The Anglesey Tiara: a diamond tiara and necklace, circa 1890

Formed of a graduated row of over 100cts of old European and old mine-cut diamonds which detach to form a rivière necklace surmounted by scroll and cluster motifs interspersed with curved tines topped with graduated pear-shaped diamond-set motifs, set in silver on gold, with a velvet covered band, in an original fitted case

Old European-cut, old mine-cut, old-cut pear-shaped and rose-cut diamonds with a combined total weight of tiara 106.8cts

Rivière approximately 41.5cts

Price available on request



Henry Cyril Paget, 5th Marquess of Anglesey
Charles Henry Alexander Paget and Marjorie Paget, 6th Marquess and Marchioness of Anglesey


D. Scarisbrick, Ancestral Jewels, Rizzoli International Publications, 1991, p. 89, illustrated

Catalogue Note

The Anglesey Tiara was first owned by Henry Cyril Paget, the 5th Marquess of Anglesey. Paget was renowned for his flamboyant dancing, love of the theatre and his own extravagant performances which earned him the nickname ‘The Dancing Marquess’. Lord Berners wrote of one of these performances ‘There was a roll on the drums and the curtain went up on Lord Anglesey clad in a white silk tunic, a huge diamond tiara on his head, glittering with necklaces, brooches, bracelets and rings.’

Having lavishly spent his way into bankruptcy in 1904, he died the following year at the mere age of 29, leaving his cousin Charles Henry Alexander Paget as his successor, the 6th Marquess of Angelsey. Sadly, Henry was regarded as the black sheep of the family, and the more conservative Charles left the wearing of Henry’s remaining jewellery to his wife Marjorie, who wore it to the 1924 State Opening of Parliament.

Left: Henry Cyril Paget, 5th Marquess of Anglesey photographed by John Wickens, circa 1900 (National Trust Images);

Right: Henry Cyril’s successor Charles Henry Alexander Paget, the more conservative 6th Marquess of Anglesey, painted by Rex Whistler in 1937.

As a result of his distinguished military career, the 6th Marquess and his wife enjoyed close ties to the Royal family, especially during Charles’s period serving as Lord Chamberlain to Queen Mary. In 1936, Lady Elizabeth, one of their five daughters, even became maid of honour to Queen Consort Elizabeth. On the monumental occasion of King George VI’s coronation, the Marchioness again wore the 5th Marquess’s beloved tiara. Her successor, the 7th Marchioness Shirley Paget showcased the tiara at another coronation, that of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952. The tiara has remained in the family ever since.