Greville Emerald Kokoshnik: Princess Eugenie's wedding tiara
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In October 2018, the Queen’s granddaughter Princess Eugenie walked down the aisle at St George’s Chapel, Windsor wearing a breath-taking headpiece, the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara. The Queen traditionally lends royal brides a tiara from her collection on their wedding days, but Eugenie’s choice was particularly special as it had not been worn by a royal bride.
The Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara was made by Boucheron for Dame Margaret Greville in 1919.
The ‘kokoshnik’ style of the tiara was popular with the Russian Imperial Court, and it is comprised of “brilliant and rose cut diamonds pavé set in platinum, with six emeralds on either side”, as per the Royal Family’s website.
The tiara entered the Royal Family’s possession in 1942 when Mrs Greville bequeathed it to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
When the tiara emerged at Eugenie’s wedding, many royal fans noticed how the emeralds complemented the Princess’ eyes.
Joanna Wyganowska, Design Expert & Gemmologist at Queensmith, said: “The emerald tiara was a beautiful choice to complement the slight titian-red tint to Princess Eugenie’s hair, and her blue-green eyes.
“The hue of the emerald is deep, strong, blueish-green – typically the most valuable of emerald colours.
“Amazingly, the huge emerald appears extremely clear and lustrous, which adds to the rarity of the stone; most emeralds are pretty included, meaning they feature large or obvious imperfections within the gemstone.
“These typically look like little clusters of moss and are referred to as ‘jardin’ inclusions – but there don’t seem to be such obvious imperfections amongst the emeralds of the Greville Tiara.”
Princess Eugenie’s wedding tiara is thought to be one of the most expensive diadems in the Queen’s collection, and with its enormous central stone, it’s not hard to see why.
The tiara’s main emerald is thought to weigh 93.70 carats, and its cut is particularly unique.
Ms Wyganowska added: “The value of the Greville Emerald Tiara is staggering – upward of £5million, perhaps as high as £10million.
“The near-100-carat emerald is cabochon-cut, meaning the surface is rounded and smooth, not faceted like you’d typically see with such valuable gems.
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“Emeralds are, by nature, a fairly soft gem, prone to nicks, scratches and abrasion.
“Despite being over 100 years old, the tiara is in mint condition, perhaps having had a little maintenance work and polish prior to its latest public appearance at Eugenie’s wedding.”
Many were surprised by Eugenie’s choice of the Greville Tiara instead of the York Tiara worn by her mother Sarah Ferguson at her 1986 wedding to Prince Andrew.
But neither Eugenie nor Princess Beatrice wore the York Tiara at their weddings, with Beatrice opting instead to wear Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara in 2020.
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