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The diamonds worn by Diana, Princess of Wales on her wedding day

Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales

It was the most famous royal wedding of the 20th century and although there was far from a happy ending, it remains one of the major milestones of a modern royal dynasty.

On 29 July 1981, the world watched as Diana married Prince Charles at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. On her wedding day, Diana wore very little jewellery. However, the items she wore had a personal connection and they were all diamond.

Earrings with a special link

Diana borrowed her mother’s diamond earrings. The pear-shaped diamond in each was surrounded by about 50 smaller diamonds. The Princess never wore them in public again. Her mother, Frances did wear them on a number of important occasions including Prince Harry’s christening in 1984 and Diana’s funeral in 1997.

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When Frances died in 2004, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, her eldest daughter, inherited the earrings. For many years, they were part of a travelling Diana exhibition. In 2011, Lady Sarah withdrew them from the display to wear at Prince William’s wedding ball.

The Spencer family tiara

The tiara, over the years, has gone through several changes. While the oldest parts of the tiara still remain, the centre element was a wedding present from Lady Sarah Isabella Spencer to Cynthia, Viscountess Althorp (Diana’s grandmother) when she married in 1919.

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Remounted by Silversmith’s Company at some point, the current appearance dates to about 1935. Both of Diana’s older sisters, Jane and Sarah, wore the piece at their weddings. But it was not worn by their mother, Frances when she married into the Spencer family in 1954.

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The tiara became a favourite of Diana through her royal ife. She frequently wore it over the years as it was lighter and easier to wear than other tiaras. According to her brother, Charles, Earl Spencer the tiara gave Diana a “cracking headache” on her wedding day as she was not used to wearing a tiara for such a long period of time.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.