The hidden secrets of Queens transformable jewellery revealed

Queen Mary bought tiara that was 'smuggled' to UK says expert

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The Queen’s jewellery collection is one of the most expensive in the world, and it has been centuries in the making. Many items in the Queen’s jewellery collection have not been worn publicly by the current monarch, but some pieces have been worn by other royals in recent decades, including Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan Markle.

Gary Ingram, the CEO of TheDiamondStore.co.uk, told Express.co.uk that “transformable” jewellery is a common motif in the royal jewellery collection.

Mr Ingram said: “‘Transformable’ jewellery is a recurring and surprisingly practical theme in royal pieces.

“For example, the Queen Mary’s Bandeau Tiara that Meghan Markle wore on her wedding day has a detachable brooch in the centre, and the Queen’s Vladimir Tiara can display either pearls or emeralds.”

Express.co.uk takes a look at three of the most iconic “transformable” jewellery items in the Queen’s impressive collection.

Queen Mary’s Bandeau Tiara

The Queen doesn’t wear the Queen Mary’s Bandeau Tiara for engagements, as she often favours other styles like Queen Mary’s Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara.

But Queen Mary’s Bandeau Tiara made a show-stopping royal appearance in 2018, when it was worn by Meghan Markle on her wedding day.

The tiara is one of many that Queen Mary, wife of King George V, brought into the royal collection.

Queen Mary’s Bandeau Tiara was actually created to incorporate a brooch given to Mary as a wedding gift from the County of Lincoln in 1893.

The subsequent tiara was created for Queen Mary in 1932, and the finished result was a diamond and platinum tiara comprised of 11 sections across a flexible band.

The brooch features as the central component of the tiara, and the brooch can still be detached and worn on its own.

The brooch itself is particularly dazzling and it is comprised of ten brilliant diamonds.

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Queen Alexandra’s Wedding Necklace

Queen Alexandra’s wedding necklace first made its way into the royal collection during the 19th Century, and the tiara was recently worn by Kate, Duchess of Cambridge for a 2018 state banquet.

Mr Ingram explained to Express.co.uk: “Queen Victoria’s son, King Edward VII, purchased this for his new wife, Princess Alexandra of Denmark, as a wedding present.

“It’s part of a parure (a French word for a jewellery set that’s meant to be worn together) that includes a tiara, earrings, a brooch and the necklace.

“Alexandra wore the set without the tiara for her wedding, hence the name.”

Like many items in the royal collection, the necklace is likely worth a staggering six-figure sum.

Mr Ingram added: “In 1863, the entire set cost £13,680. With inflation, that would be close to a staggering £2million today.

“With the historical aspect of the piece added, we estimate the necklace’s value could be from around £700,000 to £1million today.”

Depending on the whim of whoever is wearing it, the necklace can also be transformed into a different style.

Mr Ingram said: “The necklace is just stunning, with eight huge round pearls surrounded by lavish, sparkling diamond clusters.

“What’s more, a really fantastic feature of this necklace is that it also has three pear-shaped pearl drop pendants that can be attached or removed depending on the occasion and the taste of the person wearing it.”

Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara

The Vladimir Tiara was made for the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, and it was likely made by the Romanov court jeweller Bolin.

At the time of the Russian Revolution, the Vladimir Tiara was smuggled out of the country and later sold at auction.

The tiara was purchased by Queen Mary and she had it repaired at the royal jeweller, as it had sustained some damage in transit.

The Vladimir Tiara is known to be a favourite of the Queen, and she has frequently worn the tiara for state dinners and trips.

The Vladimir Tiara can be worn three ways, the first being with its original dangling pearls.

The tiara can also be worn with dangling emeralds, which Queen Mary replaced the pearls with when she acquired the tiara.

Equally, the tiara can be worn ‘widowed’, with no pearls or jewels at all.

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