While Monday’s state visit between President Donald Trump and Queen Elizabeth II appears to have gone smoothly, some on social media believe the royal may have been throwing some subtle shade at the POTUS with her choice of tiara.
For the state banquet held at Buckingham Palace, the Queen donned the Burmese Ruby Tiara, which was commissioned from Garrard & Co. in 1973 using diamonds taken from the Nizam of Hyderabad Tiara and the 96 rubies that were given to her as a wedding present from the people of Burma (now Myanmar).
According to traditional Burmese beliefs, rubies are meant to protect their owner from evil and illness.
The tiara is composed of a wreath of ruby roses set in gold and separated by rays of diamonds in silver. The royal has regularly worn the crown since its creation, perhaps most recently at the Indian state banquet in October 2009.
When former President Obama visited the monarch for a state banquet in 2011, on the other hand, Her Royal Highness opted for the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara.
This diadem has a similarly elaborate backstory: It originally belonged to the Russian royal court until the Russian Revolution in 1917, when it was left behind as the Grand Duchess Vladimir fled. It was later returned to her after a British art dealer and secret agent smuggled it out of the country.
In 1921, after the Grand Duchess’ death, it was purchased by Queen Mary for £28,000, and was inherited by Queen Elizabeth II in 1952. The tiara can be worn with pearl drops, emerald drops or no drops at all.
The tiara resembles another of the Queen’s beloved crowns — the Lover’s Knot Tiara — which has now become a favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge, who wore it to last night’s dinner with a white, ruffled Alexander McQueen gown.
Clearly, all of the Queen’s headpieces contain ample symbolism, intentional or not.
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