Princess alert: Chaumet is Tiara Central

With royal regalia the hot topic of the moment, it pays to know that the address for tiaras, if you happen to be in need of some head adornment, is Chaumet in 12 Place Vendome. Here you can meet the experts who will make you the perfect bijoux de tête or a chose a more wearable Joséphine tiara ring. I predict that there is going to be a return to tiaras and other princess-inspired jewels now that young Kate has put royal regalia into the limelight. A new generation of girls will be thinking of what head ornament suits them best: a little band that sits low above the brow, a Russian-style proud curve shimmering with diamonds or a nature inspired branch set with  gems that entwines the head? Or maybe just a diamond-set hair clip. First stop is Chaumet, the specialist in tiaras who still make special commissions for modern-day princesses and girls who just want to look so very special. For those that want something a little less showy, Chaumet's Joséphine rings, are little tiaras for the finger than you are likely to get more wear out of than a head ornament. But if you are going to go the whole way, 12 Place Vendome is the temple of the tiara. Visitors are greeted by a portrait of the Empress Marie-Louise Habsbourg-Lorraine, second wife of Napoleon 1, wearing jewels created by the founder of firm, Marie-Etienne Nitot.  The walls of one of the rooms on the first floor are lined with hundreds of white nickel models of tiaras reflecting the changing style of jewellery and particularly "bijoux de tête" from 1802 when Marie-Etienne Nitot became official jeweller to Napoleon. These models are the first stage in making a tiara and shown to the client before the design is committed to more costly metal and gems. Chaumet's height of tiara making was in the Belle Epoque period at the end of the 19th century when Joseph Chaumet married into the firm. Place Vendôme 12 was purchased in 1907, chosen for its location directly across from the newly opened Ritz, the first hotel with ensuite bathrooms which attracted the new breed of millionaires eager to find adornments announcing their status in society. Today you can still commission a bespoke tiara or choose from one of the existing designs, some of which are shown above. The newest Chaumet tiara features little sapphire bees buzzing around diamond-set honeycomb. And remember the golden rule: hold your head high when wearing one of these aristocratic ornaments.

  • Chaumet's newest tiara - yes they are still making them - is the Bee My Love diademe that features buzzing blue sapphires bees busy with their diamond and white gold honeycomb. The central piece detaches and can be worn as a brooch.
  • A different way to wear a diamond solitaire is atop a mini tiara for the finger by Chaumet.

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Chaumet's newest tiara - yes they are still making them - is the Bee My Love diademe that features buzzing blue sapphires bees busy with their diamond and white gold honeycomb. The central piece detaches and can be worn as a brooch.

Chaumet's newest tiara - yes they are still making them - is the Bee My Love diademe that features buzzing blue sapphires bees busy with their diamond and white gold honeycomb. The central piece detaches and can be worn as a brooch.

A different way to wear a diamond solitaire is atop a mini tiara for the finger by Chaumet.

A different way to wear a diamond solitaire is atop a mini tiara for the finger by Chaumet.

Chaumet Le Grand Frisson is all about LOVE. A modern way to wear head ornaments with a colourful result

Chaumet Le Grand Frisson is all about LOVE. A modern way to wear head ornaments with a colourful result

Draped-style for a princess touch with Chaumet Les Liens worn in hair

Draped-style for a princess touch with Chaumet Les Liens worn in hair

For practical princesses, a tiara ring from Chaumet.

For practical princesses, a tiara ring from Chaumet.

You will never forget that you are the queen of someone's heart with this tiara ring from Chaumet.

You will never forget that you are the queen of someone's heart with this tiara ring from Chaumet.

Plenty of pomp and circumstance in this regal jewel that would make a perfect engagement ring.

Plenty of pomp and circumstance in this regal jewel that would make a perfect engagement ring.

A Chaumet tiara for more formal occasions. Simple, clean lines highlight the central diamond that will shine light on the wearer like a halo.

A Chaumet tiara for more formal occasions. Simple, clean lines highlight the central diamond that will shine light on the wearer like a halo.