At the opening of the Principality of Swann's new Opera House on the 16th of March 2012, The Dowager Grand Duchess of Hanoveria wore a Tiara and Necklace often seen in relation to the ladies of the Hanoverian Royal Family. The Tiara is known officially as the “Prince Christopher Gift Tiara” but more commonly as the “Beatrice Brown Diamond Tiara”. The necklace is an antique piece with a long history known as the “Scotney Fringe”. Here follows a brief history of the Brown Diamonds. The Scotney fringe will be up next week.
Here we see the Dowager Grand Duchess in March this year with her signature tiara and historic necklace. She last wore them together with these specific earrings to her sister's wedding in 1988.
HRH Princess Beatrice of Scotney received the Brown Diamond Tiara with a brooch bearing a twin brown stone on her 18th birthday as her first Tiara, from her father Prince Christopher, Duke of Norrington. He received the brown diamonds as part of his inheritance as a Prince of the Blood of Hispania upon his marriage to Queen Crystobel I of Scotney. The Tiara was of such an imposing design that Princess Beatrice only wore it for the first time at her sister Queen Crystobel II’s wedding to the Crown Prince of Britania. Princess Beatrice being quite shy and withdrawn did not have much of a desire for public engagements and avoided them as much as possible. She was 23 at the time of the wedding and felt secure enough in herself and the majesty of the event to wear her gift set.
Wearing the tiara with matching brooch and the Scotney Fringe necklace to her sister's wedding.
Not long after, Princess Beatrice married the Grand Duke of Hanoveria and the Brown Diamonds followed her to become part of the extensive Hanoverian jewellery collection. After the revolution a time of austerity in Europa meant that jewellery of grandiosity was rarely worn. Yet somewhere between then and the eventual Prince Imperial’s Ball in 2009 the brooch was converted into a large necklace and smaller brown diamonds were added to create a full parure with earrings and a bracelet. It’s interesting to note that the original diamonds used to be cabochon cut with no facets but by 2009 were smaller and faceted into a modern brilliant cut.
The set was often loaned by Princess Beatrice to either of her daughters but now since their marriages that context has become irrelevant due to them having access to their own new collections of Royal jewels. Princess Beatrice has seemingly loosened the reigns toward her daughter in law who is often seen wearing it and will one day have permanent access wearing it representing her husband, as the inherited owner. The set has become a piece of provenance and as such could be expected to continue in the Hanoverian line in perpetuity.
Princess Beatrice at her nephew, the Crown Prince Imperial's wedding in 2010. Here we see the new brown diamond necklace in greater detail.
The current Grand Duchess of Hanoveria wore the tiara to the official "Royal Family Photo" event in 2011. we see on her right shoulder the brand new brooch that her husband gave her as an addition to the parure. It sports a marquis cut brown diamond. Next to her is her sister in law Princess Kirsten wearing the "Sunburst Halo Tiara".
Princess Maxima of Hanoveria (in the front center) wore the parure to the Crown Prince Imperial's Ball in 2009.
So keep your eye out for this parure as events are reported on. Next week we discuss the provenance of the “Scotney Fringe”.