Kate's 'magnificent' and 'alluring' wedding tiara's very close personal ties to the Queen


Kate's 'magnificent' and 'alluring' wedding tiara's very close personal ties to the Queen

The Duchess of Cambridge wore the Cartier Scroll Tiara, also known as the Halo Tiara, on her wedding (Image: GETTY) This article contains affiliate

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Kate Middleton on her wedding day and the Queen

The Duchess of Cambridge wore the Cartier Scroll Tiara, also known as the Halo Tiara, on her wedding (Image: GETTY)

The magnificent Halo Tiara, with scrolls set in diamonds rising from a band of three rows of pave set diamonds, was originally bought by the Queen’s father, when he was the Duke of York, for her mother the Duchess of York, only weeks before Edward VIII abdicated, and well – the rest is history. Except for the tiara that is.

It was given to the then Princess Elizabeth, by her mother the Queen for her 18th birthday in 1944.

It was lent to her granddaughter-in-law for the 2011 Royal Wedding, proving the indisputable fact of the living legacy of jewellery.

Francesca Cartier Brickell’s great-grandfather ran the London branch of Cartier when the tiara was made.

Her book, The Cartiers – about her family’s eponymous firm – has become a global bestseller. She remembers watching Kate Middleton wearing the 1930s tiara with a smile.

Francesca said: “My grandfather would have enjoyed seeing this elegant tiara – a legacy of his father and the pre-war team of brilliant craftsmen in Cartier London – not only continuing to adorn multiple generations of the same family but also considered still so alluring, that it was chosen for one of the most high-profile royal events of the 21st century.”

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Kate on her wedding day wearing the Cartier tiara

Kate Middleton: A jewellery insider explored the important personal ties the tiara has to the Queen (Image: GETTY)

This tiara is far from the only piece of jewellery with a Royal Family history that has been loaned to Catherine – demonstrating her close links to Her Majesty.

Important pieces from the Royal Collection were leant to the Duchess by Her Majesty for the formal state dinner in Jamaica on the royal tour taken earlier this year.

The diamond and emerald earrings, and matching bracelets, which are part of the Queen’s Emerald Parure coordinated spectacularly with the bespoke Jenny Packham dress.

The Emerald Parure is worth more than £550,000, according to expert valuations. It is rumoured to have been a gift from Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates.

As it was a state dinner, Catherine wore her insignia, the Royal Family Order badge and the Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victoria Order both set spectacularly with diamonds and given by the Queen in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

The former features a portrait of the Queen surrounded by diamonds whilst the GCVO is a diamond-encrusted star with a white enamel Maltese cross in the centre, and was created by Queen Victoria in 1896 to thank those who had helped her and the British Empire.

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The Cartier Scroll Tiara – its history and facts

This tiara has always had an incredible royal provenance, being created for a member of the Royal Family who would go on to be incredibly influential.

The piece was created as an anniversary gift for the Queen’s mother from her father George VI. The gift was given while the pair were still Duke and Duchess, before the abdication of the future King’s brother from the throne – a historical event that brought about the Royal Family we know today.

However, the fairly modest (for royalty) piece – often thought of as a good starter tiara – never became a favourite of the Queen Mother’s, and so she gave it to the Queen on her 18th birthday in 1944.

Infographic: Royal wedding tiaras throughout the decades  who wore what?

Royal wedding tiaras throughout the decades who wore what? (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)

Kate Middleton heading into her wedding ceremony with her father Michael

The Cartier tiara was bought by the Queen’s father for her mother when they were Duke and Duchess (Image: GETTY)

Sadly, the Queen didn’t wear the tiara that much either, although she did do on one notable occasion, the eve of her Coronation at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

One theory as to why the Queen was rarely seen wearing the tiara is that Britain was at war at the time it was given to her.

It may not have been seen as appropriate for the 18-year-old princess to wear diamonds as subjects rationed food.

She went on to loan it to her sister Princess Margaret to wear, and later to her daughter Princess Anne.

The piece features 739 brilliant-cut diamonds and 149 baguette diamonds.

One reason it may have been chosen by the Duchess of Cambridge – who is reported to have originally wanted to wear a fresh flower headdress for the ceremony – is that the shape of the scrolls on the tiara matched a pair of earrings created for Kate’s wedding by her family. 

Kate wore the pieces recently to the London premiere of Top Gun 2, aka Maverick, where she was escorted up the red carpet by the iconic Hollywood star Tom Cruise.

Josie analysed the pieces, as the subtle hidden messages inside them alluded to Kate’s family history.

Princess Margaret wearing the Cartier Scroll Tiara

Princess Margaret wearing the Cartier Scroll Tiara (Image: GETTY)

Princess Anne wearing the Cartier Scroll Tiara

Princess Anne wearing the Cartier Scroll Tiara (Image: GETTY)

Catherine wore another big brand on the Duke and Duchess’s recent royal tour of the Caribbean as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

This demi-parure of mother of pearl necklace and earrings is created in the most recognisable design from the French Maison, Van Cleef & Arpels.

Created in 1968, the four-leaf clover of their several Alhambra collections symbolises good luck and has been recreated in diamonds, turquoise, malachite and coral amongst other combinations.

Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, was a huge fan and even the other royal duchess, The Duchess of Cornwall wears various items from the Alhambra collections.