On May 19, 2018, all eyes were on the royal wedding, and in the days following we loved learning the sweet sentiments and traditions behind everything from Meghan’s veil to that spectacular blue Jaguar convertible Prince Harry drove his new bride to the reception in.
We learned that Meghan’s dazzling tiara was lent to her from The Queen, one of the many royal tiaras in her collection. This one, she inherited in 1953 from Queen Mary. There are a plethora of “Royal Rules” that every member of the Royal Family must abide by (including “no playing Monopoly” and “no eating shellfish”), so it should come as no surprise that there are rules behind the wearing of headpieces.
“Anyone can wear a tiara, assuming it’s the right occasion. Crowns, however, connote state power,” states Royal expert Arianne Chernock, an associate professor of history at Boston University.”
The Queen has an entire vault of stunning tiaras which she occasionally loans out to her daughters-in-law. Here are a few of our favorites.
1.) Greville Emerald Kokoshnik
The tiara was lent to Princess Eugenie for her wedding day on October 12, 2018 by her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. The tiara was made for Margaret Greville, a British philanthropist in 1919. Mrs. Greville left the tiara to the Queen’s mother when she died in 1942.
According to the royal family’s website, the tiara was made “in the fashionable ‘kokoshnik’ style that was popularized in the Russian Imperial Court.” Princess Eugenie is also wearing diamond and emerald drop earrings, which is a wedding gift from the groom.
2.) The Lotus Flower (or Papyrus) Tiara
In 2015, Kate Middletown wore the Lotus Flower Tiara, otherwise known as the Papyrus Tiara, for a state dinner at Buckingham Palace to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The tiara, from the Queen’s collection, originated from a diamond and pearl necklace given to the Queen Mother by her husband as a wedding gift in 1923. She later had it turned into a tiara. The Queen Mother later gave it to her daughter, Princess Margaret.
3.) The Cambridge Lovers Knot
4.) The Queen Mary Fringe Tiara
In 1893, Queen Victoria gave Queen Mary a wedding gift: a beautiful diamond necklace. Queen Mary, in turn, had it dismantled and turned into a tiara in 1919 which later became known as The Fringe Mary Tiara.
In the years following, Queen Mary passed the royal tiara on to her daughter-in-law (the late Queen Mother), who later lent it to her daughter (whom we now know as The Queen) and granddaughter, Anne, for their wedding days.
The royal tiara is comprised of 47 diamond bars, divided by smaller diamond spikes, and is comparable to a Russian kokoshnik tiara.
5.) Strathmore Rose Tiara
The Queen Mother wore The Strathmore Rose tiara when she wed King George VI in 1923. A gift from her father, it features curving floral garlands and is set with rose cut diamonds mounted in a mix of silver and gold. A gift from her father, she added her own stylish tough to this tiara by wearing it low on her head.
Many speculated that this is one of the royal tiaras Meghan Markle would wear for her wedding day. “The classical inspiration of some of these jewels were simple garlands of flowers, so brides do tend to favor this design in wreaths made of precious metals and gemstones,” said London jewelry expert Geoffrey Munn.
As we now know, those speculations were wrong, and Meghan instead chose Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara.
6.) The Cartier Halo Scroll Tiara
Kate Middleton’s “something borrowed” for her wedding day was one of the spectacular royal tiaras from The Queens collection. Given to the Queen as a present, she has since lent it to Princess Margaret, Anne, Princess Royal, and, most famously, the Duchess of Cambridge, who wore it on her wedding day. The royal tiara is comprised of 739 brilliant0cut diamonds and 149 baguette diamonds.
In 1936, George VI commissioned Cartier to create a tiara “fit for a Queen” just three weeks before he acceded to the throne. Years later, the Queen Mother gave it to the Queen for her 18th birthday. The Queen has since lent it to Princess Margaret, Anne Princess Royal, and as we mentioned before, Kate Middleton on her wedding day.
7.) The Poltimore Tiara
In 1870s, the tiara was originally made. The Queen Mother gave it to her daughter Princess Margaret (Queen Elizabeth II’s sister) to wear on her wedding day.
After the wedding, Margaret wore the tiara on numerous occasions throughout her life including at least once in the bathtub. The now famous dip in diamonds was photographed by her husband at the couple’s apartment in Kensington Palace around 1962.
The tiara was sold at auction in 2006 for $1,231,200
8.) The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara
Originally a wedding gift to Queen Mary (then a princess) in 1893, the tiara gets its name because it was given by the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland committee for her wedding.
Queen Mary gave it to Queen Elizabeth II as a wedding present in 1947, and it’s extremely recognizable thanks to its frequent appearance on banknotes and stamps.
9.) The Brazilian Parure Tiara
Brazil gifted Queen Elizabeth II a bunch of aquamarine jewelry for her coronation so she commissioned a tiara to match. The Queen added more jewels to the piece.
The Queen has worn the tiara fairly consistently, even though it’s now one of the tallest and most imposing diamonds in her collection.
10.) The Spencer Family Tiara
One of Princess Diana‘s most famous toppers actually belongs to her family, who can trace their aristocratic lineage back to the Tudor period.
Diana wore the piece during her wedding to Prince Charles. Both of her sisters wore the tiara on their wedding day. Finally, Princess Diana’s sister-in-law, Victoria Lockwood, wore it on her wedding day.
11.) The Diamond Bandeau Tiara
Meghan Markle wore the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau on her wedding day. According to Kensington Palace, the diamond bandeau is English and made in 1932, but the center brooch dates back to 1893.
Queen Mary had the diamond bandeau made to accommodate the center brooch. It was placed in the Queen’s vault in 1953 and has also been seen on Princess Margaret, Prince Harry’s late great aunt.
12.) The George IV State Diadem
King George IV had this crown made in 1821 for his coronation. Then Queen Victoria and Queen Mary wore this tiara and it has stayed in the family since.
Queen Elizabeth II wore it to her coronation. She still wears it while traveling to and from the State Opening of Parliament. It has 1,333 diamonds.
13.) The Burmese Ruby Tiara
The queen commissioned this tiara from Garrard in 1973 using gems she already had on hand: 96 rubies. This was wedding present from the people of Burma.
The diamonds taken from the Nizam of Hyderabad Tiara, another wedding present.
14.) The Oriental Circlet
Designed by Prince Albert and made by Garrard for Queen Victoria in 1853, this tiara was originally set with opals.
They were switched to rubies by Queen Alexandra as the tiara began to pass from queen to queen. The Queen Mother frequently wore this tiara. She passed it on to the Queen on her death in 2002. The Queen has only worn it once to date.
15.) The Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara
Russian Grand Duchess Vladimir, aunt of Tsar Nicholas II, owned this tiara. Queen Mary purchased it in 1921 after the Russian revolution.
She then passed it down to her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.
16.) Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik Tiara
King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra were preparing on getting married. The Ladies of Society wanted to get them a gift in 1888, but they weren’t sure. They asked for some guidance on what Queen Alexandra might like. And with her request, this Russian style tiara was born.
It was eventually passed to Queen Elizabeth II, who can be seen wearing it here.
17.) Princess Andrew’s Meander Tiara
The meander tiara that belonged to Prince Philip’s mother. The diamonds are spiked. There are circles supporting a row of large single stones.
Those large stones are likely not diamonds, and are usually said to have been aquamarines.
18.) Prince Anne’s Festoon Tiara
As the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, the tiara was given to Anne in 1973, the same year that she married her first husband, Mark Phillips. But it wasn’t a wedding present.
It was given to the princess by the World-Wide Shipping Group, a Hong Kong firm, after she christened one of their ships.
19.) Iveagh Tiara
Princess Victoria Mary received this diamond tiara. It was a tightly packed design from Lord and Lady Iveagh.
When Mary died in 1953, the tiara was inherited by her daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Gloucester.
20.) The Cubitt Tiara
Since marrying into the British royal family in 2005, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall was able to bring her own tiaras and history into the royal family.
The tiara belonged to Camilla’s grandmother, Sonia Keppel. Sonia’s mother, Alice Keppel, is best known to history as the last mistress of King Edward VII.
21.) Queen Mary’s Honeysuckle Tiara
The original version of the honeysuckle tiara was completed in early 1914. The tiara has been a beautiful piece from the start. The tiara was able to accommodate several different stones.
Originally, it was designed to fit three different pieces.
22.) Cameo Tiara
This tiara is a Swedish royal family heirloom. It’s one of the oldest tiaras still being worn. In the early 1800’s, Napoleon Bonaparte gifted this tiara to Empress Josephine de Beauharnais.
From there, it was handed down through several royal families since then.
23.) Modern Fringe Tiara
Princess Madeleine, didn’t follow her family’s bridal tradition of wearing the Cameo Tiara when she wed Christopher O’Neill in 2013.
Instead, she chose to wear this tiara.
24.) Snowdon Floral Tiara
Princess Margaret was rumored she wore this crow, but she never did. The tiara did not exist when Margaret owned it.
Lord Snowdon’s originally gave his wife not a complete tiara, but three separate antique brooches.
25.) Kent Diamond and Pearl Fringe
Taylor, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, chose this tiara for her wedding day. Her mother Katharine also wore the gorgeous tiara to her wedding.
Queen Mary made a modified version of a bandeau tiara.
26.) York Diamond Tiara
Sarah, Duchess of York, wore a diamond and platinum tiara for her wedding to Prince Andrew, the Queen’s second son.
Queen and Duke of Edinburgh from Garrard purchased the tiara. It is part of a necklace, earring, and bracelet set given as a wedding gift.
27.) Kent City of London Fringe Tiara
The City of London once provided some sparkling wedding gifts to the British royal brides. Princess Marina received a particularly grand gem, this classic tiara in the classic Russian fringe style.
It features diamonds set in gold and silver and it can’t be worn as a necklace.
28.) Princess Louise of Orléans’ Belle Époque Tiara
It was custom made around 1905 from old-cut, old pear-shaped and rose-cut diamonds set in platinum.
From British connections to other connections, this tiara touched a lot of different titles while descending through Princess Louise’s family.
29.) Kinsky Honeysuckle Tiara
The tiara is made of diamonds set in gold and silver.
It can also be used as a necklace. It still belongs to a Liechtenstein/Kinsky couple.
30.) Harewood Scroll
The tiara is a mix of lines of single diamonds and diamond-set scrolls. It has a large cluster of diamonds as its centerpiece.
Some historians believed that this tiara belong to someone in the Russian royal family.
31.) Dutch Sapphire Tiara
The detachable central large sapphire is a whopping 44 carats. Some of the stones will tremble and sparkle with every movement.
This tiara been a staple for Dutch queens for generations.
32.) Swedish Aquamarine Kokoshnik Tiara
This tiara originally belonged to Margaretha’s grandmother, Margaret of Connaught, who was the first wife of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden. It features five large round aquamarine stones with a gorgeous deep aqua color.
Aquamarines look spectacular as large stones.
33.) Danish Ruby Parure Tiara
It was originally just a set of floral ornaments which were later shaped into a slender wreath tiara.
Queen Ingrid added a floral brooch from the set into the tiara to create the more substantial piece
34.) Wellington Tiara
Kathleen Wellesley, the wife of the 4th Duke, wore the tiara in a couple of portraits.
She’s also shown wearing a magnificent diamond necklace that is still with the family. And the tiara, of course, is also still with the family.
35.) Countess Estelle Bernadotte’s Bridal Crown
The custom of special wedding headpieces for brides to wear is an age-old tradition in Sweden as well as in other cultures.
While Estelle’s bridal crown was specially made for her, others can be borrowed from churches.
36.) Queen Louise’s Diamond Tiara
It belonged to Queen Louise of Sweden.
She wore it across her forehead in the bandeau fashion popular during the 1920s and 1930s, and atop her head later in life.
37.) Braganza Tiara
Originally of French craftsmanship from the 18th century, Empress Amélie of Leuchtenberg had the design altered in 1820 to the form the tiara currently holds. Amélie died in 1873, and her sister Queen Josephine of Sweden inherited the tiara.
It has remained in Sweden ever since.
38.) George VI Victorian Suite Tiara
When Queen Elizabeth II was married in 1947, her father, King George VI, gifted her with the George VI Victorian Suite, a jewelry set consisting of a magnificent necklace and earrings composed of blue sapphires surrounded by diamonds. In 1963, the Queen commissioned a tiara and bracelet to match.
The tiara is reportedly made from a necklace that originally belonged to Princess Louise of Belgium.
39.) Four Button Tiara
The Four Button Tiara includes 4 identical buttons. They are mounted on a simple metal frame, with no additional connecting elements or base detail. The tiara was in use by at least the early 1960s by the four older sisters of King Carl Gustaf.
With so many young princesses, the collection was in need of more suitable tiaras – as opposed to the larger tiaras which are fit for a queen or someone more mature.
40.) Prussian Tiara
Kaiser Wilhelm II gifted this tiara to his daughter, Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia, when she married Prince Ernst August of Hanover in 1913. Victoria Louise sent the tiara home to Greece by giving it to her daughter Princess Frederika.
The star of this tiara is the central tear drop diamond and its surrounding ring.
41.) Ansorena Fleur-de-Lys Tiara
The grandest tiara in the Spanish Royal collection was a wedding gift to Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg by her groom, King Alfonso XIII of Spain, in 1906.
Worn by Spanish Queens at the most important events, the tiara was worn by Queen Letizia for the first time at the Argentine State Banquet in February 2017.
42.) Imperial State Crown
The Imperial State Crown is the main crown of the British monarchy. The Queen wears the Imperial State Crown at the end of the coronation ceremony and for the State Opening of Parliament.
The tiara is set with 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and hundreds of pearls.
43.) Queen Mary’s Emerald Choker
The Queen mother wore the Art Deco Emerald Choker for portraits and events, along with the wider Cambridge Emerald Parure.
The most famous appearance of Queen Mary’s Art Deco Emerald Choker was in 1985, when the Princess of Wales wore the piece as a bandeau for a dance in Melbourne during a Tour of Australia.
44.) Heathcote Tiara
This was first recorded in 1786, in the Heathcote family’s inventory. It’s currently owned by Jane Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby and she lent it to her second cousin, Rose Astor, on her wedding day in 2005.
The stunning tiara has two sprays of mixed flowers around the enormous wild rose in the center are entirely paved with diamonds and can be taken apart, with the two sprays worn as brooches.
45.) Foliate Tiara
A wedding gift from the 6th Duke to his bride in 1845, the glittering tiara can be broken down into 14 brooches and be worn as a necklace.
Most recently, Lady Melissa Percy wore it at her wedding to former husband, Thomas van Straubenzee in 2013.
Do you have a favorite amongst the royal tiaras? Tell us in the comments which you would choose if you could!