Greville Boucheron tiara: Expert discusses Camilla's favourite
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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall has worn the Greville tiara quite a few times throughout her time in the Royal Family. It is a magnificent piece, left to the Queen Mother in 1942 by the Hon. Mrs Greville. It became one of her favourites and she wore it frequently during her lifetime.
Now the large diadem is seen on Camilla, as it is one of three loaned to her by the Queen.
The piece came into the Royal Family after Mrs Greville died with no children in 1942 and her jewellery collection was left to the Queen Mother.
She had been a close friend of both Queen Mary and the Queen Mother, throughout her life.
The Queen Mother even spent her honeymoon in Mrs Greville’s stately home, Polesden Lacey.
Queen Elizabeth then inherited all of Mrs Greville’s jewellery when her mother died in 2002, but she has never worn the Greville tiara in public.
Instead, it is closely associated with the Duchess of Cornwall, who was given it on a long-term loan after her marriage to Prince Charles in 2005.
A diamond and platinum design, this was made in Paris in 1921 by Lucien Hirtz, chief designer for Boucheron at the time.
Mrs Greville had an older Boucheron tiara from her collection broken up to use the diamonds from this to make the new tiara.
Extremely intricate, the honeycomb portions each have pavé-set diamonds, with round-set diamonds within.
The millegrain setting, where the metal looks like tiny grains is a design trick used to make the stones appear even more sparkly.
The Queen Mother did make some alterations to the piece.
When she received it, there were no raised sections and instead rows of five graduated diamonds were between the honeycombs at the top of the tiara.
This gave the piece a more kokoshnik-like shape.
Some of the original diamond settings can be seen on each side of the tiara.
In 1953, the Queen Mother asked Cartier to reconfigure the five diamond sections at the top of the tiara.
The original diamonds were shifted from a graduated line to a more triangular shape.
Five diamonds were then added to the piece – four round brilliants, taken from a dismantled brooch and a single marquise diamond.
Alexandra Michell, Gemologist Prestige Pawnbrokers of Channel 4’s Posh Pawn, told Express.co.uk: “This exceptional diadem was created by Boucheron, the Parisian luxury jewellery house in 1921 and it is no surprise that it became one of The Queen Mother’s favourite pieces.
“Camilla is often seen wearing the piece to important occasions and it is reported to be one of her favourite pieces to wear albeit it remains in the royal collection and is on ‘long term loan’ to the Duchess.
“Interestingly, Camilla’s grandmother, Sonia Keppel, was Dame Margaret Greville’s goddaughter.
“A difficult piece to put a value but set in platinum with its numerous stunning diamonds and given the fact it is a Boucheron piece, I would estimate it to be in the region of £2–3 million.”
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