You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

How many tiaras does Queen Elizabeth own – and which ones did Kate Middleton, Princess Diana and other royal wives get to wear?

South China Morning Post logo South China Morning Post 2/7/2020 Gloria Fung gloria.fung@scmp.com
Elizabeth II wearing a hat and smiling at the camera: One of Queen Elizabeth’s favourite headpieces is the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara. Photo: EPA One of Queen Elizabeth’s favourite headpieces is the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara. Photo: EPA

There's no telling exactly how many tiaras are in Queen Elizabeth's jewellery collection. But one thing we do know for sure is that she's got plenty to choose from " so many in fact that she's quite generous when it comes to lending them to members of the royal family.

Here, we take a look at tiaras that get the most playtime outside of the queen's jewellery box, where she got them and who wears them now.

The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

Elizabeth II et al. posing for the camera: The queen in her official portrait wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara. Photo: AFP © Provided by South China Morning Post The queen in her official portrait wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara. Photo: AFP

This is possibly one of the most visible tiaras the Queen owns as it is the one she wears on British pound notes. A group of aristocratic women commissioned Garrard to create this piece for Queen Mary of Teck, the queen's grandmother, in 1893.

a person reading a book: The Queen wears this tiara on British banknotes. Photo: AFP © Provided by South China Morning Post The Queen wears this tiara on British banknotes. Photo: AFP

Who wears it now

The queen seems to have a hard time parting with this tiara; no other royal woman has been seen donning this number since the queen took the throne.

Elizabeth II wearing a hat and smiling at the camera: Queen Elizabeth in Berlin, Germany in June 2015. Photo: EPA © Provided by South China Morning Post Queen Elizabeth in Berlin, Germany in June 2015. Photo: EPA

The Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara

Also from the workshop of the House of Garrard, Queen Mary commissioned this piece in 1931. Pear-shaped pearls in graduating sizes hang from diamond lover's knots. The tiara was on long-term loan to Princess Diana, and later returned to the Queen.

Diana, Princess of Wales, Diana, Princess of Wales posing for the camera: Princess Diana had the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara on long-term loan from the queen. Photo: handout © Provided by South China Morning Post Princess Diana had the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara on long-term loan from the queen. Photo: handout

Who wears it now

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, takes this tiara out regularly, wearing it to official royal events and visits.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge et al. looking at the camera: The Duchess of Cambridge wearing the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara. Photo: Handout © Provided by South China Morning Post The Duchess of Cambridge wearing the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara. Photo: Handout

The Cartier Halo tiara

Cartier created this tiara in 1936 just before the coronation of King George VI. With a much larger, and grander selection of tiaras available to her when her husband took the throne, Princess Margaret, Elizabeth's mother, this piece was overlooked. It was among the gifts presented to Elizabeth on her 18th birthday.

a wooden table: Cartier halo tiara, circa 1936. Photo: handout © Provided by South China Morning Post Cartier halo tiara, circa 1936. Photo: handout

Queen Elizabeth herself was never seen wearing this piece either. Instead, she's lent it to both her sister Princess Margaret and daughter Princess Anne.

Who wears it now

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge et al. smiling for the camera: Kate Middleton wore the Cartier Halo tiara on her wedding day. Photo: EPA © Provided by South China Morning Post Kate Middleton wore the Cartier Halo tiara on her wedding day. Photo: EPA

Kate Middleton wore this tiara on her wedding day and now has it on long-term loan from the queen.

The Queen Mary's Fringe tiara

a person standing in front of Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh posing for a photo: Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, on their wedding day at Westminister Abbey, on November 20, 1947. Photo: handout © Provided by South China Morning Post Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, on their wedding day at Westminister Abbey, on November 20, 1947. Photo: handout

It was the tiara the queen wore on her wedding day to Prince Philip. Queen Mary, the queen's grandmother, was said to have commissioned Garrard to create the tiara out of existing jewellery pieces she owned. The fringe-style tiara was a very popular design that first came to fashion in the imperial courts of the Romanovs. The queen herself owns a similar piece, the Queen Alexandra Kokoshnik tiara.

Who wears it now

a group of people standing in front of a fish: Princess Anne and Captain Marc Philips. Photo: Instagram © Provided by South China Morning Post Princess Anne and Captain Marc Philips. Photo: Instagram

Inspired by her mother the queen, Princess Anne wore this piece on her wedding day when she married Mark Phillips in 1973. But in recent years, the queen's been the main royal sporting this tiara.

The Greville tiara

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother posing for the camera: The Queen Mother with the Greville Tiara. Photo: @royal_family_history/Instagram © Provided by South China Morning Post The Queen Mother with the Greville Tiara. Photo: @royal_family_history/Instagram

This honeycomb tiara by French jeweller Boucheron was one that the queen mother often wore to events. The queen mother received this among other jewellery items from the estate of Dame Margaret Helen Greville when she passed away in 1942. The piece has since been past down to the queen.

a close up of a logo: The Greville tiara from Boucheron. Photo: Boucheron © Provided by South China Morning Post The Greville tiara from Boucheron. Photo: Boucheron

Who wears it now

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall wearing a hat and smiling at the camera: Camilla often wears the Greville tiara. Photo: Getty Images © Provided by South China Morning Post Camilla often wears the Greville tiara. Photo: Getty Images

When Camilla and Charles married in 2005, the queen offered the Greville honeycomb tiara to the Duchess of Cornwall on long-term loan. Camilla has since been seen wearing this piece on heavy rotation.

The Grand Duchess Vladimir tiara

a person posing for the camera: The Grand Duchess Vladimir. Photo: @britishroyaljewels/Instagram © Provided by South China Morning Post The Grand Duchess Vladimir. Photo: @britishroyaljewels/Instagram

Duchess Vladimir married the Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia in 1874 and spent a lifetime collecting exquisite jewels and gems. She was one of the few royals able to bring her jewels out of Russia after the revolution. Among the pieces that managed to escape was the Vladimir tiara. Her jewels eventually ended up with her son Grand Duke Boris who in 1920 was living in London in exile.

To support their living, her displaced family eventually had to sell off her jewellery after her death. That's when the royal family swooped in and bought the tiara. The tiara originally came with 15 pearls hanging from the 15 circles that link from the piece. Queen Mary decided to modify the piece with clasps on the pearls, so that they can be taken off and the tiara can then be worn with emeralds. This modification also means the link design can be worn bare without the suspending gems.

Who wears it now

Elizabeth II sitting at a table with wine glasses: The queen wearing the Grand Duchess Vladimir tiara with emeralds. Photo: Instagram @britishroyaljewels © Provided by South China Morning Post The queen wearing the Grand Duchess Vladimir tiara with emeralds. Photo: Instagram @britishroyaljewels

The queen loves this piece for its versatility. She tends to reach for this tiara with its emerald drops when she wears her emerald suites. And when she wants look that's slightly less dramatic, she wears it with any of the emeralds or pearls.

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

More from South China Morning Post

South China Morning Post
South China Morning Post
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon