When Lord Carnegie married in 1956, Caroline Dewar daughter of Lord and Lady Forteviot in Perth, she wore the Fife Fringe Tiara on her wedding day. It was a heirloom of his grandmother Louise Duchess of Fife, the bride, who was given away by her father, had a dress of white satin with a design of thistles, heather and roses on the skirt. Her full-length veil of French tulle was held in place by the diamond fringe tiara. All the ten bridesmaids were in white. The Earl of Southesk, Lord Forteviot and the best man, Captain Colin Campbell, were in Highland dress.
James George Alexander Bannerman Carnegie was born on September 23 1929. His father, Lord Carnegie, would become the 11th Earl of Southesk in 1941.
His mother was Princess Maud, the younger daughter of Alexander Duff, Earl of Fife, who married Princess Louise, daughter of the future King Edward VII, and was created Duke of Fife by Queen Victoria in 1900. As he had no son, provision was made by a special remainder for the title to pass through his daughters.
On his coming of age in 1950 he inherited his mother’s fortune, she died in 1945, he was the 3rd Duke of Fife.
Duchess Louise’s remarkable kokoshnik style tiara with graduated pavé-set rays of diamonds in white and yellow gold, takes inspiration from the cockscomb style headdresses of the Romanov court.
Louise could count the Emperor and Empress of Russia as cousins, while among her aunts were both the Dowager Empress, sister of her mother and a Grand Duchess.
The gift from her parents the Prince and Princess of Wales (later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra), its clever construction means it could be worn as a fringe tiara or converted into a fringe necklace, and it became one of Louise’s favourite pieces of jewellery.
The Fife Fringe Tiara was worne several times from the Duchesses and Countesses.
The kokosnhik tiara was on display at Kensington Palace on long-term loan from the estate of the 3rd Duke of Fife, above in the picture on his wedding day. Alongside the Fife Massin tiara - accepted by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to Historic Royal Palaces – these exquisite pieces are form part of the Victoria Revealed exhibition .
In September 2020, Charles Duff Carnegie, Earl of Southesk married Camille and for this occassion the diamond tiara was worne again, from the bride and Countess of Southesk, as weddingtiara.
Sources:, Historic Royal Palaces; The Sphere;
Special thanks to Laura!!