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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Tuesday, 19 March, 2002, 16:27 GMT
Royals and Hollywood head tiara show
The Queen and Prince Phillip
The Queen's wedding tiara is on display
A glittering array of 200 of the world's finest tiaras is being showcased at London's Victoria and Albert museum.

It features the tiara worn by The Queen at her wedding and the crown worn by Victoria Beckham when she married England football captain David Beckham.

As well as designs by Cartier and Fabergé in precious metals, there are less conventional exhibits, including tiaras made from a sheep's pelvis and one fashioned from dog bone.

More than 100,000 gemstones from around the world are on display at the exhibition called simply Tiara.

Joely Richardson
Actress Joely Richardson opened the exhibition
The showcase, which features an unprecedented number of items from royal and aristocratic families, was officially opened by actress Joely Richardson on Tuesday.

It will be open to the public on Thursday until 14 July.

Geoffrey Munn, exhibition curator, said: "I doubt whether there will ever be a jewellery exhibition which brings together so many historic and royal tiaras again."

Many of the tiaras will be recognised from royal events, Hollywood movies and television shows.

    Highlights include:

  • A diamond tiara worn by the Queen at her wedding in 1947

  • A pearl and diamond tiara from the French Crown jewels

  • The "Oriental Circlet" designed by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria

  • The tiara worn by Victoria Beckham when she married David Beckham.

Sheep pelvis

Tiaras owned by celebrities including Elton John and Joanna Lumley are on show.

Tiara worn by Victoria Adams
Victoria Beckham wore a crown for her lavish wedding
Those worn by Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love and by Elizabeth Hurley in Bedazzled will also be on display.

Three contemporary examples by designer Vivienne Westwood, including one made from dog bone, sit beside more conventional exhibits.

Other offbeat designs include a sheep pelvis tiara set with rhinestones by couturier Dai Rees and ones made from feathers, horn, plastic, steel and rubber.

The evolution of the tiara is traced in the exhibition with paintings and photographs of owners wearing their jewellery alongside the actual tiaras.

Click here to go to London
See also:

14 Feb 02 | Arts
V&A visitor numbers under fire
23 Nov 01 | Newsmakers
The V & A: Designer makeover
18 May 00 | Entertainment
Victoria's crowning glory to be sold
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