mercoledì 12 febbraio 2014

A New Outing for the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace

Last night the Duchess of Cambridge attended the annual Portrait Gala at London's National Portrait Gallery. While the dress was no surprise for dedicated Kate-followers, as it was a repeat Jenny Packham piece, debuted only a few months ago to the 100 Women in Hedge Fund gala in October last year (and, frankly, even back then I found it a bit...well, meh, lacking that certain something for an evening function!), what really excited me this time was that she had accesorised it with a stunning necklace, on loan from the Queen: the Nizam of Hyderabad necklace.

It was the first time the Duchess had worn publicly this particular piece and, yes, it does make a welcome change from seeing her in costume jewelry! Although I, for one, am thrilled to be able to pop to my local Zara and buy the exact same necklace she wore, I'm equally chuffed to see her embracing a different side of her royal role by raiding the Palace jewel vaults, so to speak, and appear in public adorned with some serious, heavyweight bling!
The history of this piece dates back to the time of the Queen's (then Princess Elizabeth's) own wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947. The Nizam of Hyderabad was the monarch of the historic Indian State of Hyderabad. The last Nizam, Osman Ali Khan, reigned from 1911 until the end of British colonial rule in 1948 (below, on the cover of TIME magazine, 22 February 1937).
Wishing to present Princess Elizabeth with a suitable gift on the occasion of her wedding, the Nizam left instructions with Cartier's London branch and the Princess choose a necklace and a tiara, whose design was (aptly) based on an English rose.
The tiara was later broken up: the three main rose motives were detachable and were kept and used as brooches by Her Majesty, while the rest of the stones were used to create what is known as the Queen's Burmese Ruby tiara.
The Queen attending the 2011 edition of the Chelsea Flower Show, wearing the largest rose brooch dismantled from the Nizam of Hyderabad tiara (photo Telegraph)...
...and in Australia, during the royal tour of 1954, wearing the two smaller twin brooches (photo Pinterest).
The Queen wearing the Nizam of Hyderabad tiara and another wedding present, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Bandeau necklace, part of the famous Mrs. Greville bequest (photo Pinterest).

The Queen wearing the Burmese Ruby tiara, created using diamonds from the broken up Nizam of Hyderabad necklace (via Mad Hattery!).
The Queen painted by Sir William Dargie in 1954, wearing the necklace and the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara (via Pinterest).
The necklace is made up of diamonds in a platinum setting and is currently 38.5 cm long (the chain, which was originally made up of 46 collet diamonds, was shortened at a later date to 38 to better suit the Queen).


A stunning historic Cartier piece, which brings us nicely to my next post, about my recent visit to the Cartier exhibition currently on at the Grand Palais in Paris - stay tuned for updates!
(All photo of the Duchess are taken from the Daily Mail article you can read here).


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