We had exciting title-related news out of Buckingham Palace last week: Edward and Sophie have officially become the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh! To celebrate, let’s take a look at the tiaras that the newly-minted duchess has worn during her two decades as a member of the royal family.
King Charles III announced on Friday that his youngest brother, the Earl of Wessex and Forfar, has been created Duke of Edinburgh. The announcement confirms a plan that was developed during the lifetime of the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, who wanted their fourth child to follow in his father’s footsteps and take on the Edinburgh title. King Charles made the title decision official on Edward’s 59th birthday.
There is a slight catch: the title is Edward’s for his lifetime, but it will not be inherited by his son, James. Instead, James now takes on his father’s previous title, becoming Earl of Wessex. (Edward keeps his Scottish earldom, Forfar.) Sophie becomes Duchess of Edinburgh, and the couple’s daughter remains Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor. It’s a nifty solution to the problem of royal dukedoms trailing away far from the Crown. (Both Kent and Gloucester are set to be inherited by sons/grandsons in that line.)
The new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh made their first public appearance on Friday in Edinburgh, appropriately. They attended an event at the city chambers to mark a year since the city’s response to the ongoing war in Ukraine. For the day’s engagements, Sophie wore her multicolored earrings and a pendant necklace. But we’re here to talk about something quite a bit more glittery: the four tiaras that Sophie has worn publicly since the couple’s marriage in 1999.
Sophie’s first tiara was her diamond wedding tiara, worn for the couple’s wedding ceremony in Windsor in June 1999. The jewel came from Queen Elizabeth II’s private collection, but the palace stated that it was renovated ahead of the wedding by the crown jeweler at the time, David Thomas. Many have guessed that it was made using elements that were once part of Queen Victoria’s Regal Circlet. Sophie wore it with a suite of black and white pearl jewelry designed for her by her new husband.
Sophie has often worn her wedding tiara for various gala occasions in the years since her wedding. Here, she wears it for the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden in Stockholm in June 2010. She wore the tiara with diamond earrings and a diamond necklace (both of which have an unknown provenance). The wedding took place on Edward and Sophie’s 11th wedding anniversary, and she gave a nod to the occasion by wearing the diamond brooch of interlocking hearts given to her by Edward as a first anniversary present in 2000.
At the time of the couple’s 20th wedding anniversary in 2019, Sophie’s wedding tiara was remodeled. She debuted the new design of the tiara at the American state banquet that June, wearing it with a suite of diamond jewelry borrowed from Queen Elizabeth II.
For years, Edward and Sophie have been the go-to British royal representatives at European royal events, including royal weddings. For the gala held the night before the wedding of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark in May 2004, Sophie wore a low-profile, bandeau-style tiara with diamond floral buttons. The tiara was almost certainly borrowed from a jeweler for the occasion. She paired it with a modern set of diamond and aquamarine (or topaz) jewels from her own collection.
For the enthronement gala in Monaco in November 2005, however, she wore a new tiara from her own collection. The modern, convertible tiara features a sharp diamond scroll setting and a central sea-green aquamarine. The piece can also be removed from its frame and worn as a necklace. The jewel is said to have been made by Collins & Sons.
The convertible aquamarine tiara is perhaps Sophie’s second-most-worn tiara. Here, she wears it for the wedding of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden in June 2015. She paired it with an aquamarine pendant and pavé-set diamond earrings.
In November 2022, Sophie wore the diamond and aquamarine tiara for the first state banquet of King Charles III’s reign. She also wore the earrings from Queen Elizabeth II’s Pear-Shaped Diamond-Drop Suite, as well as the late Queen’s Modern Fringe Necklace.
Sophie has also worn another diamond and aquamarine tiara. This one, which has a diamond ribbon design, was a loan from Queen Elizabeth II. Sophie wore it for the first time at a pre-wedding gala in Luxembourg in October 2012, pairing it with the King Faisal Necklace.
Sophie also wore this one for a Swedish royal wedding: Princess Madeleine and Christopher O’Neill’s nuptials in Stockholm in June 2013. She wore it with a pair of diamond frame earrings, also a loan from the late Queen. Which royal tiaras would you like to see the new Duchess of Edinburgh wear next?
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