At today’s State Opening of Parliament peeresses in evening dresses crammed the red leather benches of the Lords’ chamber and gave some relief to the sea of red gowns with white fur collars tied with a black ribbon that the peers (male and female) wear on this one occasion a year. Some of the Queen Titanias who choose to wear a tiara will have left home by 9 am like that, startling commuters, but they had probably been up since dawn with their hairdressers. I know of one stylist who goes round to a string of clients on her motorbike to fix the ice on their pretty heads.
It’s a long wait for the Queen to arrive wearing the Imperial State Crown to take up her golden throne and read her speech that is written by the Government. Incidentally, darlings,it’s so nice to see it worn instead of having to jostle the crowds in front of the crown jewels at the Tower of London! Also, it's far better to sit on the Labour benches and look across to the Tory ladies, who clearly have the greatest tally of tiaras. I saw some whoppers and longed for binoculars to inspect them but then I didn’t want to get caught on telly snooping.
c 1996 Lady Haden Guest a.k.a Jamie Lee Curtis takes her seat. I remember the press photographs at the time showed that this was a simple gold laurel leaf design. Perfect.
I also spotted the fakes. What’s the point of that? I don’t know. I do know actually because once I wore one from Butler & Wilson myself. Try anything once (except folk dancing and incest) is my motto. I am embarrassed about it now. A lovely ancient aristocrat offered to lend me hers but I have a block head and this was far too dainty. Besides, she had told me in her crackly voice, unable to pronounce her ‘Rs’ that someone women wear a tiawa with all the gwace of a cart horse. I decided to wun a mile at that point.
No carthorse here. Loelia Duchess of Westminster photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1931 wearing a kokoshnik halo-shaped tiara. I have seen this, or something very similar, in action!
I personally think that all the beauty of this bling is surpassed by the young Queen herself in this video, giving us a guided tour of the crown she wore today.