There are tiaras that are instantly recognizable (we’ve featured several that fit into that category). And then there are tiaras who’s style was so fashionable “everyone” had to have one. But then, that made it hard to distinguish one from one another. Such an unfortunate problem to have, right? And today’s #TiaraTuesday feature, The Fife Fringe Tiara, is one of the latter.
Case in point – when I posted a picture of it on Instagram right after viewing it at the Kensington Palace exhibition a couple of weeks ago, several folks assumed it was Queen Mary’s Fringe or Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik. And at first blush, they are hard to tell apart. But that’s because the fringe style was all the rage (they had fads and popular fashions too, you know).
So much so that when Princess Louise, the daughter of the soon-to-be King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, was getting married, her parents not only got her the tiara we’re focused on today, but her mother also ordered one of similar design for herself (Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik, which is shown in a photo above) to celebrate her silver wedding anniversary the year prior.
Louise’s was ordered by her parents from Hancocks to celebrate the marriage of their daughter to the Earl of Fife (he was made a Duke by order of Queen Victoria immediately after the wedding) in 1889. It was apparently a favorite of the Princess’ because she wore it often. And as was the style with the fringe tiaras, it was able to be converted into a necklace and we have several photos of Louise wearing it in that fashion.
The tiara itself is comprised of several rays of pavé set diamonds, alternating in size and also graduating in height from the center back. It’s set in both white and yellow gold and circles the head about 3/4 of the way around.
Many had thought this tiara to have been auctioned off quite some time ago. But, surprise! The Fife family still owns it and has been nice enough to allow it to be on loan for a bit. It’s currently on display at Kensington Palace and let me tell you this, if you get the chance…. GO! Go see it along with two other stunning tiara’s (we’ll feature both of them over the next two weeks). It’s worth every penny of the price of admission (and you get to see the rest of the original royal apartment too).
Now, what do you have to say about the Fife Fringe or the fringe style tiaras in general? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!