Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Monday, 9 April 2012

Tiaras and Trinkets on Tuesday (The Scotney Fringe)

I can't believe its Tuesday again. It really feels like only a few minutes ago that we discussed the Brown Diamonds of the Dowager Grand Duchess of Hanoveria. I am so happy to return to standard blogging as I tortured myself over the weekend trying to give myself and everyone else a break. I wasn't very successful with still posting three times. But, back to business as usual.

We discuss, as promised, the Scotney Fringe. It is worn as a necklace in these to photos. At right 
Princess Beatrice wears it in 1988 and at left in 2012.

There are many necklaces and tiaras of this fringe design in existence but what makes the Scotney Fringe a rarity, is the fact that it can be worn as a necklace or it can be mounted on a stiff frame and then be worn as a tiara. The Scotney Fringe is of the most basic design and which falls in the so called “fringe’ category. This I would say is a sub-division of the previously mentioned kokoshnik class tiara discussed on Saturday 24th of March. The kokoshnik is a style of tiara that alludes in its design to the comb found on a chicken’s head with its undulating points rising and dipping gaps in between. A fringe tiara has this design but is very basic with only upstanding bars rising straight upward from the base. 

Grand Duchess Alice (in the center) wears it to the wreath laying ceremony in Scotney in 
March this year.

The Scotney Fringe was given to Princess Beatrice of Scotney by her mother on the same occasion as her father gave her the Brown Diamond Tiara. For interest sake, the Brown Diamond Tiara, although far bigger can also strictly fall in the fringe category although its design being a bit more complex excludes it. However the young 18 year old found this piece of jewellery far more practical to wear due to its humble size and preferred it over the imposing gift from her father. She often wore it either as a tiara or as a necklace as the various events that she was duty bound to attend, required. The plain design suited her shy and withdrawn nature and for many years it was supposed by the public that she only had access to this one small tiara.

It was originally made for Princess Beatrice’s grandmother, Queen Charlotte of Scotney as a wedding gift from her husband, King James IV. Photographic evidence is non-existent due to the Royal archives being destroyed in the revolution but the oldest known photo of the tiara is from circa 1985 where Princess Beatrice’s mother Queen Crystobel I can be seen wearing it as a necklace. As we know Princess Beatrice took her jewels with her when she became Grand Duchess of Hanoveria but bequeathed this piece to the Hanoverian Crown Jewel Collection due to its historic provenance and thus it will remain for posterity.

Queen Crystobel I of Scotney wears it in 1983.

Due to the piece being Crown Property it would henceforth be accessible to the reigning Grand Duke and his closest female relations. As such the current Grand Duke’s wife has worn it along with his sisters before their marriages and Princess Beatrice will continue to wear it until her death. The fringe made its appearance on the neck of Grand Duchess Alice at the wedding of Princess Maxima of Hanoveria to the Count von Bismarck. Princess Kirsten of Hanoveria chose to wear it as her “something borrowed” on her wedding day a few months later. She might have set precedence for future Hanoverian brides and as such we might see the tiara become the unofficial Hanoverian nuptial tiara.

Princess Kirsten wore it as a tiara on her wedding day. As a tiara it is very understated and works well when head jewellery is required  but needs to take a back seat.

Princess Maxima of Hanoveria (now the Queen Consort of Syldavia) wore it as a tiara, to her sister's birthday in 2010.

We must remember that beneath the pomp and glitz of a piece of jewellery like this, it has a special place in the heart of the owner. It is after all an inherited heirloom given in love and serves as a memento to remember loved ones who have gone. In this photo the Dowager Grand Duchess of Hanoveria, Princess Beatrice, chose to wear it at her first formal event after battling cancer for almost a year. She was bed ridden  and couldn't make public appearances but chose for her first foray to open a new cancer ward at a major hospital and to throw a charity banquet to raise money against the disease.

 It has become a bit of an official signature piece and is thus now often chosen for more formal occasions. Do you like this tiara or do you find it wanting on some level? Your comments are appreciated. We here at the Principality of Swann enjoy the more historic pieces and hope to see the Scotney Fringe at many more Royal functions.


  1. Your Royal Highness,
    Due to my long exile... I only have one tiara! But I love it so much... I'm not ready to replace it with another yet...
    I haven't had many public appearances wearing it... so I am looking forward to wearing it 'officially' at the wedding!

    Yours truly,
    Duchess Donatella

    1. We look forward to it. Plans are underway for the "wedding". Watch the blog closely for details.