the different elements into the tiara we know and love.
A family heirloom
The Spencer Tiara is a Spencer family heirloom, meaning it doesn’t belong to the Royal Family. The 8th Earl Spencer inherited it in the mid-1970s. Unlike other Royal brides, Princess Diana opted to wear her family’s tiara as opposed to one owned by the Queen in 1981 when she wed Prince Charles.
Princess Diana’s sisters, Lady Jane and Lady Sarah, also wore the tiara on their wedding days in 1978 and 1980, respectively. Celia McCorquodale, a niece to the current Earl Spencer, most recently wore it.
The tiara was displayed during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations alongside 45 other tiaras. The description provided with the tiara claimed:
The Spencer Tiara is now set to be inherited by Princess Charlotte.
How does it compare to other tiaras?
The tiara, which is made of silver and decorated with tiny diamonds, has a heart-shaped centrepiece. Diamond expert Max Stone, from Stephan Stone, estimated the piece at £400,000 ‘based on the sale of a similar Spencer family tiara’.
The Lover’s Knot Tiara, a favourite of Kate Middleton’s, is estimated at £1 million. The Queen Mary Fringe Tiara, which the Queen wore at her wedding, is estimated to be worth upwards of £5 million. The most expensive is thought to be the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, which Princess Eugenie wore on her wedding day. It is believed to be worth a staggering £10 million.
Despite the modest value of the Spencer Tiara in comparison to Royal ones, Express notes that the Spencer Tiara is the most popular in the UK. It received 25,000 more searches than the second most popular Lover’s Knot Tiara. The company Design Bundles analysed the average number of Google searches for Royal tiaras, and the Spencer tiara came out on top with 66,000 searches per year.
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