June 09, 2021
2 min read

The Vladimir Tiara

The Vladimir Tiara
The Vladimir Tiara
Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Vladimir Tiara

One of the most chic tiaras in Queen’s Elisabeth II collection is The Vladimir Tiara.

This diadem survived the Russian revolution and became one of the most iconic world jewels. It boasts a history that could easily form the plot of an entire adventure novel.

Initially it belonged to Maria Pavlovna, the Grand Duchess Vladimir. Married to Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia, the son of Emperor Alexander II, this stunning woman was one of the most influential figures of the Romanov imperial court. It was for her wedding that the Russian Imperial court jeweler created this special tiara with diamonds and pearls.

In 1917 the Russian Revolution broke out. Maria Pavlovna was forced to leave Saint Petersburg. However, her jewels remained in a hidden safe in her Saint Petersburg bedroom.

Maria Pavlovna’s son and the family friend Bertie Stopford – a British art and antiques dealer – managed to secretly “steal” 224 jewelry pieces from the Duchess’s safe in the palace. The tiara was one of the saved treasures.

The Vladimir Tiara
Mary of Teck wearing the Vladimir Tiara

After the Duchess’s passing in 1920, her jewelry was sold out to financially provide for the life of her children. European royals were interested in Russian jewels, and Queen Mary – Queen Elisabeth’s grandmother – purchased the Vladimir tiara.

The Vladimir Tiara
The Vladimir Tiara with Emeralds

Since the tiara was damaged in transit, Queen Mary had it repaired and enhanced with 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, 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.

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