The peerage of the Duke of Wellington is justifiably famous. It was the first Duke who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, after all. It’s not their famous history, but the tiaras the current family has at their disposal that bring them to the Bag spotlight.
The grandest tiara the family has is often called the Wellington tiara. It’s been in the family since at least the second Duke’s tenure. His wife, Elizabeth, was painted wearing it in 1859. The next well-known portrait featuring the diadem was the 4th Duke’s wife, Kathleen, who wore it in a delightfully iced up portrait, shown below.
Antonia, the current Duchess of Wellington, was born a Princess, the daughter of Prince Frederick of Prussia and Lady Brigid Guinness (remember that name!). She wore the Wellington tiara for her 1977 wedding, and recently in 2015, in a spectacular appearance at the formal Waterloo Banquet at Apsley House. You can see how the tiara is a complete circle from the rear. The design is a series of scrolls, incorporating diamonds of all sizes. It’s a substantial, grand, piece.
If that option is too grand or dense for your tastes, the extended family also has access to another, more delicate floral tiara. This has been called the von Preussen tiara and is a more recent acquisition. Lady Brigid Guinness was probably given the tiara as a gift for her wedding to Prince Frederick in 1945. The tiara is apparently shared communally among the extended family, and its general prettiness makes it popular for weddings.
It’s been worn by Brigid’s oldest son’s bride, and by several cousins, including Antonia’s daughter Charlotte. A couple of Brigid’s granddaughters in law also wore the tiara, the most recent outing being last weekend at the nuptials of Prince Fritzi von Preussen, a grandson of Brigid and Prince Frederick, and Mathilda Johnson.
Congratulations to Prince Fritzi von Preussen and Mathilda Johnson who got married this past weekend! 🥳🤍💐
Fritzi is a great-great-grandson of the last German Emperor, Wilhelm II. The bride was wearing the Von Preussen Tiara 👑
📷: phoebedickinsonart pic.twitter.com/QiestkB1Sa
— CoutureAndRoyals (@CoutureRoyals) May 25, 2021
Close-ups of the Wellington are here, and better views of the von Preussen can be seen here.