Know Your Tiaras

Sunday 28th June 2020

How can Gays not know their Royal tiaras? I started off with a simple multiple choice on our Zoom quiz (oh never to see Zoom again. So many are going into Clinics, I hear, because they don’t like how they look on it). Which of the following is NOT one of the Queen’s tiaras? The Poltimore, the Vladimir, the Burmese Ruby or the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland? Not a clue. All Gays, Angus Willis, Fergus Strachan, Charlie Hurling, Bonnie Blue; Merle Barr and Fern Willis not strictly Gay but really – data neutral, shall we say, in the currency of these days. Not one of them picked out the Poltimore which of course is the non-Queen tiara. The Poltimore was brought for Princess Margaret on the occasion of her marriage in 1960 for £5500. Quite why, I can’t explain, when there were so many tiaras already in stock in the Royal vaults. None perhaps that suited her idea of a coiffure. The Poltimore is narrow in diameter, but high, so perfect to be lodged in a bee-hive. After her death it was sold at Christie’s. I saw it in person in the sale preview. It was destined for $1.7 million.

Back to the Quiz. It got worse. These Gays didn’t know where Cullinan I is to be found, let alone III and IV (Grannie’s Chips, of course). In the ensuing weeks, I fed endless pics from Insta to the Quiz WhatsApp group. No tiara was left unturned, I can tell you, even the lesser ones: the Brazilian Aquamarine, the Belgian Sapphire. I regaled with the prize story of how the Vladimir was sent round to the Queen’s Gallery for the Russian Exhib in 2018 with, according to the Head of the Royal Collection whom Royston and I met in the street outside, ‘an unprepossessing piece of elastic attached at the back.’ They asked if they could remove it but answer came back: ‘Certainly not.’ Without that elastic it wouldn’t stay on.

After four weeks or so I re-launched the Tiara Quiz, this time with pictures. All they had to do was name the tiara. They’d had the answers in advance to all intents and purposes. Would you believe it – still prone to error. Still straying. No perfect ten. Some plunging to six or even five.

The Vladimir, with its 'Unprepossessing' piece of elastic

The Vladimir, with its ‘Unprepossessing’ piece of elastic

Queen Alexandra's Koloshnik Tiara

Queen Alexandra’s Koloshnik Tiara

The Vladimir as Worn: Surely the Best

The Vladimir as Worn: Surely the Best

The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara: a Tiara of Charm

The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara: a Tiara of Charm

The Queen Mary Fringe: Not to be Confused with the Queen Alexandra Koloshnik. This Tiara was worn by the Queen on her Wedding Day. Just beforehand, it Snapped. In the Wedding Graphs a Gap can be Seen to the Left of the Centre where it had been Hurriedly Mended

The Queen Mary Fringe: Not to be Confused with the Queen Alexandra Koloshnik. This Tiara was worn by the Queen on her Wedding Day. Just beforehand, it Snapped. In the Wedding Graphs a Gap can be Seen to the Left of the Centre where it had been Hurriedly Mended

The Belgian Saphhire: All right but a Bit of an Everyday Tiara

The Belgian Saphhire: All right but a Bit of an Everyday Tiara

The Brazilian Aquamarine: Not Liked, except by Lord Arrowby. Lumpy and Awkward with Ill-Suited Bedroom Elements

The Brazilian Aquamarine: Not Liked, except by Lord Arrowby. Lumpy and Awkward with Ill-Suited Bedroom Elements. Lord Arrowby Deliberately likes the Coloured Ones

The Nizam of Hydrabad, Tragically Dismantled to Make the Burmese Ruby

The Nizam of Hydrabad, Tragically Dismantled to Make the Burmese Ruby

The Burmese Ruby: Described by Rufus Pitman as an 'Edward Heath Tiara' because Constructed in the 70s. Looks a Fire Guard. Fussy and Unimportant Stones

The Burmese Ruby: Described by Rufus Pitman as an ‘Edward Heath Tiara’ because Constructed in the 70s. Looks a Fire Guard. Fussy and Unimportant Stones. She is said to have Designed it Herself, which is a Shame

 

Posted Sunday, June 28, 2020 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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