The Vladimir Tiara
One of the most chic tiaras in Queen’s Elisabeth II impressive collection is The Vladimir Tiara.
The Vladimir Tiara survived the Russian revolution and became one of the most special diadems in the world. Its fascinating story could serve as a plot of a bestselling novel.
It initially belonged to Grand Duchess Vladimir (Maria Pavlovna) – one of the most influential figures of the Romanov imperial court. She was married to Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia, the son of Emperor Alexander II. The Russian imperial court jeweler made this outstanding diamond and pearl tiara for Maria Pavlovna’s wedding.
In 1917 the Russian Revolution broke out and Maria Pavlovna was forced to leave Saint Petersburg for her own sake. But her jewels, including this tiara, remained in a hidden safe in her bedroom in the Saint Petersburg palace.
Her son and their family friend Bertie Stopford, a British art and antiques dealer were able to retrieve 224 jewels from the Duchess’s safe in the Palace and the tiara was one of the saved treasures.
After the Duchess’s death in 1920, her jewellery was sold out to sustain the lives of her children. Many European royals were interested in making a purchase and Queen Mary, Queen Elisabeth’s grandmother, purchased the Vladimir tiara.
The tiara was damaged in transit, so Queen Mary had it repaired and enhanced by adding 15 emeralds and a special mechanism that enabled a shift between the new emeralds and the original pearls. In 1988, Queen Elizabeth II had it repaired again, this time changing the frame. It was eventually inherited by Queen Elizabeth II who wears it quite frequently. In fact, it is believed to be her favourite headpiece judging by the number of times she’s worn it.
Impressive, isn’t it?