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The Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara




When Princess Eugenie of York married Mr. Jack Brooksbank, it was not only the first time that she wore a tiara in public, it was also the first instance when one of the British Royal Family’s most precious tiaras surfaced after being locked up in the royal vault for over seven decades. Contrary to popular speculation that Princess Eugenie would wear her mother’s York Diamond Tiara, the bride, instead, borrowed The Queen’s Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara.

The tiara was originally created by Boucheron for to society hostess The Hon. Mrs. Herman Greville in 1919. According to the Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor, Mrs. Greville “was a social climber,” “a snob” and gossipy lady. Cecil Beaton also describes her as a “galumphing, greedy, snobbish old toad who watered her chops at the sight of royalty and the Prince of Wales’s set, and did nothing for anybody except the rich."  

The tiara was designed in the kokoshnik style, which was popularized by the members of the Russian Imperial Family. According to the Royal Family’s website, it is “made of brilliant and rose cut diamonds pavé set in platinum, with six emeralds on either side,” although only four or five to a side are visible. In the book Boucheron: The Secret Archives, it is revealed that the tiara’s oval central emerald is a whopping 93.70 carat—a huge fortune, indeed!  
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 In an interview with MailOnline, James Constantinou, owner of Prestige Pawnbrokers, explained that “the tiara’s strong historical provenance, from Mrs Greville to the Queen Mother, and now the Queen, an elegant jewel such as this would be estimated to fetch £5million to £10million at auction.”

When Mrs. Greville died in 1942, she bequeathed much of her jewelry collection to Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother). She later wrote to Queen Mary: “I must tell you that Mrs Greville has left me her jewels, tho' I am keeping that quiet as well for the moment!

“She left them to me 'with her loving thoughts', dear old thing, and I feel very touched. I don't suppose I shall see what they consist of for a long time, owing to the slowness of lawyers & death duties etc, but I know she had a few good things.

Apart from everything else, it is rather exciting to be left something, and I do admire beautiful stones with all my heart. I can't help thinking that most women do!”

Since it fell on royal hands, the tiara was never seen in public. When the Queen Mother died in 2002, Queen Elizabeth II inherited her mother’s jewels and in this case, the Greville Emerald Tiara was passed on to her, too. It would have to wait until Princess Eugenie’s wedding on October 12, 2018 to resurface in public.

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All the Queen's Tiaras!

Sparkling, glittering tiaras, the Queen has them all! Rich in history and worth more than any fortune in the world, these tiaras catch the attract the attention of the crowd - a stunner indeed!


In 1958, The Queen wears the Vladimir Tiara for the state banquet held in her honor during the State Visit to the Netherlands in 1958. Queen Juliana of the Netherlands donned the Stuart Diamond Tiara.


Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, visited Australia  for the Captain Cook Bi-Centenary Celebrations. At the state banquet, the Queen wore Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara. Photography by Maurie Wilmott. State Library of New South Wales.


Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip welcome Romania President and First Lady Ceausescu at Buckingham Palace in June 1978. For this gathering, the Queen wore Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara. Image from Phototeca.

The Queen wears the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara when she met the Australian entertainers…