Heritage

Kate's Stunning Lover's Knot Tiara Has a Fascinating Royal History

The sparkling pearl heirloom was a favorite of Princess Diana.
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Duchess Kate stunned at the state dinner welcoming King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain, wearing a plunging blush-colored Marchesa gown and a ruby-and-diamond necklace, on loan from the Queen.


But despite the sparkle around her neck, all eyes were on the Lover's Knot Tiara placed atop her head.

One of Diana's favorite pieces, the crown obviously holds sentimental value for the Duchess of Cambridge, but it also has an amazing royal history. Sometimes referred to as the Cambridge Lover's Knot, the topper is, in fact, a replica of an earlier tiara.

The crown Kate wore, however, was created for Queen Mary in 1914 by the House of Garrand from pearls and diamonds already owned by her family. She modeled after her grandmother Princess Augusta of Hesse's headpiece, the original Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara, which is currently thought to be held in an unknown private collection.

According to the Court Jeweller, when Queen Mary commissioned the piece, she "sacrificed a tiara from her own jewelry collection, the Ladies of England Tiara, to make it." 


Queen Mary wearing the Lover's Knot tiara

After Queen Mary died in 1953, the crown was passed down to her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen wore the tiara several times in the '50s, before moving on to other diadems like the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara, which have since become her favorites.

In 1981, the Queen loaned the Lover's Knot Tiara to Princess Diana as a wedding gift. Diana opted instead to wear the Spencer Tiara, a family heirloom, on her big day, but the Lover's Knot became one of her favorite pieces, despite being so heavy that it hurt her head.


When Diana and Charles divorced, the crown was returned to Queen Elizabeth II—Diana was allowed to keep her jewelry as part of the settlement, but as the tiara was on loan from the Queen, it was given back—and reportedly put into a safe at Buckingham Palace.

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According to People, following Diana's death in 1997, the tiara wasn't seen publicly until 2015, when Duchess Kate wore it at a diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace. 


She has since worn it two other times, including the state dinner in July of 2017.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Caroline Hallemann
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