What tiara will Meghan Markle wear tomorrow?
Ahh, tiaras. It's what every girly girl demands once she's turned five. Or watched her first Disney movie. But daddy's princesses aside (convention dictates only married women can wear tiaras), speculation is mounting among jewellery aficionados when it comes to what tiara Meghan Markle will wear on her big day tomorrow. What we know for sure, though, is what she likely will not wear — i.e. the sparklies that have graced the heads and nuptials of previous royals. Take a walk down matrimony memory lane with us as we look back at the tiaras the queen and the princesses have worn for their weddings, and play detective as to what Meghan will crown her head with when she walks down the aisle tomorrow.
There's quite a story behind this one. Just mere hours before Queen E (then princess) took her vows, the fringe tiara she was meant to don snapped when it was being adjusted into her hair. No, it wasn't bad luck; the piece belonged to the Queen Mother and was older than the bride, hence its fragility. However, Lizzie had her heart set on this tiara. Fortunately, there was enough time to spare and a court jeweller on standby who rushed it for repair. One emergency welding later, leaving only a slight noticeable gap between the central fringe and the spike to its right, Queen Elizabeth got married without anymore hiccups.
This tiara was made in the 1870s' and was originally Lady Poltimore's, who was a British noble. It became famous when it was purchased for and worn by Princess Margaret on her wedding day in 1960. It's a convertible piece, breaking down into a necklace and a set of 11 brooches. When Margaret passed in 2002 though, this and other gems had to be sold at auction to cover inheritance taxes so the chances of it making an appearance on Meghan's head are little to none.
Who could forget the image the People's Princess made when she walked down the aisle in her fairytale wedding dress designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel? But behind the glitz and glamour was panic and manic as Di's big day had its fair share of drama. She refused the tiara offered by Queen E, choosing to wear her family tiara instead, accidentally stained her wedding dress with perfume, and then fubbed her vows at the altar (so did Charles actually). So will Meghan pay tribute to Princess Diana and wear the so-called Spencer Tiara? The diadem from the Spencer family crowned an all but happy marriage though, so maybe it would not bode well.
The Cartier Halo Tiara, purchased from Cartier in 1936 as an anniversary gift from King George VI to his wife then re-gifted to the current Queen as a present for her 18th birthday, is definitely out of the question as Kate Middleton paired it with her Alexander McQueen gown when she married Prince William. No one likes a rip-off after all. On that note, it's also unlikely the Cambridge Lover's Knot tiara (which was the wedding tiara from the Queen that Diana declined to wear) will be Meghan's pick as Kate has already worn it twice for state receptions.
With this tradition-bucking American already breaking centuries of royal custom by doing away with a fruitcake and choosing a confection from hip East London shop Violet Bakery, there's really no telling how she'll like her tiara. Will Meghan surprise us with an entirely new creation like the Vertiges diadem by Chaumet, which was designed by the undergraduate jewellery design student at Central St Martin, Scott Armstrong? Or maybe she'll shake up conventions and wear a choker as a headpiece, like Princess Diana did when she wore a sapphire choker on one occasion and an emerald one on another. We do not know. But we know what we will be talking about from tomorrow onwards.
POST-ROYAL WEDDING UPDATE
Surprise surprise, the newly-titled Duchess of Sussex went with a very understated (nearly austere, even) look and equally downplayed her jewellery to match. Her diadem of choice? Queen Mary's filigree tiara, loaned out from Queen Elizabeth's extensive collection. It's a bandeau-style piece, and word is that the centre diamond flower is a brooch fitted onto the tiara. As for the rest of her bridal parure, Cartier was her jeweller of choice. Meghan donned a modest pair of Galanterie de Cartier earrings, complemented by the Reflection de Cartier bracelet. Here's the money shot of said tiara:
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