From Controversy to a Coronation, this magnificent diamond tiara has borne witness to some remarkable occasions.
In the late 19th century it was owned by Henry Cyril Paget, the 5th Marquess of Anglesey, a flamboyant and controversial figure who had a passion for fine jewellery and who wore much of it himself. A lover of the theatre, Henry was known as The Dancing Marquess.
Famous for his lavish spending and colourful social life, Henry was regarded as the black sheep of the family. Despite the vast sums he inherited in 1898 along with his title, within six years he had spent it all, largely on clothes, jewels and his travelling theatre productions. He had accumulated massive debts and was forced to declare himself bankrupt in 1904. Sadly, he passed away the following year aged just 29 and the title and family estate passed to his cousin.
Charles Henry Alexander Paget, who became 6th Marquess of Anglesey
And his wife Lady Marjorie 6th Marchioness of Anglesey who now took ownership of the jewels that had not been sold off to repay Henry’s creditors. Amongst them was this tiara . Charles served as Lord Chamberlain to Queen Mary and the Pagets maintained close ties to the Royal family over the coming decades. Their daughter Lady Elizabeth was one of six maids of honour to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen consort, at the Coronation on the day her husband became King George VI in 1936. Lady Marjorie was photographed by Cecil Beaton at the Coronation wearing the tiara.
The tiara was then owned by George Paget 7th Marquess of Anglesey and Earl of Uxbridge. He and his wife Dame Shirley Paget 7th Marchioness of Anglesey wore the tiara at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II is 1952.
Literature & Exhibitions
Please see Ancestral Jewels by Diana Scarisbrick p.89 for a photograph of Marjorie Paget, the Marchioness of Anglesey, wearing the tiara on the occasion of the Coronation of King George VI.