Tiara Time! the Cartier Pearl Drop Tiara of Monaco

Yes, you read that right, not just a tiara worn by a Grimaldi like last time, this one belongs to the royal family of Monaco. It’s not officially called the Pearl Drop tiara, but you can see from where the moniker hails. (I’ve also seen it called the Diamond-and-Pearl tiara; let’s use them interchangeably; It’s Friday, let’s get whimsical.) Are those princess-cut diamonds flanking the center pearl? Oh me oh my, how I do  love the glare of bling in the AM…

cartier pearl drop tiara

Made in 1920 by Cartier Paris as a wedding gift for Her Serene Highness, Princess Charlotte from her husband Count Pierre de Polingnac,* eventually Prince Pierre of Monaco, Duke of Valentinois. The bride and groom were also the future parents of Prince Rainier and future grandparents of Prince Albert.

It’s made of platinum and white gold scroll-work, encrusted with diamonds, naturally. And those familiar pear-shaped pearls, it’s funny to hear this tiara grouped in with the Lover’s Knot, the Cambridge Lover’s Knot and the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara simply because it has hanging tear-drop pearls. It doesn’t have that heft that can sometimes be a bit [forgive me!] dowdy on those other pieces. It’s so delicate and pixie like…it is just a coronet for the Queen of the Faeries on Beltane!

Cartier Diamond and Pearl Tiara of Monaco

We may have found Our appropriate tiara, if Monaco’s willing to share…

Nobody ever saw Grace wear the tiara publicly; it is rumored that Princess Charlotte did not approve of her daughter-in-law so maybe she left them directly to granddaughter Caroline. Princess Charlotte died in 1977 and Grace died in 1982 –a fair amount of time to wear the tiara or not enough? (Maybe there were a few slow tiara seasons, not enough weddings.) Though there exists not a photo of Princess Grace in the Cartier Diamond-and-Pearl tiara, this portrait of Grace hangs in the Royal Palace in Monaco.

Portrait of Princess Grace wearing the Cartier Diamond and Pear Tiara

It certainly looks like the Cartier Pearl Drop. [Although the portrait can bear an unsettling resemblance to Sandra Duncan if you look real quick!]

princess caroline of monaco in the cartier pearl drop tiara

Whether the jewels were kept in the family of the reigning line, Princess Caroline is not seen wearing the Cartier Pearl Drop very often, usually for state photographs (above left), Carl XVI Gustav’s 50th birthday gala in Sweden (center) and photo-shoots (right).

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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2 Responses to Tiara Time! the Cartier Pearl Drop Tiara of Monaco

  1. cindy knoke says:

    Here is what I don’t get about Monaco. How come the current prince is so well….. homely? His mother was Princess Grace after all and all her other children are stunners. I guess I just don’t like him so I’m being snarky, all those children out of wedlock and the bride that tried to bolt! She was an olympic swimmer, she should have just swum away….in this tiara of course, as a consolation present.


    • I was under the impression he was more “comely” when he was younger but after a few decades of hard partying and general hedonism he looks like this.

      I have literally no info to back up that statement. I feel like it’s something my husband or one of his sisters may have said.


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

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