The Duchess of Teck’s tiara is “formed as a band of 20 crescents and three pave-set wild roses on a gold framework.”1
The elements that this tiara consists of were part of the inheritance from Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, the Duchess of Teck, from her childless aunt, Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester. They were probably the “diamond bandeau for the head and three diamond roses”, as specified in the Duchess of Gloucester’s will. They were later described in an inventory of Princess Mary Adelaide’s jewellery as “Three diamond roses… a diamond chain all the diamonds from this chain made into a diadem… Twenty-one diamond crescents.”2
By 1871, Princess Mary Adelaide had the crescents mounted on a headband and by 1882, it had all been assembled to create a tiara with a detachable double row of diamonds. When Princess Mary Adelaide’s died in 1897, the tiara was inherited by her eldest son, Prince Adolphus of Teck. It was then worn by his wife, Margaret.
The tiara received a new frame in 1901, and by 1937, the tiara had been given to Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother). Once again, a new frame was made, and the two rows of diamonds were removed. Queen Elizabeth probably only wore it once – on 18 May 1939. It was inherited by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002, who gave it to the then Duchess of Cornwall as a loan.