There's been plenty of scandal around royal tiaras as of late: first, we learned that the Queen may have prevented Meghan Markle from wearing the tiara she really wanted on her wedding day and just last week, a major royal jewellery heist went down. The century-old Portland Tiara was stolen from its home in Nottinghamshire, England on the evening of Tuesday, 20 November, and hasn't been spotted since.
According to Nottinghamshire Police Facebook page, thieves broke into Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire, where it has been housed since 2016 and used power tools to break through the armoured glass encasing it. Apparently the robbers were missed by just 90 seconds after alarms sounded, with their burnt-out getaway car later found, while the thieves – and the royal tiara – were long gone.
The police sent out a press release which included a quote from the Curator of Jewellery at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Richard Edgcumbe, who said the royal piece of jewellery is “one of the great historic tiaras of Great Britain."
The stolen diamond-encrusted Portland Tiara was commissioned by Cartier in 1902
Originally created in 1902, the Portland Tiara was made for Winifred, Duchess of Portland, for the coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, where Winifred was serving as a canopy bearer. It was commissioned by Cartier and came completely encrusted with diamonds, with the rectangular cushion-shaped Portland Diamond at its centre. Some of the diamond clusters were later removed to create an accompanying brooch, which was also stolen with the tiara.
As the tiara has never been offered for sale it is difficult to provide a definite idea of value, but due to its diamonds and royal provenance some experts have estimated it could be “worth millions”.
There is still no news of the tiara’s possible whereabouts, but the worst-case scenario is that the tiara has been broken apart in order to sell its individual diamonds, making it totally unidentifiable.
Here’s hoping the tiara is soon recovered and that this piece of sparkling history remains intact.