Princess Margaret snubbed Queen on wedding day with £1.6m tiara

Princess Margaret snubbed Queen on wedding day with £1.6m tiara

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On May 6, 1960, Princess Margaret married Antony Armstrong-Jones in an iconic royal wedding at Westminster Abbey. The beautiful bride was a vision in white, and she accessorised her outfit perfectly with the Poltimore Tiara, a striking design adorned with diamonds that had never been worn before at a royal wedding.

Princess Margaret was known to adore the Poltimore Tiara, often wearing it at royal events throughout her life as well as at her wedding.

The tiara’s tall design was thought to be particularly admired by Margaret because it gave her extra height.

Speaking of the tiara’s unique design, Jeremy Hinds, Sales Director of jewellery experts F. Hinds, said: “Designed as a graduated line of cushion-shaped and old-cut diamond clusters alternating with diamond-set scroll motifs, each surmounted by old-cut diamond terminals, to the collet-set diamond line, mounted in silver and gold.”

Princess Margaret’s Poltimore Tiara is perhaps one of the most famous royal tiaras of the Queen’s reign, but the monarch could lay no claim to it.

Margaret had purchased the Poltimore Tiara herself at an auction shortly before she married, and it previously belonged to Lady Poltimore, the wife of the second Baron Poltimore.

Fiona Wellington, Co-Founder of Myne London Ltd, told “Its unusual history includes the fact that the Princess purchased it for herself, wore it for her wedding (to a commoner) instead of an official royal crown and posed in the bath wearing only this for her (then) husband and photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones.

“For all these reasons, including its large and gorgeous design, it certainly takes its place in history and is a tiara to remember.”

After Margaret died in 2002, the tiara was sold by Christie’s in 2006 for £926,400 to a private buyer.

But according to Mr Hinds, the tiara could hold a value of £1.4 to £1.6million if it was auctioned today.

Although Margaret’s decision not to wear one of the Queen’s tiaras for her wedding day was unusual, she was not the only royal in recent decades to buck the trend.

Lady Diana Spencer famously wore her family’s heirloom tiara, the Spencer Tiara, when she married Prince Charles in 1981.

And Sarah Ferguson opted for a flower crown before dramatically revealing the York Tiara underneath, which was thought to have been a gift from the Queen and Prince Philip.

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At the most recent royal weddings, however, brides have opted to take the Queen up on her offer to borrow a tiara for their big day.

Kate Middleton wore the Queen’s Cartier Halo Tiara that had been gifted to her on her 18th birthday when she was still Princess Elizabeth.

Meghan Markle wore Queen Mary’s Bandeau Tiara when she married Prince Harry in 2018.

Princess Eugenie wore the Queen’s Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara in 2018, and in 2020, her sister Princess Beatrice wore the same tiara the Queen wore for her wedding in 1947 – Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara.

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