The royal family has plenty of fancy jewels to spare, but that doesn’t make it any less devastating to learn one of their most famous and historical tiaras was recently stolen. As you can imagine, security surrounding these heirlooms is incredibly high, which usually makes it far too difficult for anyone to snag them — and why this news is especially shocking. The sneaky burglars were able to get their hands on the Portland Tiara, shown below. The stunning accessory dates back to 1902 when it was worn by Winifred, Duchess of Portland, at the coronation of King Edward VII.
The Portland Collection Gallery issued the following statement on their official website:
We are deeply saddened about the robbery which took place on Tuesday 20th November 2018 in The Portland Collection gallery. The Welbeck Estate continues to support Nottinghamshire Police with their enquiries and until further notice The Portland Collection will remain closed.
According to a report from BBC News, detectives claim a gang of thieves broke into the collection at night and, despite the alarm sounding, were able to get away with the tiara and a diamond brooch without being caught. The heist apparently lasted about 15 minutes with the guards only missing the speedy robbers by about 90 seconds.
Although the tiara is likely worth millions, it would obviously be difficult for the thieves to sell it without instantly being recognized. Instead, experts fear the thieves will break it apart to get money for the diamonds separately. While the royal family is known for passing down and reusing old jewels — like Harry did for Meghan’s engagement ring — it’s a lot sadder to imagine any of the beautiful tiaras worn by the ladies of the royal family being taken apart by bad guys just looking to make big bucks. Here’s hoping that the local police investigating the theft are able to find the burglars before it’s too late.