I also think it looked great on The Duchess of Cornwall. It always looked a bit odd when worn by The Queen Mother in South Africa. My theory as to why the tiara was altered after the South Africa trip is because The Queen Mother wanted to wear it as a tiara (around the head) as opposed to as a coronet (on top of the head) and it did not look right when worn that way. I imagine that right after the trip she discussed it with Queen Mary and they agreed that in order to wear it around the head it would need to be flared out at the top instead of straight. In order to do this the diameter at the top was increased by removing the top band of diamonds and inserting extra diamonds between the motifs around the tiara. If you look at the opening at the front where Queen Mary sometimes placed Cullinan IV you can see that it is wider now than it used to be. My guess is that the work was done before King George VI died, but The Queen Mother did not get another occasion to wear it before becoming a widow. I think that with the way the piece is worn now it looks much better flared out.
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