Arguably, one of the best parts of being a royal is having access to an entire vault of luxurious, bejewelled tiaras. And the only thing more intriguing than their ornate jewels and gems is the rich history behind each diadem.
The tiara continues to be the universal symbol to define a princess or a queen, with each one represented by a very specific backstory.
And while each tiara is saturated in the finest jewels, it’s almost comical to put a price tag on them, after all, headwear in that price range is surely not in most budgets. But that’s what daydreaming is for, right?
From Kate Middleton’s iconic Cartier Halo Tiara to Queen Elizabeth II’s Fringe Tiara, that had an unfortunate accident, the women of the royal family certainly aren’t strangers to an ornate headwear accessory.
And someday in the future, one of these divine pieces will end up on the head of Princess Charlotte, so what better time to acquaint oneself with the most memorable on offer.
Interested? Keep scrolling for the 13 most iconic royal tiara moments of all time.
Kate Middleton in the Cartier Halo Tiara
In her wedding to Prince William in 2015, Kate Middleton made her tiara debut by wearing the Cartier Halo Scroll Tiara. Made in 1936, the Cartier Halo Scroll Tiara was a gift from King George VI to the Queen Mother, who then passed the tiara down to Queen Elizabeth II on her 18th birthday.
Most notably, the piece was worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, during her wedding to Prince William. The delicate diamond piece was styled perfectly with her now-iconic Alexander McQueen gown. The diadem is said to feature “739 brilliants and 149 baton diamonds”.
Queen Elizabeth II in the George IV State Diadem
Made for King George IV for his 1821 coronation, this exquisite piece was also worn by Queen Victoria and Queen Mary, and has stayed in the family since. Worn to her own coronation, Queen Elizabeth II continues to wear the piece while travelling to and from the State Opening of Parliament.
However, its most impressive quality is easily its design. The historic headpiece is made up from a modest 1,333 diamonds and would have cost around $15,229 to make, back in the 1800s.
Meghan Markle in the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau Tiara
According to Kensington Palace, the Diamond Bandeau Tiara was made in 1932, while its centre brooch dates back to 1893. Created for Queen Mary and placed in the Queen’s vault in 1953, the diadem has mainly been worn by Princess Margaret.
Most notably, Meghan Markle opted to wear the Diamond Bandeau as her ‘something borrowed’ for her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018. The art deco diadem stunned alongside Markle’s simple, yet timeless wedding gown created by designer Clare Waight Keller.
Princess Diana in the Lover’s Knot Tiara
With incredible history behind it, the Lover’s Knot Tiara was originally a wedding gift from Queen Elizabeth II and features large, teardrop pearls that dangle from lover’s knots of diamonds.
While the Lover’s Knot is most commonly associated with Princess Diana, the tiara was originally made for Queen Mary in the early 1900s before being passed down to Queen Elizabeth. The tiara is also favoured by Kate Middleton, becoming one of her most worn pieces.
Queen Elizabeth in the Fringe Tiara
Originally made in 1919 for Queen Mary, the Fringe Tiara was made most famous for when Queen Elizabeth II chose to wear it to her wedding to Prince Philip. Following the style of the classic Russian fringe tiara, the diadem is made of 47 diamond bars and gems that were repurposed from a necklace that Queen Victoria gifted to Queen Mary.
According to The Telegraph, the Fringe Tiara reportedly broke in two, a mere two hours before Queen Elizabeth’s wedding. While the monarch’s hairdresser was securing the tiara to the veil, it simply snapped in half. Clearly devastated by the ordeal, the Queen Mother sent the tiara off to royal jeweller, Garrard, under police escort and the piece was restored and returned in time for the nuptials.
Princess Eugenie in the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara
Created by Boucheron in the Russian imperial ‘kokoshnik’ style, the bandeau tiara is decorated with six emeralds on either side of a central emerald. Made for society host Margaret Greville in 1919, the tiara was left to Queen Elizabeth II when she died in 1947. Princess Eugenie chose the piece for her ‘something borrowed’, as it was on loan from her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Princess Diana in the Spencer Family Tiara
One of Princess Diana’s more sentimental pieces, the Spencer Family Tiara came straight from her own family. Diana famously wore the ornate floral piece during her wedding to Prince Charles, where the tiara turned as many heads as her epic wedding gown. The Spencer Family Tiara was also worn by her two sisters on their own wedding days.
A family heirloom, the piece was originally a wedding present to Diana’s grandmother, Viscountess Althorp, from Lady Sarah Spencer in 1919.
Kate Middleton in the Lotus Flower Tiara
Originally made from a necklace gifted to the Queen Mother, the Lotus Flower Tiara is a frequent staple for the royal family events. Often worn by Queen Elizabeth II’s sister Princess Margaret, Kate Middleton has taken to wearing the diadem herself.
Wearing a red Jenny Packham gown, the Duchess of Cambridge’s most iconic moment with the Lotus Flower Tiara, was while attending a state banquet in honour of China’s president, Xi Jinping in October 2015.
Queen Elizabeth II in The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara
Originally a wedding gift to Queen Mary in 1893, the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara got its name because it was gifted by the committee of the same name. Queen Mary passed the tiara down to Queen Elizabeth II as a wedding present in 1947, and it mostly recognisable due to its frequent appearance on bank notes and stamps.
Posing for her command shortly after her coronation, Queen Elizabeth wears the Blue Ribbon and Star of the Garter, along with the famous tiara in her most famous appearance in the piece to date.
Princess Margaret in the Poltimore Tiara
Originally made in the 1870s, the Poltimore Tiara was acquired by the Queen Mother from jeweller Gerrard, for her daughter Princess Margaret to wear on her wedding day.
Breaking expectations, Margaret’s decision to purchase the Poltimore Tiara rather than borrow one from the royal vault was controversial. However, it paid off, since the tiara eventually sold at auction in 2006 for $1,717,137.
Queen Elizabeth II in the Burmese Ruby Tiara
After being gifted almost 100 Burmese rubies for her wedding day, Queen Elizabeth II transformed the gems into a tiara in 1973. Combining the rubies with diamonds from a different, dismantled tiara, the piece is said to protect from illness and evil.
According to its jeweller, Garrard, it was revealed that the iconic tiara includes “rubies gifted to her on her marriage from the people of Burma. The 96 rubies are a symbolic gesture, as rubies in Burmese culture protect from illness and evil, in this case to protect the wearer from the 96 diseases that can afflict humans.”
Camilla Parker-Bowles in the Greville Tiara
Belonging to Dame Margaret Helen Greville, the tiara was originally given to The Queen Mother. Following the Duchess of Cornwall’s marriage to Prince Charles, the piece became a staple in her royal attire, after she has been seen wearing it quite often.
Sarah Ferguson in the York Diamond Tiara
Much like Princess Margaret, the York Diamond Tiara was bought rather than passed down for Sarah Ferguson’s wedding to Prince Andrew. Purchased by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip from Garrard, the tiara remains with Ferguson despite her eventual divorce. She has worn the diadem on multiple occasions, most famously to Elton John’s 2011 White Tie and Tiara Ball.