Princess Diana’s tiara is starring in a new exhibition

What better way to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee than to go and feast your eyes on a selection of exquisite tiaras? That option will soon be available, thanks to a Sotheby’s exhibition, which will include the most popular royal tiara ever, worn by Princess Diana.

royal tiara
Getty

Between 28 May and 15 June, the famous auction house will stage the UK’s largest tiara exhibition in 20 years – paying homage to one of the most symbolic signifiers of the monarch’s style. The exhibition will feature some 50 tiaras of aristocratic and royal provenance, some of which will be publicly exhibited for the first time.

The Spencer Tiara, worn by Princess Diana on her wedding day (as well as many other occasions), will no doubt be the biggest draw. Thought to have been created in 1767 and passed down through generations of the Spencer family, this is the first time it will be exhibited in London since the 1960s.

spencer tiara
Sotheby’s

Over nearly 200 years, the Spencer tiara was added to and transformed until crown jeweller Garrard was commissioned in the 1930s to turn the tiara into the final article. Lady Diana was known to be fond of the Spencer Tiara, often wearing it to white-tie events. She sported the dazzling piece at least seven times between 1983 and 1992 on special occasions during royal tours and high-profile events within and outside the UK.

tiara
Sotheby’s

The Spencer Tiara is far from the only showstopper in the exhibition though. A further highlight is an Emerald and Diamond Tiara (above) designed by Prince Albert in his favoured Gothic Revival style for his wife Queen Victoria in 1845, crafted by crown jeweller Joseph Kitching. One of several tiaras the Prince conceived for his wife over the years, this was reportedly her favourite of them all, and is widely seen as one of the most elegant and sumptuous coloured gemstone tiaras ever created anywhere in the world.

There will also be a number of tiaras that were worn for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953, providing a fascinating link to the present day Platinum Jubilee celebrations. These include the Anglesey Tiara (thought to have been made around 1890); the Derby Tiara initially created for the Duchess of Devonshire in 1893 and the Westminster Halo Tiara, commissioned to Paris-based jewellers Lacloche Frères in 1930 by the Duke of Westminster for his bride Loelia Ponsonby.

The exhibition is free and will take place from May 28 to June 28 at Sotheby’s London.