Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara: Princess Eugenie’s ‘elegant’ £10million wedding diadem
Made by Boucheron in 1919, this diadem was, like a notable number of pieces in the Royal Family’s possession, originally owned by Dame Margaret Greville. Mrs Greville, a close friend of Queen Mary & the Queen Mother, Elizabeth, left her jewellery collection to the latter on her death. When the Queen Mother died in 2002, it went to the Queen – but it’s delicate design really make it more suited to a Princess, so it was never worn by Her Majesty.
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Indeed, the tiara wasn’t seen on any member of the Royal Family until Princess Eugenie chose it for her 2018 nuptials to Jack Brooksbank.
It was an unusual choice for the bride, as previous royal weddings have seen diamond only tiaras – but it was the perfect complement to her auburn hair.
Featuring brilliant and rose cut diamonds pavé-set in platinum with a central 93.70 carat cabochon-cut emerald. A further six emeralds and more diamonds are included.
The kokoshnik style was popular at the turn of the last century thanks to the vogue for more exotic Russian styles of jewels.
Originally, the piece was made as a circular crown of diamond-set papyrus leaves, but Mrs Greville thought it was too large, and had it remodelled in 1910.
In 1919 it was adjusted again so that it could be worn lower on the forehead – a huge trend of the 20s.
Its final tweak was in 1921 when the geometric pattern of diamonds of emeralds was added and this is the version Princess Eugenie wore down the aisle.
Speaking exclusively to express.co.uk about the piece, Alexandra Michell, Gemologist at Prestige Pawnbrokers of Channel 4’s Posh Pawn said: “The tiara originally belonged to Dame Margaret Greville and was left to The Queen Mother (then Queen Elizabeth) in 1942.
“It then subsequently passed to Her Majesty, The Queen and it had not been worn by any member of the Royal Family until Prince Andrew’s daughter showed it off beautifully complimented by her dark wispy hair on her wedding day.
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“It was made by Boucheron in 1919 for Mrs Greville and is made from platinum and pave set with rose cut and brilliant cut diamonds as well as six emerald cut emeralds either side of the centre, rubover set with the impressive 93.7cts cabochon cut emerald.
“In keeping with the fashion of the time, this Tiara was designed in the Russian headdress style, made of finely pierced platinum, which was kept delicately simple, although intricate in detail, to show off the main stone.
“Accompanying the centre emerald, are matching old step-cut emeralds, as well as ample pave set brilliant and rose cut diamonds. This piece is certainly exquisite; the centre emerald has a wonderfully vivid colour and large size, something which is rare to find these days.
“Being made by Boucheron, one of the great Parisian Jewellers founded in mid Victorian era, this makes this piece even more exciting as the quality of workmanship and gems will be second to none.
“With such strong historical provenance, from Mrs Greville to the Queen Mother, and now the Queen, an elegant jewel such as this would be estimated to fetch £5-10 million at auction.”
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How many tiaras are there in the royal collection?
There are dozens of priceless tiaras owned by the Queen and other members of the Royal Family. Many of the British aristocracy also own tiaras, wearing them at state banquets and on wedding days.
As well as tiaras currently in existence, there are a couple which have been dismantled to make other diadems. This includes The Surrey Fringe and The Nizam of Hyderabad.
Some tiaras have formed part of iconic moments in the history of the Royal Family.
The Cartier Halo for instance, was worn by Kate Middleton on her wedding day to Prince William in 2011.
Similarly, the Meander tiara was admired around the world thanks to it being the choice of Zara Phillips for her wedding to Mike Tindall in 2011.
And it is the Lover’s Knot that is most often seen today, as it is a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge.
It was closely associated with Diana, Princess of Wales during her marriage to Prince Charles, so holds special significance for Kate.
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