There are many traditions when it comes to royal brides, for example heirloom royal wedding tiaras, the flower they all have in their wedding bouquet and Princess Diana’s blue ribbon both Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton had sewn into their royal wedding dresses.
Literally every part of the bride’s outfit has a significance behind it (you’ll have noticed Meghan’s stunning tribute of a veil), and that of course, includes the tiara.
For most royal brides, the diamond crown has not only been the perfect finishing touch, but also the traditional ‘something borrowed’, as the jewel is often on loan from the Queen herself.
Here’s a little look at the most dazzling tiaras in recent royal wedding history…
Meghan Markle tiara
There was much speculation that Meghan Markle would wear Princess Diana’s tiara on her wedding day, but in the end she borrowed a beautiful family tiara from The Queen. The elegant diamond bandeau was made in 1932, with the centre brooch dating from 1893. The centre brooch was given as a present to the then Princess Mary in 1893 by the County of Lincoln on her marriage to Prince George, Duke of York, while the bandeau and the brooch were bequeathed by Queen Mary to The Queen in 1953.
Princess Diana tiara
On her wedding day to Prince Charles, Princess Diana’s wedding tiara turned heads just as much as her epic dress. Rather than belonging to the Windsors, it was actually a Spencer family heirloom and one of her favourites. It featured an ornate floral pattern, made of diamonds and silver, and was originally a wedding present to Diana’s grandmother, the Viscountess Althorp, given to her in 1919 by Lady Sarah Spencer.
Kate Middleton tiara
Kate Middleton’s pretty Cartier crown was Queen Elizabeth II’s 18th birthday gift from her own mother, who was given it by her husband King George VI. The platinum tiara features almost 900 diamonds, set with a crowning centrepiece diamond in the middle.
The Queen tiara
The then Princess Elizabeth wed Prince Philip in 1947, and while she had to use her ration tickets to get her wedding dress made, the tiara was easier to source, being part of the Crown jewels already. Known as Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara, it consisted of 47 diamond bars using stones taken from a necklace Queen Mary had been given by Queen Victoria. It belonged to the Queen’s mother, who loaned it to her daughter for her wedding day. The Queen then passed it on to her daughter Anne for her wedding day.
Prince Andrew and Fergie’s daughter wed Jack Brooksbank on 12th October 2018, and wore the most stunning tiara for the occasion. It is said to be the most expensive royal wedding tiara in the collection, estimated at £10m. She borrowed the 93.70 cts cabochon emerald tiara, which was hand made by Boucheron in 1919, from her grandmother the Queen.
On 18th May 2019, Lady Gabriella Windsor wed Thomas Kingston at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. The daughter of the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent (he is the Queen’s first cousin) wore a family heirloom on her big day. Shechose to wear the Kent City of London Fringe tiara, which both her mother, Princess Michael of Kent, and her grandmother, Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, tied the knot in.
Meghan Markle’s wedding day tiara was borrowed from The Queen. The elegant diamond bandeau was made in 1932, with the centre brooch dating from 1893. The centre brooch was given as a present to the then Princess Mary in 1893 by the County of Lincoln on her marriage to Prince George, Duke of York, while the bandeau and the brooch were bequeathed by Queen Mary to The Queen in 1953.
Princess Diana’s tiara belonged to the Spencer family, and featured an ornate floral pattern, made of diamonds and silver. The centre of it was originally a wedding present to Diana’s grandmother, the Viscountess Althorp, given to her in 1919 by Lady Sarah Spencer. Gerrard was asked to create four matching piece to add on in 1937, and the oldest bits are at the ends. The tiara includes diamonds mounted in gold and silver in various floral shapes.
For her 2011 wedding to Prince William, Kate Middleton had the honour of wearing the Queen Mother’s Cartier Halo Tiara. It was made in 1936 and features no less than 739 brilliant-cut diamonds and 149 baguette-cut diamonds. It was originally given to Princess Elizabeth by her parents as an 18th birthday gift in 1944.
Princess Margaret was always one for breaking the rules, and her wedding day in 1960 was no exception. Rather than borrowing a family crown, she opted to wear the Poltimore Tiara, which she bought at an auction the year before. It was created by jeweller Gerrard in the 1870s.
Zara Tindall borrowed her unusual tiara, known as the Meander tiara, from her mother Princess Anne. It features Greek key designs and honeysuckle motifs around a central laurel wreath. It belonged to Princess Alice of Battenburg, who went on to become Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark, Prince Philip’s mother. She gave to to her daughter-in-law Queen Elizabeth as a wedding gift, though she has never worn it in public.
Known as Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara, the Queen’s wedding day tiara consisted of 47 diamond bars using stones taken from a necklace Queen Mary had been given by Queen Victoria. It belonged to the Queen's mother, who loaned it to her daughter for her wedding day.
The Queen gave Sophie a tiara for her wedding to Prince Edward in 1999. It was remodelled by the Crown jeweller for the big day, from four pieces of a crown that once belonged to Queen Victoria. She has worn the tiara on many occasions since then.
Princess Anne wore the same tiara as her mother the Queen on her wedding day. It was known as Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara, a stunning set of 47 diamond barstaken from a necklace Queen Mary had been given by Queen Victoria.
Fergie was another exception to the hand-me-down tiara rule, as her crown was actually a new one, commisioned by the Queen from jeweller Gerrard as a wedding present. It was made entirely of diamonds, with a 5-carat diamond at the centre, surrounded by floral scrollwork. Fergie actually wore a floral crown for the ceremony, swapping it for the tiara after.