Why Kitty Spencer Didn’t Wear Her Family Heirloom Tiara on Her Wedding Day

The tiara was made famous by her aunt, Princess Diana, who wore it on her own wedding day in 1981.

Lady Kitty Spencer
(Image credit: Getty)

When Lady Kitty Spencer—niece of Princess Diana and daughter of Diana’s only brother, Earl Charles Spencer—married Michael Lewis in July 2021, she could have opted to wear the Spencer tiara along with her Dolce & Gabbana gown (one of five custom dresses designed by the fashion house for the wedding celebrations, which lasted three days). The Spencer tiara, of course, was popularized when Diana herself wore the stunning piece on her own wedding day to Prince Charles in July 1981.

But Kitty chose to not wear the Spencer tiara on her wedding day because of “painful memories,” The Mirror reports, despite many thinking she would.

“Lady Kitty has always remained very private, and has never discussed the choice to not wear the tiara,” James Constantinou, founder of Prestige Pawnbrokers, tells The Daily Express. “It is thought that wearing the tiara would bring back painful memories for Kitty, remembering her aunt who died in tragic circumstances, and also memories of her own mother’s marriage, which was also not a happy ending.” (It’s also worth noting that the wedding ceremony the tiara was most famously worn at, that of Charles and Diana, did not exactly produce a happy marriage, either.)

Kitty was married in Rome, Italy in a lavish affair, and “it was thought that Lady Kitty Spencer was influenced by a number of things on her wedding day,” Constantinou continues. “She wanted to combine her love of Italy with her English heritage, which involved flower garlands worn in the hair.”

At the time of her wedding, body language expert Judi James characterized Kitty as a confident young woman fully in charge of her big day.

“It’s always good to see a bride fully and firmly in control of her wedding day and determined to make it a statement do from start to end,” James says. “If Kitty hadn’t already earned herself a place in the bridal hall of fame thanks to her two wingmen walking her up the aisle and her five ridiculously wonderful dresses, she must have nailed it with her body language. Changing frocks is fine, but Kitty also seems to have had a mood board when it came to how to wear them.”

Confidence that was present, with or without the family heirloom tiara.

Rachel Burchfield
Contributing Royal Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.