Much has been predicted about which British designer will dress Meghan Markle for her May 19 wedding to Prince Harry, yet there has been little predicted on whether the Suits actress will wear a tiara, a crown, or skip the royal headgear altogether.
Many royal experts predict that Meghan Markle could possibly wear the Spencer Tiara that Princess Diana wore when she married Prince Charles. One reason is that Duchess Kate has never worn the Spencer Tiara before, so many royal experts believe Meghan will wear the crown for her wedding to Prince Harry. Another is that this would make Princess Diana a part of their day.
Meghan wearing this historical piece of Spencer history would be a fitting tribute to Princess Diana and something that would be unique to Meghan. What is the history of this tiara and what other options does Meghan have for her anticipated May wedding?
In a recent episode of the Daily Mirror‘s royal family podcast, Pod Save The Queen, special guests Mirror fashion director Amber Graafland, fashion writer Danielle Stacey discussed with hosts Ann Gripper and royal correspondent Victoria Murphy their hope that Meghan Markle will wear a Victoria Beckham dress for her wedding.
After determining that Prince Harry’s bride will most likely wear something modern and most likely satin, there was a bold consensus that Markle will wear the Spencer Tiara. They contend that this tiara is lighter and more modern than many other tiara’s that the Queen owns and could potentially lend to Meghan.
The Spencer Tiara is a “lighter” tiara, made in the 1930’s, “which is constructed with diamonds shaped into tulips and stars surrounded by attractive scrolls.” It is sparkly and gorgeous.
This was a favorite of Princess Diana’s as it was easy for her to wear. After her divorce from Prince Charles, Diana no longer had access to the Queen’s jewels, so she often wore the Spencer Tiara to events. For important functions, royalty wears hats during the day and tiaras at night.
According to People, the Spencer Tiara has not been worn since Princess Diana died in 1997, although it went on tour with many of Diana’s garments since then. Although Princess Diana’s mother Frances did not wear the Spencer Tiara when she married Diana’s father in 1954, as she wore a tiara from her family’s collection, most Spencer brides have worn the Spencer Tiara.
Diana’s sisters Lady Sarah and Jane, Baroness Fellowes both wore the family tiara at their wedding, as well as the current Earl of Spencer’s first wife, Victoria Lockwood. Prince Harry was a page boy at this particular wedding and may even remember seeing the tiara. Diana’s brother Charles has since married two more times, but neither wife wore the beautiful tiara.
The Spencer Tiara can be traced back to the Tudor period, made up of “other pieces of jewelry.” The central part of the tiara was to Princess Diana’s grandmother, Lady Cynthia Hamilton to commemorate her 1919 marriage to Albert, Viscount Althorp, the future seventh Earl Spencer.
Lady Sarah Isabella Spencer, Albert’s aunt, gave Cynthia the topper of the tiara.
Then the “ends of the tiara are said to have come from a sparkler once belonging to Frances Manby, the last known Viscountess of Montagu.” Because the line died there, there is no provenance on how Sarah wound up with these valuable pieces, yet she also gave them to Diana’s grandmother.
The experts on the podcast also believe that there is always a possibility that Meghan Markle will not wear any sort of headgear, have one specially designed for her, or perhaps the Queen will offer Meghan some tiara choices that she would feel comfortable wearing, as she did when the Duchess of Cambridge married Prince William.
When Kate Middleton and Prince William announced their engagement, Kate was presented with Princess Diana’s iconic sapphire and diamond engagement ring. When the couple married, Kate chose to wear the Cartier Halo Scroll Tiara.
The story goes that Queen Elizabeth gave Catherine three choices of tiaras, and this is the one that she chose. This particular tiara is made with 739 “brilliant-cut” diamonds and 149 baguette diamonds.
The Tatler describes this particular tiara as a “little on the small side.” Yet the history of this particular tiara is rather special. Queen Elizabeth’s father, George VI “commissioned Cartier to make it for his wife three weeks before he acceded to the throne.”
On Queen Elizabeth’s 18th birthday, the Queen mother gave it to her. In addition to Kate Middleton, the Queen has lent this beautiful piece to her sister, Princess Margaret, and daughter, Anne, Princess Royal.
Whatever Meghan Markle chooses to wear, this will go down in royal history, so she will surely choose with a great deal of thought before making a decision before her highly anticipated wedding to Prince Harry.