The Spencer Tiara, R & S Garrard, 1930s

Designed in the garland style as a central heart flanked by continuous running scrolls, interspersed with star- and trumpet-shaped flowers. Set throughout with circular- and rose-cut, cushion- and pear-shaped diamonds, mounted in gold. Inner length approximately 410mm.


Gifted in 1919 to Lady Cynthia Hamilton on the occasion of her marriage to Albert, Viscount Althorp, by Lady Sarah Spencer in 1919


Wartski, One Hundred Tiaras, An Evolution of Style, 1800-1990, 5 - 19 March 1997, no. 51
Boston, Crowning Glories: Two Centuries of Tiaras, Museum of Fine Arts, 1 March - 25 June 2000
Althorp Estate and worldwide, Diana: A Celebration, 1998-2013


Exhibition catalogue, G. Munn ed., One Hundred Tiaras, An Evolution of Style, 1997, pp. 26-27, illustrated
G. Munn, Wartski: The First One Hundred and Fifty Years, Antique Collectors' Club, 2015, p. 217, illustrated
Exhibition catalogue, D. Scarisbrick, Tiara, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2000, p. 10, illustrated
G. Munn, Tiaras: A History of Splendour, Antique Collectors Club, 2001, pp. 200-201, illustrated

Catalogue Note

Princess Diana wearing the Spencer tiara on her wedding day

Having been worn by Princess Diana at her wedding, the Spencer Tiara is one of the most famous diadems in modern history. The tiara is reported to have been created originally in 1767 for Viscountess Montagu and remodelled by Garrard in the 1930s: the central motif was purportedly gifted by Lady Sarah Spencer to Viscountess Althorp, the grandmother of Princess Diana, in 1919, after which further motifs were added, resulting in the design we see today. In the mid-1970s, John Spencer, the 8th Earl Spencer, inherited the tiara. It was subsequently worn by all three of his daughters at their wedding: Lady Jane in 1978; Lady Sarah in 1980; and finally Lady Diana the following year, in 1981. The tiara was most recently worn by Celia McCorquodale - niece of the 9th Earl Spencer Charles - at her wedding in the Spring of 2018. The Spencer Tiara remains in the possession of the Spencer family.