Borrowing the Queens Jewellery

Borrowing the Queens Jewellery

Written by Alice Rochester on 8 May 2012

I was looking through a magazine today which had been brought out in celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee and admiring the stunning diamond tiara that she is wearing in one of the photos. I then had a good look through at the other bespoke jewellery pieces that are part of her extraordinary collection wondering if she’d mind if I borrowed something for the next party I go to?! When Prince William married Kate, she was allowed to borrow one of the Queen’s more low-key diamond tiaras and it looked simply beautiful. That particular piece had a lot of sentimental history in the family, as King George bought it from Cartier as a gift for the Queen Mother, who gave eventually it to the then Princess Elizabeth as an 18th birthday present... Kate must get on well with the Queen to be allowed to wear something with so much soul, let alone the obvious value!

It was pointed out to me by Miia (one of our lovely customers) that in Finland there is a tradition of parishes, communities and even some organisations owning bridal crowns that they can then lend out to brides to wear on their wedding day. Miia said “For example the Finnish Scouts have one for their members (donated in 1937, http://fi.scoutwiki.org/Morsiuskruunu). The tradition draws from the middle ages when Finland was still Catholic and the brides might have been given the crown on a statuette of Virgin Mary to use on their wedding.”

What a brilliant idea! It seems that it’s not exclusive to Finland, and was certainly popular throughout Scandinavia, with people borrowing their neighbour’s crown if there wasn’t one in the parish to use. There’s actually a Norwegian one in the V&A in London at the moment http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O117996/bridal-crown/?print=1 which looks amazing. Perhaps I’ll have to go in to town to have a look at it, call in on Buckingham Palace and see the jewellery that’s on display there, and to the Tower of London too while I’m at it…

What I particularly love about the idea (apart from the idea of wearing something spangly that I could never otherwise afford) is that charities and organizations like the Scout Association can actually rent out the crown and get a small amount of revenue from it which can be used to fund their work. Miia suggested that perhaps it’s something we should consider in this country, and I think she’s right! If you’re getting married in Cambridge or have links to that city, for example, then perhaps something that has been designed with reference to the city would be something you’d like to wear on your wedding day? And if the money is going to support a worthy cause then it’s something you can feel pleased with yourself about spending on amidst all the other wedding expenses…

Since I didn’t have access to this service, I made my own tiara from the excess beads from my wedding dress. I’m not sure how often I’ll wear it but it’s probably more wearable and comfortable than the Queen’s!!