With just hours to go until we discover which, if any, tiara Meghan Markle has chosen to wear for her Royal Wedding, it’s time to get a bit sparkly. There are plenty of diamonds in the vaults for the newest member of the Royal Family to choose from which means endless speculation for the rest of us (you can have a look again at some of the most hotly tipped pieces here). While we wait to find out the latest chapter in this royal story, here’s a look at the tiaras worn by the royal brides of the House of Windsor so far.
The Queen chose a tiara with some very special wedding links when she married Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey on November 20th 1947. The then Princess Elizabeth wore a diamond fringe tiara belonging to her beloved grandmother, Queen Mary, which has a history filled with romance.
For this tiara was made from a diamond necklace given to Mary on her own wedding day in 1893 by Queen Victoria. It became a tiara in 1919 and got another layer of royal and family meaning when Princess Anne chose it for her first wedding in 1973.
A Wonderful One Off
The Queen’s only sister, Princess Margaret, had dropped to fourth in line to the throne just before her wedding to Antony Armstrong-Jones on May 6th 1960, but she had a wedding tiara that was second to none.
Margaret wore the Poltimore tiara, a wall of diamonds set in scroll shapes, which came into her royal jewellery box just before her wedding, possibly as a gift to herself.
The Queen’s Daughters in Law
Three of the Queen’s four daughters in law wore tiaras at their weddings, all with very different histories. Diana, Princess of Wales wore her family’s Spencer tiara for her marriage to Prince Charles on July 29th 1981.
Sarah Ferguson kept her tiara a secret until after she’d signed the register at her marriage to Prince Andrew on July 23rd 1986, walking out of Westminster Abbey in a brand new diadem bought for her by her new parents in law.
Sophie Rhys Jones, who married Prince Edward on June 19th 1999, wore an all diamond tiara that was made from existing pieces in the Queen’s collection. Camilla Parker Bowles chose a golden fascinator instead.
The Queen’s Grandchildren
The first of the Queen’s grandchildren to marry was Peter Phillips and his new wife, Autumn Kelly, borrowed a tiara from her mother in law, Princess Anne. For her wedding, on May 17th 2008, Autumn took loan of a pretty all diamond tiara that had been given to the Princess Royal in 1973.
Zara Phillips packed plenty of family history into her wedding tiara choice. Zara’s pick, a pretty all diamond piece featuring a Greek key design, first belonged to her great grandmother, Alice. Better known as Princess Andrew of Greece, she was mother to the Duke of Edinburgh and had given the tiara to the Queen on her wedding day.
The Duchess of Cambridge chose to wear the Halo tiara that had first belonged to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother for her wedding. This diadem, made by Cartier, was bought in November 1936 by Albert, Duke of York just weeks before he became King George VI. It was eventually given to the Queen who loaned it to both Princess Margaret and Princess Anne before perhaps its most famous appearance to date, on the wedding day of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The latest chapter of tiara history
So what clues can we take from the picks so far? In the current generation, the House of Windsor’s modern brides have tended to go for tiaras with a real link to the family’s past. The Queen’s children’s marriages involved tiaras that were very specific to each bride. Princess Margaret went for real statement jewels while the Queen mixed romance and the past with a pick to remember.
You’ve got just hours to keep on guessing Meghan’s tiara choice – Royal Central will have all the details on her diadem when it’s revealed at Saturday’s Royal Wedding.