16 May 2018

The Top Ten: British Royal Wedding Tiaras

Counting down our top ten British royal wedding tiaras (Chris Jackson/Getty Images, AFP/Getty Images, DYLAN MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

As Saturday approaches, royal watchers' eyes are primed to see which tiara -- if any! -- Meghan Markle may choose to wear with her bridal ensemble. While we speculate over the possibilities, I've compiled my list of the top ten tiaras worn by British royal brides. Please share your own top ten lists in the comments below!




The Duchess of Kent wears Queen Mary's Diamond Bandeau on her wedding day, 8 June 1961 (Photo licensed to The Court Jeweller; DO NOT REPRODUCE)

10. Queen Mary's Diamond Bandeau: This tiara, which passed from Queen Mary's collection to the Kents, was a sleek, modern bridal diadem for Katharine Worsley when she married the Duke of Kent in 1961. The tiara was also worn by other Kent family members, including Princess Alexandra; many believe that it was later remodeled and made into the Kent Pearl Fringe Tiara, which was worn as a bridal tiara by Katharine's daughter, Lady Helen.


Zara Tindall wears Princess Andrew's Meander Tiara on her wedding day, 30 July 2011 (DYLAN MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

9. Princess Andrew's Meander Tiara: This sparkling diamond bandeau, which features meander, laurel, and honeysuckle elements, originally belonged to Prince Philip's mother, Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark. Three generations later, it was worn as a bridal tiara by her great-granddaughter, Zara Phillips, in July 2011.


The Duchess of Cambridge wears the Cartier Halo Tiara on her wedding day, 29 April 2011 (BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

8. The Cartier Halo Tiara: This Cartier sparkler, which originally belonged to the Queen Mother, has been worn by several royal women, including Princess Margaret (who wore it for the 1953 coronation) and Princess Anne. But it wasn't used as a bridal tiara until 2011, when Catherine Middleton chose it for her wedding to the Duke of Cambridge and made it an iconic royal jewel.


Diana, Princess of Wales wears the Spencer Tiara on her wedding day, 29 July 1981 (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

7. The Spencer Tiara: The most iconic royal wedding jewel of the last century, though, is undoubtedly this diamond floral tiara, which belongs to the Spencer family. It's been worn as a bridal tiara by several family brides, including Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, but it was Lady Diana's appearance in the tiara in July 1981 that made it an instant classic. Its inclusion in the famous Diana: A Celebration traveling exhibition has made it even more beloved to the public, who have had numerous chances to see it in person.


Princess Margaret wears the Poltimore Tiara on her wedding day, 6 May 1960 (Getty Images)

6. The Poltimore Tiara: This elaborate tiara had only been in royal hands for about a year when it had its big royal wedding moment. Princess Margaret, who had acquired the tiara from the Poltimore family in 1959, wore it for her 1960 nuptials to Antony Armstrong-Jones. The tiara became one of Margaret's signature pieces, but after her death, her children were compelled to sell the tiara to help pay estate taxes.


The Countess of Snowdon wears the Lotus Flower Tiara on her wedding day, 8 October 1993 (Photo licensed to The Court Jeweller; DO NOT REPRODUCE)

5. The Lotus Flower Tiara: This diamond and pearl sparkler began life as a necklace, given as a wedding present by the future King George VI to his bride, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. She later had it remodeled, turning it into this delicate, classic tiara. It's been worn by several royal women, including Princess Margaret and the Duchess of Cambridge, but it so far has only graced the head of one family bride: the Hon. Serena Stanhope, who married Viscount Linley (now the Earl of Snowdon) in October 1993.


Lady Sarah Chatto wears the Snowdon Floral Tiara on her wedding day, 14 July 1994 (ADRIAN CLACK/AFP/Getty Images)

4. The Snowdon Floral Tiara: A creative, artistic Windsor bride needs an equally innovative tiara. Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones took a series of floral brooches from her mother's jewelry box and placed them on a tiara frame for her wedding to Daniel Chatto in the summer of 1994. The effect, enhanced with a bit of greenery, made her look like the picture of a gorgeous English rose.


Autumn Phillips wears Princess Anne's Festoon Tiara on her wedding day, 17 May 2008 (SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images)

3. Princess Anne's Festoon Tiara: When Peter Phillips married Canadian-born Autumn Kelly in May 2008, his mother, Princess Anne, generously lent one of her own diamond tiaras to her new daughter-in-law. The lovely festoon tiara was given to Anne in the 1970s as a gift from a shipping company. The loan was a sentimental, welcoming gesture for Autumn, and the tiara was a romantic, lovely accessory to her dress.


Lady Rose Gilman wears the Iveagh Tiara on her wedding day, 19 July 2008 (Photo licensed to The Court Jeweller; DO NOT REPRODUCE)

2. The Iveagh Tiara: What could be better than a floral halo of nineteenth-century diamonds to crown a royal bride? I know: one that belonged to Queen Mary! Lady Rose Windsor, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, wore the kokoshnik-style tiara at her wedding to George Gilman in 2008. It fit beautifully with her classic, sleek bridal aesthetic.


Queen Elizabeth II wears Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara on her wedding day, 20 November 1947 (AFP/Getty Images)

1. Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara: This glittering halo of diamonds has crowned two royal brides: Queen Elizabeth II, who wore it to marry the Duke of Edinburgh in November 1947, and the Princess Royal, who wore it at her first wedding in November 1973. Its frame famously broke just before Elizabeth walked down the aisle, but it was quickly repaired and has become one of the most recognizable, classic royal wedding tiaras of all time.


Which British royal wedding tiaras make your top ten list?