"Two sprays of mixed flowers, entirely pavéd with diamonds, meet at the large, open wild rose in the center. The sprays can also be worn as brooches. The diamonds, set in flowers, are recorded in the Heathcote inventory of 1786 and have descended in the same family since..." (Diana Scarisbrick, Tiaras) The naturalistic style so typical of eighteenth century taste has hardly ever been out of fashion, which is why these sprays have survived for so long.
At the coronation of Edward VII in 1902, the Countess of Ancaster, wife of the Lord Chamberlain in charge of the ceremony wore these sprays as brooches and a tiara of different design on her head.
Her daughter then recorded that one of the sprays had belonged to Clementina Lady Perth and that the large diamond in the centre of the wild rose had been taken from a sword belonging to her husband's ancestor, the Duke of Perth who had died fighting for the Stuarts at the battle of Culloden in 1745. The other spray belonged to Lady Heathcote and it had been passed down from each generation of the family to the present owner who wears it mounted on o frame as a tiara.
Baroness Willoughby was one of the Queen's train bearers at the Coronation, as seen on top, in the small picture on the left with the Ancaster family tiara and on the bottom, in the picture of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the second from the right.
In 2015 the Marchioness of Cholmondoley, on the right side in the picture, wore the tiara on the occasion of the state banquet given by the Queen to honour the Chinese President. The tiara is now a little bit altered. The rose on top is not so high in the center, probably the item has a new frame and the diamond flowers and leaves are in one line.
The Marquess of Cholmondeley, her husband, is the Lord Great Chamberlain of Queen Elizabeth II.
Since 1626 the Barony of Willoughby de Eresby has been associated with office of Lord Great Chamberlain. In that year, the first Earl of Lindsey inherited the Great Chamberlainship. Upon the death of the fourth Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, it was divided between his sisters Priscilla and Georgiana (who was later Marchioness of Cholmondeley). Thereafter, the barony of Willoughby de Eresby has been associated with the senior share of the Lord Great Chamberlainship.
The share belonging to Lady Cholmondeley has been passed intact to her heirs, the Marquesses of Cholmondeley, but Lady Willoughby de Eresby's share has been split between many heirs. As of 2004, only one-fourth of the Lord Great Chamberlainship is possessed by the holder of the barony.
The Ancaster Tiara worn by Lady Rose Astor-Cutsem:
The Heathcotes, Earls of Ancaster, married into the Astor family in 1933 when Gilbert Heathcote, 3rd Earl Ancaster married the Hon. Nancy Astor, a daughter of Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor. The couple had a son and daughter, of whom their daughter is still living, the Baroness Willoughby de Eresby (b. 1934). Perhaps she loaned this tiara to her young cousin for her wedding.
Nancy Jane Marie Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby is the daughter of Gilbert James Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 3rd Earl of Ancaster and Hon. Nancy Phyllis Louise Astor, the daughter of Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor and Nancy Witcher Langhorne.
Rose Nancy Langhorne Astor, the bride, is the daughter of David Waldorf Astor and Clare Pamela St. John. David Waldorf Astor is the son of Hon. Michael Langhorne Astor and Barbara Mary Colonsay McNeill. The Hon. Michael Langhorne Astor was the son of Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor and Nancy Witcher Langhorne.
The mother of the present owner of the tiara (the Baroness) and the grandfather of the bride were siblings, both children of Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor
Sources:Scarisbrick, Tiara;Wikipedia; Royal Jewels of the World Message Board;Tiara-Dignity and Beauty, Exhibition Tokio; CCTVNEWS-LIVE