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The York Diamond Tiara

When Sarah Ferguson tied the knot with Prince Andrew, Duke of York, on July 23, 1986 at Westminster Abbey, she  donned a tiara of leafy diamond scrolls and diamond collets mounted in platinum.   Compared to other royal brides who wore tiaras that had royal or aristocratic provenance (the previous royal bride before her, Diana, Princess of Wales, wore her own family tiara) , hers was a completely new sparkler.It was originally reported that the bride had borrowed the tiara from a family friend. It was later revealed that the tiara may have actually been purchased from Garrard by no other than Queen Elizabeth II and was given to the duchess as a wedding gift. In fact, the tiara was a part of a parure that included a necklace, earrings, and a bracelet.Luxury non-profit Walpole describes the tiara as a stunner that “features swirls of foliate diamond scrolls, which are punctuated by round white diamonds before rising to a peak at the centre. From stone and metal come a sense of movement …
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Queen Elizabeth II during the Coronavirus Outbreak

The coronavirus outbreak has proven a difficult time for our beloved royals, more so for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Royals aren’t immune to the virus. In fact, PrinceCharles tested positive and several palace staffers got infected, as well. Here’s a list of royals who weren’t spared from this disease. Considering the age of the queen and Prince Philip, drastic measures were taken to ensure their safety. The royal couple are now at Sandringham estate after their end-of-summer stay at Balmoral. Palace staff also shared that the queen might return to Buckingham Palace this year for special audiences and engagements if strict COVID-19 protocols are arranged. According to the official press release, "The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will depart Balmoral Castle during the week commencing 14th September to spend time privately on the Sandringham estate.” The press release continues: "Subject to the finalisation of the autumn programme, Her Majesty's intention is …

Queen Victoria’s Emerald tiara: A Marvel to Behold

Queen Victoria’s tiara is a product of Prince Albert’s interest in designing sparklers. It now belongs to the Duke of Fife. “Albert has such taste and arranges everything for me about my jewels,” Queen Victoria wrote in her diary in reference to Prince Albert’s penchant for designing jewelry. One of the timeless sparklers that he had created for the queen was the Gothic-inspired emerald and diamond tiara. He personally designed it and commissioned London jeweler Joseph Kitching in 1845 to create the tiara for £1,150.Almost a full circlet in shape, the tiara sits on cushion-shaped diamond and step-cut emeralds. On top of them are graduated row of 19 inverted pear-shaped emeralds with a 15-carat emerald the heaviest among these stone gems. The tiara is part of a suite of emerald and diamond jewelry which was given by Prince Albert to the Queen. Aside from the tiara, he also gave her a necklace with 9 clusters of emeralds surrounded by cushion-shaped diamonds, a pair of pendant earring…

The Royal Pavilion: Brighton’s Royal Attraction

Crumbling from the shadows of a small fishing town of Brighton, Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland hoisted the collapsing settlement into the stunning Royal Pavilion that we all know of today. His penchant for the fast life lured his nephew, the Prince of Wales, to his lodging, Grove House.  Upon the advice of his physician, the heir to the throne visited the seaside town as it was believed that the saltwater and fresh air could somewhat remedy his gout.In 1786, the Prince of Wales fled London amidst a Parliamentary investigation about the excessive spending on the construction of Carlton House. In Brighton he rented a modest farmhouse facing the Old Steine, a grassy part of Brighton that served as a walkway for visitors. The pavilion provided the prince with a discreet space where he enjoyed his private liaisons with his long-time companion, Maria Fitzherbert. He wanted to marry her, which he did in secret.
From the late 1780s until the 1820s, King George IV significantly enlarged th…

Drumlanrig Castle, Scotland’s Majestic Pink Palace

The majestic “Pink Palace” sprouting atop a hill can be found at least 5km north of Thornhill. Drumlanrig Castle is an example of the late Renaissance architecture and was constructed in 17th century using pink sandstone. It is one of the homes of the dukes of Buccleuch, who have long been considered as among Scotland’s largest landowners.  Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, who married Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, was a member of this landed family. Her father was  John Montagu Douglas Scott, Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry.Drumlanrig Castle sits on the site of an ancient stronghold, which was considered a crucial strategic point for the trade and territorial routes in the 14th and 15th century. There were plans to build a castle on this in 1618 but it had to wait for some six decades before the plans came into fruition. A central courtyard was, however, added where King James VI was received on his visit to Scotland in 1617.
The present Drumlanrig Castle was created as …

The Spencer Diamond Tiara

The Spencer Diamond Tiara graced the international headlines when twenty-year-old Lady Diana Spencer wore this priceless family jewel during her wedding with Prince Charles in 1981. Everyone had their sight on the sparkler as it sat atop the princess’ bright flaxen hair. After all, the Spencer Diamond Tiara is one of the most admired jewels in the United Kingdom, aside from the British Royal Family’s own.The stunning tiara consists of different gemstones and parts that were incorporated over time. The middle section was a gift to Lady Cynthia Hamilton, Lady Diana’s grandmother, when she married Albert, Viscount of Althorp, later 7th Earl Spencer, in 1919. The topper, meanwhile, was given by Lady Sarah Spencer-Churchill, the unmarried daughter of the 4th Earl Spencer and great-aunt of Viscount Althorp.The end part of the tiara was also bits from Lady Sarah’s collection, which were believed she acquired in the 1870s. Some say that parts of the items that she inherited came from the col…

Fort Belvedere: King Edward VIII’s Beloved Home

In 1929, an old, rundown country home on Shrubs Hill, Windsor Great Park, in Surrey, caught the liking of Edward, Prince of Wales. Before the heir to the throne moved in, the house was already vacant and in need of major repairworks to transform it into a home fit for a future king. 
Originally constructed as a folly between 1750–1755 by Henry Flitcroft, for Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland the house was significantly enlarged by Sir Jeffrey Wyatville in 1828. It was used as a tea house by Queen Victoria and was opened to the public in the 1860s. it also served as a grace and favour residence for courtiers. 
When the Prince of Wales approached his father, King George V, about his intention to use Fort Belvedere as a country retreat, the surprised sovereign asked his son: "What could you possibly want that queer old place for? Those damn weekends I suppose". He then smiled and gave his permission.
What followed was a series of repairs and renovations, improving the pr…
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