Princess Catherine Might Wear a Very Nontraditional Look to the Coronation Saturday

The last time she tried to wear this style to a major royal event, it didn't work out.

Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty)

The Princess of Wales might have a different look than we’re expecting at Saturday’s Coronation—at least as far as what she wears atop her head. Speculation has mounted that Kate might not wear a tiara to the ceremony, but we just assumed she’d be wearing nothing in its place. Wrong. The Daily Mail reports today that, in lieu of a tiara moment, she could wear—a floral headpiece?

It seems that Kate wants to eschew a more formal look in favor of going more natural, wearing a crown of flowers instead of a sparkly crown of another sort. The move may disappoint traditionalists, the outlet writes, and “considering that a Coronation is the most important state occasion in a reign, it would be disappointing to do less than at a state banquet, but I guess they want the entire focus on the King and Queen,” says royal author Hugo Vickers, per The Mirror.

That said, “it would be in keeping with the theme her father-in-law has set so far during his reign, with his focus on greenery, nature, and the environment,” The Daily Mail reports. The King has long been a staunch supporter of environmentalism; one need look no further than the Coronation invitation to see its importance to him.

If Kate foregoes a tiara, other women in the royal family may follow suit. Royal expert Sally Bedell Smith tells The Times (and per The Daily Mail) “The sight of the Princess of Wales in a floral crown will set a particular tone, showing the King’s reverence for nature and his passion for flowers. It seems like an especially egalitarian touch as well. As the wife of the future king, she will be setting an example for the other women in the congregation, who might find it awkward to even think of wearing tiaras. One result may be that the crowns and regalia covered with precious jewel may stand out in sharper relief as symbols of the monarchy. They are, after all, held in trust by the monarch for the nation and represent the continuity of the monarchy over 1,000 years.” 

Kate Middleton

(Image credit: Getty)

Now, if you’ll believe it, this notion isn’t too far off from another tiara moment Kate almost abstained from: She very nearly didn’t wear her Cartier Halo Tiara at her wedding in 2011, Marie Claire reported recently. Had Kate had it her way, she would have worn a flower crown at her nuptials to Prince William, just as her mother Carole did when she married Michael Middleton in 1980. Ultimately, though, the tiara moment won out, and Kate’s “something borrowed” became the Cartier Halo Tiara, on loan from Her late Majesty. There were flower crowns at the royal wedding, though not on Kate’s head—her young bridesmaids wore them in their hair, instead.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

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.