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Tiara History

A tiara is known as a jewelled headpiece, usually worn by men and women for important formal occasions. A tiara commonly looks like a miniature crown and is known to be worn by royalty or nobility. Throughout history many men and women have displayed their social superiority and power by wearing many different versions of crowns and tiaras.

Unlike a crown, the tiara perches on the top of the head, close to the eyebrows and don’t surround the whole head. They are commonly embellished with coloured gemstones, diamond and pearls and created is precious metals such as, gold, silver and platinum. Throughout history tiaras are often associated with famous individuals and families, Napoleon and his wife, the Empress Joséphine Bonaparte and the British royal family.

What Is the Origin of the Tiara?

The tiara dates back to the Greek era where they were worn mainly by the winners of the Olympic games. These tiaras were composed of a simple headband made from fabric. They were also worn on the heads of Persian Shahs, Egyptian pharaohs and Hellenistic kings as a symbol of authority. It was not until the 3rd century that the tiara made an appearance under the emperors of the Roman Empire. In 1550s the tiara appeared in England; however, it was not until the 18th century when they became the jewelled headwear of Western royalty. By the Edwardian era, royals, aristocrats and socially ambitions elites wore extravagant tiaras to impress guests at banquets, balls and other social events. This caused rise in fashion brands manufacturing tiaras, such as Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels.

Tiara trends began to evolve in the 20th century and were adapted to fit the fashion styles of the era. Narrow tiaras were back in vogue, which became simple in design and reminiscent of the original headbands worn by the ancient Greeks, rather than the blingy styles that had previously been worn by social elites. In the 1930s, geometrics and Art Deco designs were adopted. During the war the popularity of the tiara decreased. However, the tiara is slowly remerging and worn by royalty, princesses and Hollywood starlets; more recently there has been a big focus on tiaras at royal weddings. Many tiara designs and materials have changed nowadays, it is easier to access a tiara as a fashion accessory are they are often now created from silver and coloured gemstones instead of previous precious metals and gemstones.

Antique Tiara History

What Does the Tiara Represent?

Tiaras are known to establish wealth and power within the upper classes. It is a fashion accessory to symbolise status and has been worn for this reason throughout history. Brides also adorn a tiara as it was seen as an emblem of the loss of innocence to the crowing love. On a wedding day a tiara is only to be worn by the bride or other married women due to the tiara roots in classical antiquity.

What Is the Most Famous Tiara?

Today, undoubtedly the most famous collection of tiaras is owned by Queen Elizabeth II. The exact number of tiaras that are owned by the Queen is unknown but it is thought she has a couple dozen. The tiara collection consists of many diamonds and colourful gemstones such as emeralds, pearls, sapphires and aquamarines. It is always eagerly awaited to see which tiara is borrowed by the next royal bride.

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