Tiara from the Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration exhibition
Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration

Delhi Durbar Tiara

Delhi Durbar Tiara, 1911

Garrard & Co. Ltd, 1911 and 1912
Diamonds, platinum, gold
8 × 23 cm

This tiara was made in 1911 for Queen Mary to wear to the Durbar (a ‘ceremonial gathering to pay homage’) in Delhi on 12 December 1911, to mark the succession of King George V as King Emperor.

It was part of the Queen’s parure of emeralds and diamonds made for the occasion by Garrard & Co. Ltd. which also included a necklace, stomacher, brooch and earrings.

The Duchess of Cornwall wearing the Delhi Durbar Tiara, October 25 2005

The tiara takes the form of a tall circlet of lyres and S-scrolls, linked by festoons of rose and brilliant-cut diamonds.

The upper border was originally set with ten of the Cambridge emeralds, acquired by Queen Mary in 1910 and originally owned by her grandmother the Duchess of Cambridge, but these were removed by 1922 for use elsewhere.

In the year following the Delhi Durbar, the tiara was altered to take either or both of the two Lesser Stars of Africa – Cullinan III and IV; the drop-shaped stone was held at the top of the jewel and the cushion-shaped stone hung in the oval aperture below.

Queen Mary lent the tiara to Queen Elizabeth in 1946 for the 1947 South African Tour and it remained with her until her death in 2002. In 2005, it was lent by The Queen to The Duchess of Cornwall.