Known as the Lotus Flower Tiara, the crown jewel that Palace insiders say was loaned to the Duchess of Cambridge by Queen Elizabeth from her collection dates back to the Queen’s mother in the 1920s.
“It’s a beautiful pearl and diamond piece,” expert Leslie Field, author of The Queen’s Jewels, says about the Egyptian-style tiara, which was also previously owned and worn by the Queen’s late sister, Princess Margaret. “It’s very much in the ’20s style and probably quite lightweight and comfortable to wear.”
The Royal Post says that in Geoffrey C. Munn’s book Tiaras, A History of Splendour, the tiara is “one of the prettiest of Queen Elizabeth’s tiaras … arranged as a band of stylized lotus flowers and overreaching arches, with the graduated pinnacles surmounted by a single pearl … The tiara was given to Queen Elizabeth by Queen Mary.”
Kate, 31, wore a tiara for only the second time since her 2011 wedding to Prince William, dazzling onlookers in the jewels and a white Alexander McQueen dress as she arrived in a chauffeur-driven Bentley to help the Queen entertain diplomats at the annual state reception.
“In the 1920s, it was tradition to wear it low on the forehead, like a horizontal headband,” says Field. “Then fashion changed. When Princess Margaret wore it in the 1960s, she wore it the way Catherine wore it last night on the back of the head.”
The tiara’s history doesn’t stop there – it was handed down by the Queen Mother to her second daughter, Margaret, who lent it to her daughter-in-law Serena Linley to wear on her 1993 wedding day.
More on the Royal Baby:
• Prince George’s Christening: Meet the Players
• Royal Christenings:Through the Years
• The Royal Baby’s Major Milestones
• See How the World Welcomed the Royal Baby
• Will & Kate’s Road to Parenthood