Although the Queen has an extensive tiara collection, she is said to have a particular favourite, which is the stunning Vladimir tiara.
The headpiece actually has a very rich and dramatic history. It was created by Russian court jeweller C.E. Belin for the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna when she joined the Romanov clan dynasty in 1874, when she married Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia.
She was famed for her parties and her extensive jewel collection, but that all changed when the last of the Romanov clan fled Russia after the execution of Czar Nicholas II, Czarina Alexandra and their five children after the Russian Revolution.
It is said that a British officer snuck into the Palace before they left and managed to retrieve some of the jewels, which then made their way safely to London, where her son Grad Duke Boris was living in exile. After her death, the family auctioned off her jewels as they were strapped for cash, and this particular tiara was bought by none other than the Queen’s grandmother, Queen Mary.
She put her own spin on the tiara by adding hanging emeralds, which belonged to her mother Mary Adelaide. She also had it changed so that you could remove the emeralds and interchanged them with the original pearls.
The tiara was passed on to Queen Elizabeth on Queen Mary’s passing in the earl 50s, and she has worn it many times since.