The Bold and the Beautiful: Five Stunning Royal Tiaras
The recently concluded Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Britain, marking the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne, included numerous events, and royal engagements and tours across the UK and Commonwealth countries, all of it culminating in a four-day Jubilee bank holiday weekend from June 2 to June 5.
To mark the occasion in a particularly glitzy way, we went over dozens of truly stunning diamond tiaras owned – or worn – by the ladies of the royal family, and chose five of the more interesting and stunning ones.
The Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara
A favorite of Queen Elizabeth II, this beautifully named piece was a wedding present from the ‘Girls of Great Britain and Ireland’ to the Duchess of York, later Queen Mary, in 1893.
Many years later, in November 1947, Queen Mary gave the tiara as a wedding present to her grand-daughter, the then Princess Elizabeth. The closest us commoners will ever come to the tiara is through British and Commonwealth banknotes and coinage, which depict the current queen wearing it.
The Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara
This is Kate’s, Duchess of Cambridge, go-to diamond tiara. Created for Queen Mary in 1914 by the House of Garrard, the tiara was modeled after the original Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara – the headpiece worn by Queen Mary’s grandmother Princess Augusta of Hesse.
Upon Queen Mary’s death in 1953, the piece was passed down to her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II, who wore it a few times, and then reportedly loaned it to Diana for her wedding with Charles. Diana actually wore a different tiara for the occasion, but the Cambridge Lover’s Knot did become one of the princess’ favorites. Upon her divorce from Prince Charles, the tiara was promptly returned to its rightful owner.
Since Diana’s death in 1997, the tiara wasn’t seen publicly until 2015, when Kate wore it to a reception at Buckingham Palace.
The Cartier Halo Tiara
Set with 739-brilliant-cut diamonds and 149 baguette-cut diamonds, the Cartier Halo tiara was lent to Kate by the Queen for her wedding day on April 29. 2011, instantly propelling the piece to an iconic status.
The Cartier Halo tiara was commissioned by King George VI in 1936. His wife, Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother) was only pictured wearing the Cartier Halo tiara once, shortly after having received it and before she became Queen Consort. She then gifted it to her daughter, Elizabeth, now the queen, as an 18th-birthday present in 1944.
Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau Tiara
Meghan Markle was loaned this magnificent piece for her wedding day by the Queen herself. The tiara, which belonged to Queen Mary (who was married to King George V and is Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother) has a brooch as a center stone set with ten diamonds.
The brooch was gifted to Mary of Teck by the County of Lincoln in 1893 when she married then-Prince George, Duke of York. In 1932, the diamond and platinum was created to accommodate the brooch. It is flexible and has eleven sections set with interlaced ovals and pavé diamonds as well as brilliant-cut diamonds. The tiara was bequeathed to Queen Elizabeth in 1953.
The Burmese Ruby Tiara
You won’t see Elizabeth II loaning this beauty to anyone anytime soon, as the Burmese Ruby tiara is one of her favorites. In 1973, the Queen personally commissioned the creation of the tiara, trusting the famous House of Garrard to execute her vision – full usage of the 96 rubies presented to her by the Burmese people as a wedding present to Prince Philip in 1947.
To make the tiara, the Queen chose to dismantle another tiara, the Nizam of Hyderabad, of its diamonds. Gifted to her by the Nizam, an Indian monarch, the Nizam of Hyderabad tiara was “relieved” of its diamonds but its detachable sections were kept and are still worn today as brooches and part of a necklace.