The tiara is different from many others in the Queen's grand collection

By Simon Perry
July 21, 2020 11:29 AM
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Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
Benjamin Wheeler/PA Wire

Princess Beatrice's regal wedding day tiara — on loan from her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth — was chosen for a very specific reason.

Tiara expert Leslie Field says the historic Queen Mary diamond fringe tiara was likely selected to match the vintage Norman Hartnell gown that was also borrowed from the 94-year-old monarch's closet.

“Because of the ornamentation on the Hartnell dress, I think it was decided the tiara had to be all diamonds,” Field, author of the classic The Queen's Jewels, tells PEOPLE. "There are tiaras with diamonds and emeralds, diamonds and sapphires, diamonds and rubies and diamond and pearls. There really wasn’t that much choice of pure diamond tiaras."

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
Benjamin Wheeler/PA Wire

The Queen Mary tiara, which Elizabeth wore on her own wedding day to Prince Philip in 1947 (it was also worn by Princess Anne in 1974), “is quite light and simple," says Field. "It’s not a busy design."

Queen Elizabeth (in the Queen Mary diamond fringe tiara) and Prince Philip on their wedding day in 1947.
Popperfoto/Getty

Beatrice, 31, wed Italian property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, 36, on July 17 in a royal wedding like no other in recent times — with no pre-publicity or fanfare.

For more inside details of Princess Beatrice's wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands on Friday.

The Hartnell dress was reworked and refitted for Beatrice, 31, by couturier Stewart Parvin and the Queen's longtime dresser, Angela Kelly. Close family and friends were sworn to secrecy about the ceremony at the Royal Chapel of All Saint's Church, a short walk from the country home of Beatrice's parents Prince Andrew and Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson.

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“The Queen is devoted to Beatrice, along with her sister Eugenie," adds Field, who says it was "a singular mark of favor" to grant her granddaughter the tiara — and also have one of the Queen's own dresses remade and used.