What a royal mess! According to BBC News, a group of jewel thieves has stolen the Portland Tiara during a heist on the Welbeck Estate in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. The magnificent piece was designed for Winifred Anna Dallas-Yorke, Duchess of Portland, to be worn during the 1902 coronation of King Edward VII.

“Security services missed the thieves by 90 seconds and the police arrived on the scene two minutes later,” a spokesperson for the Welbeck Estate explained. To make matters worse, an expert relayed to the outlet that he “fears” the heirloom will “be broken up and the diamonds sold off separately.” How tragic!

As of now, a few promising details are known, but no suspects have been identified by the police. Law enforcement said they believed a silver Audi S5 found burnt out in Cross Lane, Blidworth, was used as the getaway car. The burglars also used power tools to smash the glass casing that the tiara was displayed in.

Of course, we’re sure that you’re dying to know how much this thing is worth. Well, brace yourselves. According to James Lewis from Bamford auctioneers in Derby, the tiara was “designed in a period when money was no object.” With that, he said, “it could be worth millions.” However, because it’s “such a well-known piece, it can’t come up for public sale.”

Winifred Anna Dallas-Yorke
Getty Images

Additionally, Richard Edgcumbe, curator of jewelry at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, said the tiara is regarded as “one of the great historic tiaras of Great Britain.” No matter how much we enjoy watching movies like Ocean’s Eleven, stealing priceless pieces of history — no matter how sparkly — is so not cool. We hope the tiara is located before it’s too late.

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