The Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara
Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna “the Elder” was a senior Russian Grand Duchess in her heyday and also one of the grandest and wealthiest. She was married to Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia, the second surviving son of Tsar Alexander II. One of her most dazzling pieces was this tiara of 15 intertwined diamond circles strung together with a diamond ribbon on top and hung with articulating pendant pearls, made in 1874 by a Russian court jeweler. The tiara was smuggled out of Russia in the wake of the revolution and remained hidden away by a British secret service agent in a plain bag. After the original owner died, her daughter Elena sold the tiara to Queen Mary of the United Kingdom in 1921. Mary’s granddaughter Elizabeth, who had already ascended the throne by the time of Mary’s death, inherited the jewels in 1953. Today, it still remains a favorite of the Queen’s.