Tiara Time! the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara

the grand duchess vladimir tiara hung with 15 pearls rather than emeralds

Thank God it’s not a brooch but it IS part of Queen Elizabeth’s collection: the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara. This icon of headgear was probably made around 1890. Those pearls are pure eye-candy and I’m not usually a fan of pearls. Especially when you can swap these alabaster tears out for:

gdv tiara with emerlds, the 1911 Cambride earrings strike a perfect march

Emeralds! You all know by now what a ho I am for those colored gemstones…Leuchtenberg sigh* Check out the Cambridge Earrings (1911) just below the tiara. The eleven diamonds surround emeralds are so finely crafted they almost look like marbles! The Duchess of Cambridge  won the gems at a charity lottery in 1914. Don’t you love when sets come together like that?

Elizabeth II in GD Vladimir Emarald tiara

Prince Phillip and Queen Elizabeth II, Vladimir Tiara

It would appear that the Queen preferred the emeralds to the pearls when she was younger and “grew into” those crustacean treasures later on in life. It’s sweet to have options. (BTW, how adorable does her Majesty look in the above picture?)

Elizabeth II in Vladimir Tiara in Pearlsgrand duchess vladimir miechen maria clive kandel

The Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara is a magnificent example of 19th Century Russian craftsmanship. As the story goes, the Grand Duchess Vladimir “despised” the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, her nephew Tsar Nicholas II’s wife or as we know her Alix of Hesse and set up her own court at Vladimir Palace where she dazzled Westerners with her resplendent jewels, including this piece that looks like it was made with a diamond-bedazzling Spirograph. [Remember those toys?]

grand duchess vladimir in her tiara

the Grand Duchess Vladimir in her eponymous tiara

In 1918, the Grand Duchess and her family had to flee the revolution, hiding out in the Caucus Mountains. In 1920, the family fled again stowed-away on an Italian ship headed for Venice where they intended to live. By the end of 1920, the family was living in Paris. The Grand Duchess Vladimir died later that year.

The last of the Vladimir jewel collection was left behind and remained hidden, undetected by the Bolsheviks, safely inside Vladimir Palace. A British Secret Service Agent, a friend of the Grand Duchess, smuggled the gems out of Russia in a “large diplomatic bag” and delivered to the Grand Duchess in Paris. She then distributed her fabulous collection amongst the Vladimir family.

The Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara wQueen Mary in the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiaraas given to her daughter, Princess Nicholas of Greece, who then sold it to Queen Mary in 1921. It was Queen Mary who “accommodated” the tiara to flaunt fifteen of the famous Cambridge Emeralds in place of the original pearls.

In 1953, Queen Elizabeth II inherited it from her grandmother (Queen Mary). It it still one of her favorites and she enjoys wearing it with other piece of the Delhi Durbar Parure.

(The Delhi Durbar Tiara was MIA for awhile…but we’ll touch upon that lovely halo another day!)

About ♔ la dauphiine ♔

Connecticut-based jewelry monger, history buff, Mets fan. On the hum-drum side, call me a lauded poet, novelist and ghost-writer. (That's right, I haunt prose.)
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12 Responses to Tiara Time! the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara

  1. Pingback: The Delhi Durbar Parure part I « tiaras and trianon

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  6. There are some facts here which might be checked.


    • Thanks for your help. I will certainly look into it. Alas the problem w/the internet, fact-checking is an oxymoron.

      Heck, if you know what’s wrong, feel free to correct me instead of just telling me it’s flawed! [Less chance I’m getting false-web info!]

      Merci pour the comment!


      • So sorry if I offended you. I did not wish to substitute my wisdom for yours, in case my sense of something being amiss was in error. I don’t remember the issues now as I am older and quite ill. I would be interested in either re-reading the essay/post in order to make, with your agreement, a perhaps enlightening comment; or I would like to know what may have been the fruit of any rechecking. Je vous remercie aussi. Je apprécie vos remarques tour à tour, Madame, mais je ne veux pas sembler assommant, de trop. abbb


        • Oh, ma chère you didn’t offend me in the slightest! I was actually being sincere when I suggested that you share your information with me!

          Writing about tiaras gives one such a finite amount of information, all of it is the same too! Any person who can augment my diadem-dexterity is most welcome! Essentially, what’s going on here is that I’m teaching myself about these subjects while writing them. I am FAR more qualified to write about sports, TV and physical fitness. Why did I pick tiaras? I guess because I love them!

          If that isn’t enough to assuage your worry, I wrote about the GD Vladimir Tiara more than a year ago…my style and research methods have (hopefully) improved!

          So pretty please don’t be a stranger to the site. If you do find errors/have suggestions & corrections, don’t hesitate! If you fear you’re embarrassing me, I can always be emailed.

          I’m sorry there was a misunderstanding! Hope you have a lovely weekend!


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it's not just a love-affair with my own voice

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