One of the most jaw-dropping things about the royal family is just how many luxurious, bejeweled tiaras these people have access to. You could lose yourself for hours in the origin stories and facts about these glittering pieces—like, did you know that Kate's wedding tiara had 739 brilliants and 149 baton diamonds? (If you don't remember what her wedding tiara looked like, here's a close-up image). The only thing more fascinating than these jeweled pieces are the stories behind them. After all, tiaras are the symbol for princesses and queens, and every one has its own unique original story.
So the time has come to stop everything and acquaint yourself with the British Royal Family's veritable army of tiaras: A group of jewels that are so precious you can't put a price tag on them, and so old they were around before the days of photography. One day, these tiaras will end up on the head of Princess Charlotte and anyone else who marries into the royal family. Lucky ducks. Check out some of history's greatest and most brilliant tiaras, ahead.
Meghan Markle wore the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau on her wedding day. According to Kensington Palace, the diamond bandeau is English and made in 1932, but the centre brooch dates back to 1893. The diamond bandeau was literally made for Queen Mary to accommodate the centre brooch. It was placed in the Queen's vault in 1953 and has also been seen on Princess Margaret, Harry's late great aunt.
The queen was given almost 100 Burmese rubies for her wedding day, and had them made into a tiara in 1973. She combined the rubies with diamonds made from a different dismantled tiara. #TooManyTiaras
Princess Eugenie decided not to follow in her mother's footsteps and wore an emerald Greville tiara straight from the Queen's vault. It was made by Boucheron in 1921 and the center emerald is reportedly 93.70 carats. According to The Telegraph, it was part of a jewelry collection left to the Queen Mother by Margaret Greville, "a prominent member of society who was a close friend of Queen Mary." The Queen inherited the tiara in 2002.
This tiara was made by Cartier in 1936, and given to the Queen Mother by her husband before their wedding. The Queen Mother gifted Queen Elizabeth II the tiara on her 18th birthday, and its since been worn by Princess Margaret (left) and Kate Middleton—who famously wore it during her wedding to Prince William. The tiara is said to feature "739 brilliants and 149 baton diamonds."
Most commonly associated with Princess Diana, the tiara was made for Queen Mary in the early 1900s before being passed to Queen Elizabeth. She gave it to Princess Diana as a wedding gift, and it's also been seen on Kate Middleton.
What's special about this tiara is that it was purchased, instead of passed down, for Sarah Ferguson to wear on her wedding day to Prince Andrew by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip from Garrard. Though Sarah and Prince Andrew eventually divorced, Sarah still retains the tiara and has worn it on a few occasions like to Elton John's 2001 White Tie and Tiara Ball.
Originally a wedding gift to Queen Mary (then a princess) in 1893, the tiara gets its name because it was given by the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland committee for her wedding. Queen Mary gave it to Queen Elizabeth II as a wedding present in 1947, and it's extremely recognizable thanks to its frequent appearance on banknotes and stamps.
The Strathmore Rose Tiara, sometimes called Queen Elizabeth's Strathmore Tiara, was given to the Queen Mother by her father before her marriage to King George VI. It was purchased in the 1920s but made in the late nineteenth century. The flowers in this tiara, which is worn low on the head, can be removed and worn as brooches or swapped out for five collet-set sapphires. The owner of this precious tiara is the current queen.
This crown was made for King George IV for his 1821 coronation, was worn by Queen Victoria and Queen Mary, and has stayed in the family since. Queen Elizabeth II wore it to her coronation, and still wears it while traveling to and from the State Opening of Parliament. FYI, it has a modest 1,333 diamonds and cost just £8,216 to make. But again, this was the 1800s.
The Aquamarine Pineflower tiara can be traced back to Princess Anne's grandparents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The king had commissioned Cartier to make the tiara for his wife as an anniversary present in the 1940s. In 1973, Elizabeth then gave the tiara to her granddaughter, Princess Anne, as a wedding gift. Princess Anne has it to this day. Here, she's pictured wearing the tiara while on her way to a state banquet at Buckingham Palace on July 12, 2017.
This delicate tiara was designed by Prince Albert for his one true love Queen Victoria. It was a favorite of the Queen Mother's (right), who gave it to her daughter Queen Elizabeth II (left).
Brazil gifted Queen Elizabeth II a bunch of aquamarine jewelry for her coronation (casual)—so she commissioned a tiara to match. The piece is said to have grown in size as the Queen was gifted more jewels, so go ahead and file under: "I have so much aquamarine that it literally won't fit on my crown" problems.
This piece was made in 1919 for Queen Mary, but it's probably most famous for being worn by both Queen Elizabeth and her daughter Princess Anne on their wedding days. Fun fact: it can also be worn as the most epic necklace ever.
This tiara belonged to Russian Grand Duchess Vladimir and was purchased by Queen Mary. She passed it on to her granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II. At this point your mind should be pretty much blown by just how many tiaras she owns.
This stunning piece was a gift from the Ladies of Society on the wedding anniversary of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1888. It was eventually passed to Queen Elizabeth II, who can be seen wearing it here.
Princess Anne was gifted this tiara in 1973 by the World-Wide Shipping Group, a Hong Kong firm, after she christened one of their ships. Here, she was spotted wearing the tiara in 2017 while attending the Lord Mayor's Banquet at the Guildhall during a State visit by the King and Queen of Spain in London.
Kate Middleton has also been seen wearing this tiara, which originally belonged to the Queen Mother, and was made from a necklace her husband gave her. The piece was frequently worn by Queen Elizabeth II's sister Princess Margaret, and was loaned to her daughter-in-law Serena Stanhope on her wedding day.
This tiara belonged to Dame Margaret Helen Greville, who gave it to The Queen Mother. It was loaned to the Duchess of Cornwall following her marriage to Prince Charles, and she wears it quite often.
This tiara was made for Queen Mary in 1911 and has since been altered. It was passed on to Queen Elizabeth II, who's loaned the tiara to the Duchess of Cornwall. As you can tell, it's among the biggest crowns in the family. Like, it's basically the size of a head.
This tiara was originally given to Queen Elizabeth II as a gift from her mother-in-law. Elizabeth then gave it to her daughter Princess Anne, who let her daughter Zara Phillips wear it on her wedding day.
One of Princess Diana's most frequently worn tiaras came straight from her family. Diana wore the piece during her wedding to Prince Charles, but it was also worn by both her sisters on their wedding days (peep Lady Sarah Spencer on the left), as well as by her sister-in-law Victoria Lockwood (right) on her wedding day.
Queen Elizabeth's father gave her sapphire jewels (originally purchased by George VI ) as a wedding gift in 1947, and she had a matching tiara made in the '60s. Because clearly she simply didn't have enough tiaras and needed another, don't question it.
This tiara was originally made for Queen Mary of Teck, around 1913/1914, with an interchangeable center so new jewels can be placed there for variety. Queen Mary then passed this tiara to her daughter-in-law Alice, the Duchess of Gloucester, as a wedding present in 1935, and added a central element to it: a diamond honeysuckle. Fancy! The tiara is currently in Alice's daughter-in-law's hands: Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester (pictured left).
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