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