Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tiara Thursday: The Strathmore Rose

We started talking about this one a little bit in the comments from last week's tiara post, so we might as well continue the discussion this week, right?
This is the Strathmore Rose Tiara. Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (the future Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) received it as a gift from her father, the Earl of Strathmore, for her wedding in 1923. The piece itself is likely older than that; it may have already been an antique when the Earl purchased it. The tiara features a garland of wild roses in diamonds mounted in silver and gold. Suzy Menkes states in The Royal Jewels that the individual elements can be removed and worn separately.
It's quite light and feminine, isn't it? A very literal interpretation of a floral tiara. There are two different frames the wearer can choose from, and the new Duchess of York wore it both across her forehead (in true 1920s style) and more traditionally as well.
I think I prefer this one with some hair to back it up, rather than having the silhouette stick up away from the user's head, but I shall reserve full judgment until we can see it again. This piece hasn't been worn in public for many decades, and certainly tiara-wearing styles have changed since then. We've only seen it on the Queen Mother, and only in her early royal days. She did lend it out to a couple of exhibitions in her later years, so we know that it still exists, and is in tact. We can assume that it passed to the Queen with the rest of the Queen Mother's jewels after her death.
There is a rumor, though, that the tiara is in a state of disrepair: the frame is tarnished or otherwise damaged, and in need of great repair before it would be wearable once again. With a design this delicate, I suppose such a problem isn't that surprising.

Wearing this tiara would be a nod to the Queen Mother and her Scottish roots, and that seems to make it a natural choice for a go on Catherine Middleton's head. If you're curious as to what that might look like, I shall point you to a Photoshop creation linked up last week from most talented commenter lovinlorne: see it here.

Are you a fan of this one? Are you crossing your fingers for it to make a royal wedding appearance?

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