BY NAOMI PIKE
From heirloom diadems passed down by her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria to spectacular pieces commissioned by perhaps the royal family’s best known magpie, Mary of Teck, the Queen has amassed a jewellery collection few others could rival – in terms of both carats and fascinating back stories.
Aside from the sparkling brooches she rotates for royal engagements, the Queen typically keeps her prized pieces for the most formal events, like state banquets. When such special occasions do roll around, Her Majesty also allows her family members to dip into her collection, having frequently loaned meaningful pieces to the Duchess of Cambridge, the Countess of Wessex and others. Most recently, her granddaughter, Princess Beatrice, wore Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara for her wedding at Windsor Castle.
Below, see how the dazzling royal tiaras have been worn by the members of the Queen’s family.
It was inevitable that the Princess Royal should look to the family jewellery collection on her 1973 wedding day. Her choice? Queen Mary’s Fringe tiara, which was created from a necklace given to Mary on her wedding day by Queen Victoria. At the time of her wedding, the tiara was officially part of Anne’s grandmother, the Queen Mother’s collection, but now sits with the Queen.
© Hulton Deutsch
Diana, Princess of Wales, famously chose to wear one of her own family heirlooms for her wedding to Prince Charles, but did go on to borrow from her mother-in-law the Queen during her marriage, with the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara a firm favourite. Originally commissioned by her grandmother Mary of Teck, queen consort to George V, in 1913, the pearl and diamond design was passed to Queen Elizabeth when Mary died in 1953.
© Tim Graham
Sarah Ferguson was gifted a new tiara by the Queen on the eve of her wedding to Prince Andrew in July 1986. Not seen in public since 2001, the York tiara features floral scrollwork and a central 5-carat diamond.
© Anwar Hussein
When Sophie Rhys-Jones married Prince Edward at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, in 1999, the bride’s tiara was new – but it was fashioned from antique pieces from the Queen’s collection. Although never confirmed by the Palace, it is thought to feature elements of Queen Victoria’s Regal Circlet. Since her wedding day, the Countess has worn the diadem at international royal weddings and state banquets.
© Pool/Tim Graham Picture Library
Since marrying Prince Charles in 2005, the Duchess of Cornwall has been presented with several opportunities to borrow from her mother-in-law’s jewellery collection. Camilla favours some larger pieces including the Greville tiara. The Queen inherited the piece upon the death of her mother in 2002, and she has never publicly worn it, but has loaned it to the Duchess of Cornwall on several occasions.
© Chris Jackson
Kate Middleton borrowed the Cartier Halo tiara for her wedding to Prince William in 2011. A newer edition to the family vault, the tiara was given by the then Duke of York to the Duchess of York shortly before they become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1936. The Queen then acquired the tiara on her 18th birthday in 1944.
© Max Mumby/Indigo
For her wedding to Mike Tindall at Edinburgh’s Canongate Kirk in July 2011, the Queen’s granddaughter chose a diamond headpiece that hails from her grandfather, Prince Philip’s side of the family. Originally created for the 1903 wedding of Prince Philip’s parents Princess Alice of Battenberg and Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, it’s often referred to as Princess Andrew’s Meander tiara, and was given to the then Princess Elizabeth as a wedding gift in 1947.
© Mike Marsland
To attend the wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and the British-born financier Christopher O’Neill in 2013, Sophie wore a tiara that the Queen has only been photographed wearing once, comprised of diamonds fashioned to form ribbon shapes surrounding five aquamarines.
© Danny Martindale
Meghan Markle’s much-anticipated choice of tiara for her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry was one of the Queen’s lesser-known pieces. Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau tiara — which features a detachable brooch at its centre — was gifted to Mary from the county of Lincoln on the occasion of her 1893 wedding, and was passed to the Queen upon her death in 1953. Her wedding day is the only time the Duchess of Sussex has worn a royal tiara to date.
© JONATHAN BRADY
Following in the footsteps of her late mother-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge has opted to wear the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara for several formal state occasions.
© WPA Pool
When she wed Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel in 2018, Princess Eugenie chose to pair the the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara with her Peter Pilotto gown. The diadem is comprised of a central emerald surrounded by a pavé diamond setting and six further emeralds. Made by Boucheron in 1919, the tiara originally belonged to the socialite and philanthropist Margaret Greville, who bequeathed her entire jewellery collection to the Queen Mother. It was later passed to the Queen.
© Pool/Samir Hussein
Princess Beatrice married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in a low-key ceremony at Royal Lodge, Windsor, with just a few close family members present in light of the coronavirus pandemic. She wore a Normal Hartnell gown borrowed from her grandmother, the Queen, and completed her look with Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara – the same headpiece the Queen wore when she married Prince Philip in 1947. Originally a necklace that was given to Mary by Queen Victoria on her wedding day, it was later converted to a tiara in 1919 by Garrard, and given to the future Queen Mother. She lent it to her daughter on her wedding day, and to her granddaughter, Princess Anne, who wore it on her wedding day in 1973.
Source: Vogue 21-7-2020