One of the many tiaras in the jewel vault of Queen Elizabeth II is the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara. You probably recognize it from some of the coins and banknotes. The queen enjoys wearing it often. Not only does it suit her well, but it’s also one of her lighter tiaras making it quite comfortable to wear for hours at a time.
There is also a sentimental reason why the queen favors this tiara.
The tiara was given to the Duchess of York (later Queen Mary) in 1893 upon the occasion of her marriage to the future King George V. The diamond jewel was paid for with funds raised by a committee of ladies, the “Girls of Great Britain and Ireland.” The committee was organized by Lady Eva Greville, who would go on to become Queen Mary’s lady-in-waiting.
The diamond tiara, made by Garrard, is in the shape of festoons and scrolls and sits on a diamond-studded band. At one point in time, the tiara used to be topped with pearls. It could also be worn as a necklace or reconfigured to be worn as a small crown.
Queen Mary loved this tiara and considered it one of her most prized possessions. In 1947, she gave the tiara as a wedding present to her beloved granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth. Supposedly, the queen still refers to this tiara as her “granny’s tiara.”
Dressing the Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe by Angela Kelly
Royal Collection Trust