Choices. It’s all about choices with this tiara. What’s that you say? You don’t like how the central element clashes with your red dress? Well, just swap it out, dear. Indeed, the Honeysuckle Tiara is one of the best kinds – it’s convertible!
Made in 1913-14 for Queen Mary by E. Wolff & Co. on behalf of Garrard, Mary was back at it again, using some recycled diamonds from the dismantled Surrey Tiara and some newly acquired stones to create a masterpiece. Able to hold the Cullinan V Brooch at the center, as well as a large diamond and sapphire brooch and brooch with a pink stone (which has been identified as a pink topaz and also a kunzite (I feel like I need to head to the UK to get the bottom of that mystery.), this tiara was designed with versatility in mind. And, again true to form, Mary tinkered with the tiara over time, removing some of the diamonds to make it sit lower. You can see the taller version above and the remake in the photos below.
And then just like that, she was done with it. Who knows if she just got tired of it or if her future daughter-in-law admired it, but it was to that very daughter-in-law that it was gifted upon her wedding to Mary’s son, the Duke of Gloucester. The future Duchess, Alice (if you follow me on Instagram, you might remember that I confused her with another Duchess Alice one day – both lived into their very late 90s), married the Duke in 1935.
But…. there was a caveat. The Cullinan V didn’t come with the tiara, nor did the other two brooches. Mary kept all three, with the Cullinan remaining with the Crown. Instead, Mary had another central element made to mimic the other scroll-like honeysuckle motifs in the tiara for the center, and gifted it along with the tiara to Alice. It wasn’t until Mary’s death that Alice inherited the pink brooch and it was reunited with the headpiece. Somewhere along the way, Alice must have also had an emerald brooch commissioned to fit the tiara, as we’ve seen photos of such (see below).
Princess Alice then gave the tiara to her daughter-in-law, Birgitte, the current Duchess of Gloucester, who wears it often, switching out the elements at the center to compliment her attire. The current Duke and Duchess have one son (the heir apparent) and two daughters, so where the tiara will end up is anyone’s guess. Who do you think should get it next? Should it follow the family lineage and be given to their son’s wife, Claire? Or should one of the daughters inherit it? Tell me what you think in the comments below.