The history of Princess Margaret's Triumph of Love tiara, the only turquoise diadem in the royal's collection

It was the only turquoise diadem in the royal collection, but Princess Margaret’s romantic and daring turquoise favorite might have had subtle significance

Princess Margaret was the last to wear the Triumph of Love tiara
(Image credit: Ray Bellisario/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Out of all of the royal family’s illustrious jewelry collection, there’s only been one turquoise diadem, and that was last worn by Princess Margaret. Often dubbed the Triumph of Love tiara, the origin of the crown comes from Princess Margaret’s grandmother, Queen Mary. Queen Mary bought a parure of jewels set with diamonds and rare Persian turquoises, including the tiara, a necklace, a brooch, and earrings, from the House of Garrard. Mary passed it down to her daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, who in turn passed it down to Princess Margaret.

Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was gifted the Triumph of Love as part of a stunning parure of turquoise jewelry which included a necklace, brooch, and earrings by King George V when she married his son, the then Duke of York, in 1923.

Of course, historic events would remember these people more as King George VI and the Queen Mother, but at the time, they never expected to be King and Queen.

The gifts were fitting of someone who wasn’t expecting to come into ownership of the entire royal vault of jewelry – the Persian turquoise being more modern than some of the diadems expected to be worn by the monarch.

The Triumph of Love tiara

(Image credit: Unknown)

Which could be the reason they eventually ended up handed down to another royal who needed something glamorous, but nothing too regal and serious. Princess Margaret.

Receiving the gift on her 21st birthday, Margaret took to the turquoise set more than her mother ever did, wearing them regularly at glamorous white tie events.

After the Poltimore tiara, the Persian tiara was the largest piece in Margaret’s collection.

The diadem features a gold and platinum structure covered in delicate diamonds, completed with the addition of the rare Persian turquoise stones, known for their high quality and symbolism.

In Persian culture, the stone represents victory, love, triumph, and prosperity.

Princess Margaret frequently wore the turquoise persian set

(Image credit: Ray Bellisario/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

The tiara gets its name – Triumph of Love – from the combination of the stones and the detailing of the shapes, such as lover’s knots and laurel wreaths, woven into the design.

It’s estimated to feature around 80 carats of diamonds and be worth anywhere up to $300,000.

The fact that the tiara was given to Princess Margaret – a woman who followed her heart into some controversial territories – does suggest some subtle meaning behind her mother gifting it to her.

As a young woman, Margaret was in love with Group Captain Peter Townsend, something which many members of her family were more than well aware of.

Princess Margaret renounced her love for Peter Townsend for the sake of her duties

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While reports vary, many biographers have written that Margaret was in love with Peter since the age of 17. In her 2008 book Snowdon: The Biography, which unpacks the life of Margaret's ex-husband Antony Armstrong-Jones, journalist Anne de Courcy wrote that Margaret told a confidante that during a royal tour of South Africa in 1947, "We rode together every morning in that wonderful country, with marvellous weather. That's when I really fell in love with him."

However, since he was a divorcee, Margaret would need the permission of the monarch to marry Peter.

Their famous love story has played out in the likes of The Crown, but ultimately, Margaret had to put duties first, publicly announcing she would not marry the man many believe was her one true love.

Love didn’t triumph for Princess Margaret, but was the Triumph of Love tiara a symbol of hope that she’d find another love one day?  

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.