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Sotheby’s In London Will Exhibit Princess Diana’s Wedding Tiara

Be still our beating hearts!

For those of us that are obsessed with all-things British royals, we are excited to announced that the “Spencer Tiara,” as worn by Lady Diana Spencer, Princess Of Wales, on her wedding day, will be exhibited by Sotheby’s in London as part of the UK’s largest tiara exhibition in two decades.

The event is being held to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations this summer, which will include a month-long program of exhibitions, auctions and events celebrating The Queen’s reign. Sotheby’s tiara exhibition will pay homage to one of the most symbolic signifiers of the monarch’s perennial style: the tiara. The exhibition will feature some 50 tiaras of aristocratic and royal provenance, with some pieces to be exhibited publicly for the first time. Virtually all of the tiaras in the exhibition were made for and owned by British nobility and together they offer a dazzling and comprehensive review of all major tiara design styles, through some of the genre’s most exemplary exponents.

Kristian Spofforth, Head of Jewlery at Sotheby’s London said, “The Queen’s Jubilee celebrations have given us the perfect opportunity to put on public display an outstanding selection of tiaras from noble and royal provenance, many of which haven’t been exhibited in decades.”

A number of tiaras in the exhibition were worn for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953, such as the Anglesey tiara thought to have been made around 1890, amongst others such as Queen Victoria’s emerald and diamond tiara. Across nearly 50 items on show, the exhibition features the most established design styles within the tiara genre, including Napoleonic Empire, Romantic Naturalism, Belle Epoque, Art Deco, Modern and Contemporary designs.

Among the most special pieces within the exhibition is the historic Spencer Tiara, worn by one of the most influential members of the royal family past and present. Reported to have been initially created in 1767 and passed down the generations within the Spencer family, it was worn by Lady Diana, just over 40 years ago, and turned heads when Lady Diana stepped into St. Paul's Cathedral in the most highly anticipated Royal wedding of the past century. It will now be exhibited in London for the first time since the 1960s.

Its famous garland style design has a central heart-shaped motif set with diamonds and mounted in silver and gold. The heart-shaped piece was particularly sentimental to Lady Diana as her grandmother, Lady Cynthia Hamilton, received it as a wedding present for her 1919 marriage to “Jack”, Viscount Althorp, the future 7th Earl Spencer.

Over nearly 200 years, as is often the case in jewelry of this kind, the Spencer tiara was added to and transformed until crown jeweler 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 – sporting 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.

“The sourcing of these jewels has been a labour of love, resulting in an exhibition that showcases the best iterations within the tiara style register, through some of its most famous incarnations – including the much-loved and photographed Spencer Tiara. This is also a wonderful moment for us to shine a special light on the dazzling craftsmanship delivered by generations of mainly British-based jewellers across several centuries of tiara making,” added Spofforth.

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