By Clive Kandel
Made by Cartier London in 1937 for Countess Granard, to be worn at the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Countess Granard was born Beatrice Mills, daughter of American mega financier Ogden Mills. One of many American heiresses enriching European aristocracy, in 1909 she married minor Irish nobility, Bernard Forbes, 8th Earl of Granard. The marriage was seen as a step down compared to Consuelo Vanderbilt’s marriage to the Duke of Marlborough.
The tiara was made by breaking up many older diamond jewels supplied by Lady Granard to Cartier. The Persian diamond set motifs were detachable to be worn as clips and the larger stones could be detached for other uses. The tiara was made to impress and it is certainly one of the most important of all the tiaras that were worn at the coronation. The second image is Lady Granard in the 1950s at her home at 73 rue de Varenne in Paris.