Famous Collections: Princess MargaretMar 21st, 2018
This month, our blog series explores the fabulous jewelry collection of one of history’s most noted collectors: Princess Margaret.
Born in 1930, Margaret Rose was the younger child of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother; she was the only sibling to Queen Elizabeth II. From childhood, Princess Margaret grew to be charming, witty and universally noted for her quick smile, style and sophistication.
A 1950s and 1960s fashion icon, Princess Margaret captivated the world with her fashion choices and was regularly photographed wearing the latest and most daring styles. Margaret was a talented singer and pianist, and she took joy in supporting the arts. This is reflected in her legendary assortment of jewelry, amassed over decades and representing a lifetime love of jewelry artistry.
Princess Margaret gravitated toward the finest British jewelers of her day, and her input was often incorporated into custom designs. For example, this diamond set brooch was cast by noted jeweler Andrew Grima from a piece lichen sent to him by the Princess herself. Her love of nature was evident in many significant pieces, including a rose brooch by Cartier, as well as many simpler pieces.
However, one of the most notable pieces in Princess Margaret’s collection was her wedding tiara, the Poltimore Tiara. Originally created in the 1870s for Lady Poltimore, the Poltimore Tiara sat proudly on Princess Margaret’s head on her wedding day, holding her veil in place and creating the picture-perfect image of a fairytale bride.
Her collection also included some of the most historically significant inheritances of all time. From Queen Mary, Princess Margaret received an extraordinary diamond rivière as well as an Art Deco brooch accompanied by a note: “For darling Margaret on her confirmation day from her loving Grannie Mary R. God bless you. April 15, 1946.” From her father, King George VI, Margaret received a Cartier gold and sapphire cigarette case, and her mother, Queen Elizabeth, gave her an antique gem-set bee brooch.
After suffering a series of illnesses related to her heavy smoking, Princess Margaret passed away from a stroke in February 2001. Her funeral was held on the 50th anniversary of her father’s funeral. Her extraordinary jewelry collection—which also included over a dozen Fabergé ornaments—went to auction with Christie’s Geneva, fetching a jaw-dropping total of $17,660,000.
We love the story of Princess Margaret because she was such a captivating individual and fierce patron of the arts. Her collection was filled with heirlooms and pieces that were precious beyond their monetary value. If you’re ready to start your own heirloom-quality collection of fine jewelry, we encourage you to come visit our showroom today. Catch up on the other articles in our Famous Collections series HERE or HERE!