The Lotus Flower Tiara: The Epitome of Royal Style, Then and Now

Among the most romantic of the royal jewels crafted by Garrard for the British Royal Family, the Lotus Flower Tiara perfectly embodies the era in which it was made. Created in 1923 for the late Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother during the early years of her marriage to King George VI, the exquisite design draws inspiration from Egyptian iconography, specifically the lotus flower.

The Queen Mothers Lotus Flower Tiara made by Garrard

The 1920s saw enormous interest in the discovery and exploration of historic sites in Egypt. When Tutankhamun’s tomb was opened in 1922, archaeologists found lotus flowers – an Ancient Egyptian symbol of rebirth and renewal – scattered around him. The inherent luxury of the artifacts and decorative elements found inside the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs were perfectly in tune with the spirit of decadence that defined the Art Deco age.

Unlike other, more imposing royal tiaras, the Lotus Flower Tiara is delicate and distinctive. Also known as the Queen Mother’s Papyrus Tiara, the floral motifs, framed by diamond arches, are accented with lustrous white pearls, a quintessential Art Deco gem.

Queen Elizabeth wore the Lotus Flower Tiara made by Garrard photo taken on on December 11 1936 square

The diamonds and pearls were taken from a necklace – a wedding gift to The Queen Mother from her husband. At her request, they were transformed into the elegant Lotus Flower Tiara in Garrard’s London workshop. As was fashionable at the time, The Queen Mother wore the jewel low on her head, in a classic 1920s bandeau style.


“Worn across the forehead, as was the fashion in the 1920s and 30s, or in the more traditional tiara position on top of the head, hair up or down, it is a piece that has easily adapted to the changing styles of all the royal women it has adorned over the past 100 years.”

Claire Scott, Design and Development Director


Princess Margaret visits Portugal wore the Lotus Flower Tiara made y Garrard at the British Industries Fair dinner in her honour at the Estoril Casino. June 1959

Great Britains Princess Margaret wore the Lotus Flower Tiara made by Garrard with husband Earl of Snowdon during the benefit ball for Winston Churchill Memorial Fund on Nov. 19 1965

The Wedding of David Armstrong Jones Viscount Linley to Serena Stanhope who wore the Lotus Flower Tiara made by Garrard at St Margarets Church Westminster. 8th October 1993

The Queen Mother’s youngest daughter, Princess Margaret, received the Lotus Flower Tiara from her mother in 1959, just before her marriage to Antony Armstrong-Jones. She wore it frequently during her lifetime, from the 1960s all the way through to the early 1990s, when Margaret loaned the tiara to her new daughter-in-law, Serena Stanhope, for her marriage to Viscount Linley, the Princess’s son.

Catherine Princess of Wales wore the Lotus Flower Tiara at the state visit 2

The Lotus Flower Tiara remained in the possession of the Royal Family. However, it was not seen again for more than a decade until Catherine, Princess of Wales attended her first State Banquet in honour of the president of China wearing the royal jewel in 2015.

Kate Middleton The Princess of Wales wore the Lotus Flower Tiara made by Garrard during a Diplomatic Corps reception at Buckingham Palace in London square

Catherine chose to wear the Lotus Flower Tiara again in December 2022 to host a diplomatic reception at the palace. Part of the suite of tiaras worn by the Princess of Wales on formal occasions, this breathtaking jewel continues to make history.

The Garrard Royal Ledger showing the record of the comissions of the Lotus Flower Tiara38

The Lotus Flower Tiara is noted in Garrard’s Royal Ledger, with an entry on 15th October 1923 recording the “mounting of three pearls, 491 brilliant and 99 rose-cut diamonds from a necklace as a bandeau in gold and silver settings”. Our Design and Development Director, Claire Scott, also oversees the Garrard archive and has always admired how versatile the Lotus Flower Tiara is: “Worn across the forehead, as was the fashion in the 1920s and 30s, or in the more traditional tiara position on top of the head, hair up or down, it is a piece that has easily adapted to the changing styles of all the royal women it has adorned over the past 100 years.”

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