Tiaras are an essential
accessory when the Queen is in full evening dress. Many were
inherited from Queen Mary, who was an assiduous collector of
jewellery. The Burmese Ruby Tiara was commissioned from Crown
jewellers Garrard by the Queen using diamonds and rubies from her
own collection. The rubies were a wedding present from the Burmese
people, after whom the tiara was named.
The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara (the Queen is pictured wearing it) was a wedding present for Princess May of Teck, and is familiar today from images of the Queen wearing it on banknotes and coins. Queen Mary then gave it to her granddaughter as a wedding present in 1947. The delicate Cartier Halo Tiara was purchased by her father in 1936 as a gift for her mother. Elizabeth was given it as an 18th birthday present, and she subsequently lent the tiara to Catherine Middleton on her wedding day, 29 April 2011.
The Vladimir Tiara was purchased by Queen Mary in 1921 from the collection of the Grand Duchess Vladimir, aunt of Czar Nicholas II, for whom it was made in the 1880s. It was smuggled out of Russia by British diplomats during the 1917 revolution. It comprises 15 intertwined diamond-set ovals from which hang pendant pearls. The pendant pearls can be interchanged with emeralds and the Queen has worn the tiara with both arrangements during her reign.