Everything about the then Kate Middleton’s April 29, 2011, bridal look has become iconic—including her “something borrowed,” her Cartier Halo tiara, on loan from Her late Majesty. But, according to The Mirror, Kate preferred to wear a flower crown instead (as her mother, Carole Middleton, did at her own wedding in 1980) and almost bypassed wearing a tiara altogether.
Kate eventually agreed to the tiara, and the one she chose has 739 brilliant-cut diamonds and 149 baguette diamonds. It was made in 1936 and purchased by the late Queen’s father, then the Duke of York, for the Queen Mother, then the Duchess of York. It was purchased just three weeks before the Duke of York succeeded his brother, King Edward VIII, after his abdication and became King George VI. The tiara was given to Her late Majesty—then Princess Elizabeth—by her mother on her eighteenth birthday in 1944.
And Kate’s desire to have flower crowns in her wedding still won out—her young bridesmaids wore them in their hair, instead.
“Kate gets the pick of the jewels for big occasions and the [late] Queen is happy to open up her jewelry box,” a source told Grazia before Her late Majesty’s passing last September. “Kate has been clever to befriend Angela Kelly, who is in charge of the Queen’s personal jewelry collection and oversees the loans. Generally, Kate is allowed to borrow whatever she fancies.”
Now, the big question remains—what tiara, if any, will Kate wear to King Charles’ Coronation on May 6?
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Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.
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