If tradition holds, the women of the royal family typically wear their first tiara on their wedding day. Princess Charlotte—at just eight years old—is likely well over a decade away from that day, but, People reports, her debut in a tiara may come sooner than other women in the royal family. (We already got a glimpse of what Charlotte will look like in a tiara as she mirrored her mother, the Princess of Wales, in a Jess Collett x Alexander McQueen headpiece featuring silver bullion, crystal, and silver threadwork three-dimensional leaf embroidery at King Charles’ Coronation last May.)
The first time we saw both Kate and Meghan Markle in a tiara was on their respective wedding days; even blood members of the royal family—including Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughters Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, and Zara Tindall—didn’t make their tiara debut until their wedding day. That said, Charlotte “could get to wear a tiara from the royal vault before her walk down the aisle,” People reports.
This isn’t without precedent: Both Her late Majesty’s only daughter, Princess Anne, and the late Queen’s younger sister, Princess Margaret, both wore tiaras before their wedding days. Anne “wore her first tiara as a teenager and continued to step out in the jewels on several white tie occasions (such as state banquets or palace receptions) ahead of her 1973 wedding to Mark Phillips,” People reports. “For example, she wore the Cartier Halo tiara (worn by Kate on her April 2011 wedding day) to the State Opening of Parliament in 1967 and in 1969, Princess Anne accompanied her mother in another statement head-topper—Princess Andrew’s Meander Bandeau—for a state visit to Austria.”
When Anne married for the first time in 1973, she wore Queen Mary’s fringe tiara, which her mother Queen Elizabeth also chose for her 1947 wedding to Prince Philip.
“The reason Princess Anne and Princess Margaret, who died in 2002, were able to wear tiaras to gala events ahead of their wedding is likely because they—unlike the women marrying into the royal family or Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughters—were working members of the royal family,” People writes. “Princess Charlotte—as the granddaughter of King Charles, daughter of heir Prince William, and sister of future monarch Prince George—will likely be a working member of the royal family someday.”
After the death of Queen Elizabeth last September, Europe only has one reigning female monarch at the moment—Queen Margrethe of Denmark—but that will change in the next generation. Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands, and Princess Elisabeth of Belgium are all heirs to the throne, and all three had their tiara debuts before their wedding days at the eighteenth birthday gala for Ingrid Alexandra last summer. At the time, Catharina-Amalia was also 18, and Elisabeth was 20—more precedent set for Charlotte to have her own tiara moment before she ties the knot, whenever that may be.
For her part, her mother heavily favors the Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot tiara, which her late mother-in-law Princess Diana also favored. In addition to the Cartier Halo tiara she wore on her wedding day, the Queen Mary Lover’s Knot tiara is, other than the Lotus Flower tiara, the only tiara Kate has worn in her 12 years as a working member of the royal family. This summer marked the first time Kate has worn a tiara outside of the U.K.—which she wore to the royal wedding of Crown Prince Hussein and Princess Rajwa in Jordan.
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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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