We’ve only seen Princess Kate wear tiaras four times. Considering that she’s only worn one topper twice – the Lotus Flower sparkler – it’s safe to say it’s her favorite. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
The Lotus Flower Tiara was created by the late Queen Mother when she was then Duchess of York. The tiara is actually a refashioning of a Garrard necklace she was given by her husband, the future George VI, for their wedding in April 1923. (Perhaps that’s where Princess Mary got the idea.)
The resulting piece – sometimes known as the Papyrus Leaf Tiara – became a favorite during the Queen Mother’s duchess days, although she eventually retired it out of her tiara rotation after her husband became King. Back in the ’20s, the fashionable royal wore the bling low on her forehead like a bandeau, but the tiara can also be worn on top of the head.
The future Queen Mother’s younger daughter, Princess Margaret, received the tiara in 1959, right before she married Antony Armstrong-Jones (the future Earl of Snowdon), and the sparkler soon became associated with the glamorous princess, who wore it often. Next to to the famed Poltimore Tiara (only the most sensational bathtub accessory in world history), it is perhaps one of the few pieces of jewelry that is closely associated with the former Princess Royal.
In 1993, Margaret loaned the tiara to her new daughter-in-law, Serena Stanhope, when she married Margaret’s son, Viscount Linley.
It’s unclear if Margaret actually owned the tiara or if it was simply a loan from her mother. The tiara was not among the pieces (like the Poltimore) that were auctioned off by her heirs following her death in 2002. Tiara trackers thought that it might have been kept by the Linleys but, in December 2013, Princess Kate popped up wearing the sparkler for a reception at Buckingham Palace.
Sure, Kate might have just have borrowed the tiara from the Linleys, but the fact that she wore it again in October 2015 when she attended her first State Banquet at Buckingham Palace suggests that she borrowed it from a jewelry vault a little closer to home – the Queen’s. In fact, the only tiaras we’ve seen Kate wear have all been borrowed from the monarch’s personal collection: the Cartier Halo Scroll Tiara and Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Tiara. This means that it’s highly likely that either the Lotus Flower Tiara was given to Elizabeth following Margaret’s death or returned as part of their loan agreement.
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It’s unknown if Kate has any tiaras of her own, but for now, we’ll have to settle for watching her re-wear items from the Queen’s fabulous collection. And that’s certainly nothing to complain about.