The Cartier Halo Tiara earned its way into the royal history books when it was worn by Miss Catherine Middleton when she married Prince William in 2011.

Commissioned by the Duke of York, Queen Elizabeth II’s father in 1936, from the House of Cartier, the tiara is made from 1000 diamonds and platinum.

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Three narrow bands of brilliant cut diamonds form the base, which is topped by larger solitaires and a series of leaf-like scrolls.

It was given as an anniversary gift to the Duchess of York, who was pictured wearing it once before the abdication crisis which saw her husband become King.

A young Albert, Duke of Youk and Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyons on their wedding day

Photo: Bassano/Royal Collection Object 2941575 (Public Domain) via Wikimedia Commons

After her husband was crowned King George VI, she chose to wear larger crowns.

So began the tiara’s history of being used as a starter piece for young royals.

The tiara was gifted from her parents to Princess Elizabeth, the current Queen, in 1944, as a gift for her 18th  birthday. It is believed to be the first tiara she owned. As Britain was in the midst of war rationing, there were not a lot of glittering royal events for the young princess to attend, and she was not been seen publicly in the tiara.

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The scroll tiara, as it was widely known before 2011, was next seen when Elizabeth loaned it to her sister. She wore it during events to celebrate the coronation of her sister and was seen wearing it on several occasion in her youth, including a tour of South Africa, before graduating to larger tiaras.

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The next royal to don the tiara was The Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne. The young princess was frequently seen wearing the tiara until her wedding, where she too, graduated onto more elaborate pieces. She last wore it, in the early 1970s, where it appears to have been locked away in a vault till 2011.

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When Catherine was given her choice of tiara’s from The Queen’s vault to choose one to wear to her wedding as her ‘something borrowed’, she instantly recognised the scroll design tied in lovely with the scroll and acorn earrings her parents had commissioned for her, to wear on her big day.

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Following her wedding, the Duchess of Cambridge has followed tradition, moving onto larger tiaras. She favours the Lotus Flower Tiara and has also been seen in the Cambridge Lover’s Knot, which was a favourite of her late mother in law, Diana, Princess of Wales.

Following the wedding, royal watchers were given the opportunity to view the tiara when it went on display at Buckingham Palace along with Catherine’s gown and other items from the wedding in the summer of 2011. Royal watchers in France and Australia have also been treated with a viewing thanks to an exhibition held by Cartier which went on display in the countries in 2013 and 2018.

Possibly the next time we see the tiara, it may be on the head of a grown-up Princess Charlotte?



About author

Kylie is a Features Writer at a popular Australian, real life magazine. She is also studying a Bachelor degree majoring in Writing and Publishing.