15 Stories Behind the Royal Family Tiaras
Tiaras are jeweled, ornamental crowns traditionally worn by women to represent rank, status, and style. They have been worn by famous noble families throughout history, such as Napoleon and his wife, the Empress Joséphine Bonaparte, the British royal family, and the House of Savoy.
Since the British royals slayed it with their looks at formal events, we at Bright Side thought you’d like to know the stories behind the tiaras they chose to put on their head.
1. The Meander Tiara
The Meander Tiara was a gift to Queen Elizabeth II from her mother-in-law, Prince Philip’s mother, in 1947. Afterward, the silver headpiece was given to Princess Anne in 1972, who passed it to her daughter Zara Philips so that she could wear it beautifully on her wedding day.
2. The Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara
This tiara was originally made for Queen Mary in 1913. It was made of diamonds and a collection of 19 hanging pearls, set in silver and gold. The piece was handed down to Queen Elizabeth, who eventually gave it to her daughter-in-law, Princess Diana as a wedding gift. Now, the Cambridge Lover’s Knot is currently being worn by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
3. The Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara
This tiara is a festoon-and-scroll design, with diamonds and gold, creating fleur-de-lis and scroll patterns, and featured 14 pearls. It was originally a gift for Queen Mary’s wedding by the “the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland committee,” she passed it down to then Princess Elizabeth for her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947. The piece is considered to be among Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite and most-worn tiaras, ever since she started her reign.
4. The Cartier Halo Tiara
The Cartier Halo Tiara was made by Cartier in 1936 on a note from George VI, who wanted to gift something special to his wife to be Queen Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother). The tiara was given to Queen Elizabeth II as her 18th birthday present, who then passed it to Princess Margaret and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. This beautiful piece was worn by Catherine Middleton on her wedding day to Prince William.
5. The Queen Mary Fringe Tiara
Another piece that was gifted to Queen Mary of Teck in 1919, was originally a fringe necklace that was a wedding day gift from Queen Victoria, which she wore in her hair. Queen Mary passed it to her daughter-in-law, Queen Elizabeth, who passed it to her daughter Queen Elizabeth II. It is famous because it was worn by Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Anne on their wedding days.
6. The Lotus Flower Tiara
The lotus flower tiara was first worn by Queen Elizabeth. It was originally a necklace made of diamonds and pearls that she received from her husband George VI as a wedding gift in 1923. The Queen Mother had passed it to Princess Margaret prior to her marriage, who loaned it to her new daughter-in-law, Serena Stanhope for her wedding. Now, the tiara is sometimes worn by Princess Catherine for official receptions or state banquets.
7. The Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara
The Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara is thought to be the Queen’s favorite. It belonged to the rather glamorous Grand Duchess Vladimir, the wife of the Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia. After she died in 1920, the Duchess’s pieces were sold to support her children and Queen Mary of Teck bought this piece. She passed it on to her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.
8. The Burmese Ruby Tiara
The Burmese Ruby Tiara is another lovely piece running in the royal family. It was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973 using rubies which were a wedding present from the people of Burma and diamonds taken from other tiaras.
9. The Delhi Durbar Tiara
The Delhi Durbar Tiara was made in 1911 for Queen Mary of Teck to wear to a ceremonial gathering to mark the succession of King George V as King Emperor. Queen Mary lent the tiara to Queen Elizabeth in 1946 for the 1947 South African Tour, and it remained with her until her death in 2002. In 2005, it was lent by The Queen to The Duchess of Cornwall.
10. The Oriental Circlet
Considered to be one of the most important Victorian tiaras in the Windsor collection, the Oriental Circlet tiara was designed for Queen Victoria in 1853 by her true love Prince Albert. It is made up of “Moghul arches and lotus flowers” in diamonds and rubies. The Queen Mother and Queen Elizabeth II loved this piece and it was one of their favorites, the Queen Mother wore only this tiara in her later years.
11. Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik Tiara
The Queen Alexandra Kokoshnik Tiara was made of eye-watering 488 diamonds. It was presented to Queen Alexandra for her 25th wedding anniversary in 1888 by the Ladies of Society. The tiara was loaned in 1893 to Princess Mary of Teck, the bride of Alexandra’s second son, the Duke of York — later King George V. From Queen Mary to Queen Elizabeth II, the piece is worn by the current queen at banquets and during royal tours.
12. The Spencer Family Tiara
The Spencer Family Tiara has been worn by every Spencer bride on her wedding day. It came straight from the family of Diana Spencer. The piece was one of Princess Diana’s most frequently worn tiaras, and it was the piece she wore during her wedding to Prince Charles. It was also worn by both her sisters on their wedding days, as well as her sister-in-law Victoria Lockwood on her wedding day.
13. The George VI Sapphire Tiara
Another stunning piece of the Windsor collection is the George VI Sapphire Tiara, also called the Victorian Sapphire Tiara. In 1947, Queen Elizabeth II received sapphires — a necklace and earrings (later supplemented by a bracelet and ring) from her father as a wedding gift. The Queen decided to supplement her father’s sapphires with a tiara in 1960 and has been wearing it ever since.
14. The Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara
This tiara was worn by Princess Eugenie on her wedding day. It belonged to Dame Margaret Helen Greville, who gave it to The Queen Mother in 1942. It incorporates rose-cut diamonds in a Kokoshnik-style arc with 6 emeralds. After the Queen Mother’s death, the tiara was passed down to Queen Elizabeth II who then loaned it to Princess Eugenie for her wedding day.
15. The Brazilian Aquamarine Parure Tiara
The President and people of Brazil gifted Queen Elizabeth II a bunch of aquamarine jewelry for her coronation in 1953. She later commissioned a tiara using those jewels. She received more and more aquamarine jewelry, which she wears on occasions or at events, either the whole set or just the tiara.
Which tiara has the most intriguing story? Do you recall seeing royals wearing any of these tiaras? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!