World — 22 April 2011
A history of Royal Tiaras, each one perfect for a princess

A history of Royal Tiaras, each one perfect for a princess

With just one week to go before the Royal Wedding, speculation over the guests, the wedding dress, cake, and flowers has been much debated. But there has been little consideration about Catherine’s choice of jewellery.

Traditionally, tiaras are given to Royal brides as the ‘something borrowed’, by the reigning Queen. But now the question is, will she wear a tiara or will she break the time-honored tradition?

Since Garrard’s first Royal commission in 1735 the jewellers have designed and created some of the most renowned and historical tiaras in the world. Tiaras, or diadems as they were originally called, are a form of crown; the wearing of such is a symbol of nobility that continues to be marked by the British Royal Family today. But will Catherine wear one, if so, which one?

Garrard has created and designed tiaras for numerous members of the Royal Family. Each tiara has a substantial historical importance and connection to both the Royal Family and Garrard.

In the year 1914, Her Majesty Queen Mary (the late ‘Queen Mother’) commissioned Garrard to create the ‘Cambridge ‘Lover’s Knot’ Tiara’, inspired by one worn by her grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse. H.M Queen Mary left it to her granddaughter Elizabeth and in 1981 H.M The Queen gave it to Lady Diana as a wedding present.

Garrard is also credited with creating the ‘Girls of Great Britain and Ireland’ tiara, which in 1947 H.M Queen Mary gave to her granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth as a wedding present. However The Princess chose to wear another Garrard tiara, the ‘King George III Tiara’, as her ‘something borrowed’ from her mother. As The Princess was getting dressed at Buckingham Palace, the tiara snapped. Luckily the Crown Jeweller was on hand to be rushed to his workroom by a police escort. H.M. The Queen Mother later loaned it to her granddaughter Princess Anne for her marriage to Captain Mark Phillips in 1973.

A century ago Garrard was privileged to create the ‘Delhi Durbar Tiara’ for the new royal consort, H.M. Queen Mary and it is documented that The Queen visited Garrard’s flagship premises on Albemarle Street to try it on, in what is now referred to as the Queen Mary Room.

More recently, in 1986, H.M. Queen Elizabeth II purchased a tiara from Garrard for Sarah Ferguson’s wedding to her son Prince Andrew. The diamond diadem, previous hidden by a garland of flowers, was revealed only after the signing of the register where she officially became H.R.H The Duchess of York. In 1999, for the wedding of Sophie Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward, the Countess wore a tiara from Queen Elizabeth’s personal collection, designed and remodeled by Garrard.

So if Catherine does choose to wear a tiara next week, she has a wealth of significant and elegant Garrard tiaras in the royal collection.

Picture Credit: PRNewswire.

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About Author

David Harvey, Editor

David Harvey left school at 17 and went straight into newspapers as a cadet reporter. (He also a keen photographer and learned both trades.) He worked as a photojournalist in Hong Kong and as a war correspondent in Vietnam during the war. He moved to Australia in the late 1970s and got involved in I.T. during the mid-80s. This website is his latest venture here, combining news-gathering with the power of the internet. See: news-reporter

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