"Delhi Durbar Tiara" worn by late Queen Mary, yet another opulent British Queen's royal collection!!

 Roughly 112 years ago  during the British Raj King George V and Queen Mary of the United Kingdom  were on an official visit to India to attend an extravagant event called the Delhi Durbar. It is said it was one of the most fascinating appearances of their reign as King and Queen in a land that had been the milch Cow for  Britain since the late 18th century. On December 12, 1911, King George and Queen Mary appeared before a crowd of thousands, including Indian princes and nobles, at Coronation Park in Delhi that was urgently prepared by the British India government. 

The spectacular  Coronation event in December 1911, according to some historians, was a memorable one in the era of the British monarchy which was attended by a sea of humanity in the Indian subcontinent, the most important country in the British empire; the festivities in 1911 lasted for more than a week.

The Delhi Durbar Tiara thecourtjeweller.com

Queen mary with Delhi Darbar Tiara. thecourtjeweller.com

Above image: Queen Mary wears the tiara with the emerald toppers

The Delhi Durbar Tiara:

 During the Delhi event  Queen Mary was wearing  the Delhi Durbar Tiara specifically made for the  celebration that marked the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary. The Cambridge emeralds weren’t the only stones that Mary sometimes wore with the Durbar tiara — she also occasionally wore it with the Cullinan III and IV diamonds (the two “Lesser Stars of Africa”  the queen today wears these two diamonds as a brooch, and it’s the single most expensive piece of jewelry she owns). 

 The Delhi Durbar tiara is a complete circlet piece featuring diamond scrolls and festoons set in platinum and gold with 10 emerald drops, which makes it particularly tall.  In later years the 10 emeralds were removed, and Queen Mary continued alterations of the tiara, each time commissioning Garrard to allow the tiara to have jewel swapping capabilities

This magnificent headpiece was later given to the Queen’s daughter-in-law or the Queen Mother. The tiara made its most recent appearance in 2005, when the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles wore it to a royal event.  

Napoleon and his wife Jos├ęphine de Beauharnais are credited with popularizing tiaras along with the new Empire style.https://www.tatler.com/article/delhi-durbar-tiara

King George V and queen Mary. thecourtjeweller.com

Above image: King George and Queen Mary appeared in their royal attire and jewels that were certainly coronation-worthy at the event. King  wore the Imperial Crown of India, which was made in 1911 by Garrard specifically for the event. George wasn’t actively crowned during the durbar, but he arrived wearing the crown and kept it on throughout the ceremony. The crown, which is set with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires, was never worn again. It’s now on display at the Tower of London with the rest of the crown jewel collection.

Incidentally the huge expenses for the Coronation event and presumably cost of making special jewelry for the queen were borne by the British India government that is Indian tax payers bore the expenses for this ridiculous extravaganza. A comparison of this show of pomp by British Bobs with Barnum and Bailey Circus of the USA is quite appropriate.

https://www.thecourtjeweller.com/2016/05/the-delhi-durbar-tiara.html