Meghan Markle And Kate Middleton Can Wear Tiaras, Princesses Beatrice And Eugenie May Not, Here’s Why

The Royal Family is all about ancient and arcane rules.

princesses beatrice and eugenie can't wear tiaras
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The Royal Family is all about ancient and arcane rules.

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie are forbidden from wearing tiaras, even though their cousins by marriage, Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, are allowed to, The Express is reporting.

Yes, it’s 2018, and women in the United Kingdom (and indeed, in most of the developed world) by-and-large have the freedoms that were out of reach even a generation ago. Single, married, or otherwise, women are free to do as they please and shape their own destinies.

But not in the Royal Family. The thousand-year-old institution is, in many ways, an archaic one, and that is especially true when it comes to rules. In particular, rules aimed at women, unmarried women in particular.

That’s why Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, who are members of the Royal Family by blood (their father, Prince Andrew, is the son of Queen Elizabeth), can’t wear tiaras, while their cousins who married into the family, Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, can. Meghan and Kate are married, and Eugenie and Beatrice are not. And Royal Family rules say that only married women can wear tiaras.

Jewelry expert Geoffrey Munn says that the tradition goes back centuries.

“Any woman may wear one, but ancient tradition has it that they must be a bride or already married. The tiara has its roots in classical antiquity and was seen as an emblem of the loss of innocence to the crowning of love. One of the mainstays of European royalty and aristocracy is to do what you have always done and formal dress, jewelry, and tiaras are just a part of this.”

Duchesses Kate and Meghan both wore tiaras on their wedding days, of course, and have since been seen in public wearing them. Duchess Kate wore the Cartier Halo Tiara, which has been in the Royal Family since 1936, while Meghan Markle wore Queen Mary’s Lozenge Bandeau, which also dates back almost a century.

Princess Eugenie and Beatrice, however, have not worn tiaras in public.

For Eugenie, that will all change in October, when she marries businessman Jack Brooksbank at Windsor Castle. According to International Business Times, she is expected to wear the same Garrard & Co tiara that her mother, Sarah Ferguson, wore when she married her father – which was itself a gift from Queen Elizabeth. Or she may break royal protocol, as she’s been known to do, and wear something totally unexpected.

According to a May 2018 People report, the Royal family has an untold number of tiaras in its collection, so there will be plenty for Princess Eugenie to choose from. Or she may already be working with a jeweler to commission her own.