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Princess Kate’s Glittering Wedding Tiara: Where Is It Now? – Newsweek

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April 29, 2024 will mark the 13th wedding anniversary of Kate Middleton and Prince William. The royal wedding day was one of national celebration in Britain with Kate’s appearance highly analyzed and anticipated in the fashion and mainstream press.

Debates on who would make the most famous wedding dress of the decade were accompanied by what accessories the future princess would wear, including whether she would say “I do” in one of the monarchy’s glittering array of fairytale tiaras.

On the day, royal fans were delighted when Kate stepped out of her car wearing not only a showstopping ivory silk gown with lace panels, designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, but also to see her abbey-length veil held in place by a historic jewel that was closely associated with Queen Elizabeth II.

But what tiara did Kate wear on her wedding day? And where is it now? Here, as the princess celebrates her 13th anniversary, Newsweek has the answers.

Princess Kate photographed on her wedding day wearing the Cartier Halo Tiara, April 29, 2011. The tiara was loaned to her by Queen Elizabeth II.
Princess Kate photographed on her wedding day wearing the Cartier Halo Tiara, April 29, 2011. The tiara was loaned to her by Queen Elizabeth II.
Indigo/Getty Images

What Tiara Did Kate Wear on Her Wedding Day?

On her wedding day, Princess Kate wore what is known as the Cartier Halo Tiara, which had been loaned to her specially for the occasion by Queen Elizabeth II.

The tiara had a particular significance to the queen, despite never being publicly photographed wearing it.

The tiara features over 800 diamonds set in platinum in a waving scroll design, graduating to a central point.

The piece was purchased from the jewelers, Cartier, in 1936 by King George VI as a present for his wife, Queen Elizabeth (later known as the Queen Mother). Elizabeth wore the piece regularly in the early years of her husband’s reign, however in terms of size it was relatively small compared to the others she had at her disposal and wore more regularly.

In 1944, Elizabeth gave the jewel to her eldest daughter as an 18th birthday present. It was therefore the future Queen Elizabeth II’s first tiara.

Cartier Halo Tiara
Queen Elizabeth II’s Cartier Halo Tiara on display at “Cartier: The Exhibition,” National Gallery of Australia, March 2018. The tiara was given to her by her mother as an 18th birthday present.
Queen Elizabeth II’s Cartier Halo Tiara on display at “Cartier: The Exhibition,” National Gallery of Australia, March 2018. The tiara was given to her by her mother as an 18th birthday present.
Cole Bennetts/Getty Image

There are no photos of Elizabeth II wearing the tiara. She married just two years after her 18th birthday and for the occasion received a number of jewels as wedding presents, including the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara with which she is most closely associated.

Five years after her marriage, Elizabeth became queen and then had access to the vast collection of tiaras and diadems associated with the crown.

Who Else Has Worn the Tiara?

Perhaps in light of the number of tiaras she had at her disposal, Queen Elizabeth II loaned the Cartier Halo Tiara to three of her closest female relations, the last of whom was Kate.

Throughout the 1950s, the tiara was worn by the queen’s younger sister, the glamorous Princess Margaret, as one of her first tiaras.

The queen kept up this tradition of the jewel being almost a training-tiara when it came time for her only daughter, Princess Anne, to start attending official state occasions in the late 1960s.

Anne wore the tiara to the State Opening of Parliament in 1967 and continued to wear it until her first marriage to Captain Mark Phillips in 1973.

After Anne’s last appearance in the tiara, it re-entered Queen Elizabeth’s vault and wasn’t seen again until 2011, where it became the training-tiara once again for a future queen, Kate.

Princess Margaret and Princess Anne Tiara
Princess Margaret (L) photographed wearing the Cartier Halo Tiara in Jamaica, 1962. And Princess Anne (R) wearing the tiara in London, 1969. Queen Elizabeth loaned the tiara to her sister and daughter before loaning it…
Princess Margaret (L) photographed wearing the Cartier Halo Tiara in Jamaica, 1962. And Princess Anne (R) wearing the tiara in London, 1969. Queen Elizabeth loaned the tiara to her sister and daughter before loaning it to Kate in 2011.

William Lovelace/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images/WATFORD/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images

Where Is the Tiara Today?

After the royal wedding in April 2011, the Cartier Halo Tiara was put on display at Buckingham Palace in an exhibition also showing Kate’s Alexander McQueen gown.

After 2011, the tiara was not seen again until 2018, where it was loaned by Queen Elizabeth II to “Cartier: The Exhibition” which was staged at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

The tiara was retained by Queen Elizabeth II after the wedding of Kate and Prince William and as such is now believed to have been inherited by King Charles III, following his mother’s death in 2022.

Many of the queen’s pieces of important jewelry have since been worn by Charles’ wife, Queen Camilla, however, the Cartier Halo Tiara has not, so far, been one of them.

Kate has not worn the tiara again since her wedding day. In the subsequent years she has regularly worn the Queen Mary Lover’s Knot Tiara which was frequently worn by Princess Diana and loaned to Kate by the queen.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek‘s royal reporter, based in London. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their family that you would like our experienced royal correspondents to answer? Email [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you.

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Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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