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The Coronation of Emperor Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran was held in the Grand Hall of the Golestan Palace of Tehran in 1967. The Emperor crowned his consort, Farah Pahlavi, during his own coronation ceremony. This was the first ever crowning of a wife of an Iraninan monarch and was a symbol of the modernisation of Iran. It was to be the final monarchy of Iran as it was overthrown in the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

The Empress’s coronation robes were designed by Marc Bohan of Christian Dior and the attire was woven and cut in Iran. The green velvet robe featured the House of Pahlavi coat of arms embroidered in gold and adorned with diamonds, rubies and emeralds. The train of the robe was five metres in length.

The coronation jewellery of crown and necklace was made for Empress Farah in Iran by Parisian jewellers, Van Cleef & Arpels, from items in the Iranian Crown Jewels.

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The De Beers diamond is the seventh largest diamond in the world. It was mined in South Africa in 1888 by the De Beers mining company and exhibited at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1889. The Maharaja, Bhupinder Singh, of Patiala in the Punjab region of India, bought the De Beers diamond.

In 1925, the Maharaja commissioned the French jeweller, Cartier, to set the De Beers diamond as the centerpiece of a ceremonial necklace that became known as the Patiala Necklace. In its original form, the necklace contained 1000 carats in 2,930 diamonds and other previous stones. It was completed in 1928 and is one of the most expensive pieces of jewellery ever made. Today, it is estimated that the Patiala Necklace, in its original form, would be worth in the region of $30,000,000.

With the decline of The Raj in the 1940’s, the crown jewels were sold off, and the Patiala Necklace disappeared.

The last sighting of the necklace was in 1946 as worn by the son of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja Yadavinder Singh, in the photographs below.

Half a century later, the necklace was discovered in a second-hand jewellery shop in London by a Cartier representative. The De Beers diamond and the other large stones were missing. The remnants of the Patiala Necklace were bought by Cartier. It took two years for Cartier to restore the necklace, using synthetic stones to simulate the distinct colours of the diamonds and other stones of the original.

In 1982, the De Beers diamond came up for auction at Sotheby’s in Geneva.

Lalla means ‘lady’ in Morocco and it is a part of the royal title of Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Salma the Princess Consort of King Mohammed VI of Morocco.  Lalla Salma is the first wife of Moroccan royalty to be publically acknowledged and awarded a royal title and she has entered the world stage with a portfolio of state duties and charitable causes.

This is Morocco’s First Lady and a very stylish and striking blend of the traditional and the modern Arabic woman. Lalla Salma is 33 years old and has two children. She was born Salma Bennani in the Morrocan city of Fez to a middle class Moroccan family and she is a computer science graduate.

Lalla Salma is an exotic beauty, a reflection of the influences of both Arab and French cultures that makes Morocco so scintillating, and what makes her all the more fascinating in the Arab world is her porcelain complexion and curly red hair. I think that this lends her a doll-like quality when dressed in the traditional Moroccan dress of the takchita.

And here is Princess Lalla Salma in all her takchita glory…

 

And, in contrast, here we have the modern wardrobe of Princess Lalla Salma…

Today, His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales married Kate Middleton, and it has lifted the spirits of people worldwide with an entertaining display of pomp and ceremony as befits a Right Royal Happy Day.

But really, it was all about ’The Dress’…

And here it is,  a contemporary silhouette in lace, simply elegant on a pretty, young woman, as designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen…

Kate Middleton did indeed look radiant in this dress but it is somewhat understated for my taste and my bridal dress dreams are with the royal wedding dresses below.

For an exquisite lace creation then I believe there is no other than the ethereal white wedding gown of Grace Kelly for her marriage to Prince Ranier III of Monaco in 1956, as designed by  Helen Rose of MGM Studios. I particularly like the Juliet cap veil.

For a wedding dress of fairytale proportions then it has to be the swathes of silk taffeta that encompass the wedding dress of Diana Spencer for her marriage to Prince Charles in 1981, as designed by David & Elizabeth Emmanuel.

For a wedding dress evocative of Ye Olde Englande, then it has to be the Tudor style wedding gown of Princess Anne for her marriage to Mark Phillips in 1973, as designed by Maureen Baker at Susan Small. I particularly like the bell shape sleeves.

For a wedding dress that befits the mature divorcee then it has to be the modest dress coat of Camilla Parker-Bowles for her marriage to Prince Charles in 2005, as designed by Anna Valentine. I particularly like the feather headdress.

For a wedding dress that is an exotic beauty then it has to be the kaftan or takchita of Lalla Salma for her marriage to King Mohammed VI of Morocco in 2002. This is a couture version of traditional Moroccan dress and I particularly like the diamond face decoration that complements the geometric design of the tiara and earrings.