The 10 Most Exquisite and Extravagant Tiaras in European Royal Vaults
Nothing completes an outfit quite like a tiara. It's a style rule rigidly adhered to by many of the world's chicest royals, including Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Spain's Queen Letizia. No special occasion can be attended without a proper measure of bling atop one's head. It's just not done.
When the time comes to wear a tiara, princesses, duchesses, and queens alike head into the royal vaults to survey what their families have accumulated over generations. The royals are good at sharing; pieces pass from mother to daughter or husband to wife, and they often appear on different family members depending on the year. There are many stunning tiaras safely guarded by the ruling families of Europe, but these 10 are certainly among the most exquisite.
Britain: The Halo Tiara
For her 2011 wedding to Prince William, Kate Middleton wore the royal family's famous Cartier Halo tiara. The piece had been a gift from King George to the Queen Mother in 1936, though at that time the couple was known as the Duke and Duchess of York. Owing to its special place in the family history, many British royals have been lucky enough to wear the piece including Princesses Margaret and Anne.
Sweden: The Baden Fringe Tiara
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden had the honor of wearing the Baden Fringe tiara to the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, as well as on a number of other occasions. The Baden Fringe piece has long been in the Swedish royal family; its heritage dates back to the late 19th century. The piece can also be converted into a necklace. Though the piece has been in the royal collection for decades, it has been known as one of Victoria's signature pieces as of late.
Spain: The Floral Tiara
Queen Letizia of Spain has worn the Floral tiara, which is in the royal collection of her mother-in-law, Queen Sofia. The piece has a storied history. The 19th-century King Alfonso XII commissioned the tiara for his future wife. The piece later came into the possession of the Spanish dictator General Franco, who gave the piece back to the Spanish royal family in honor of the 1962 marriage of Queen Sofia and Juan Carlos I.
Britain: The Boucheron Tiara
Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall, has worn the stunning Boucheron tiara a number of times, including while on tour in Sri Lanka with her husband, Prince Charles, in 2013. The piece came to the royal family via a London socialite named Margaret Greville; she left the piece to the Queen Mother. The Queen Mother, who clearly loved her diamonds, reportedly added to the piece's height and overall carat count with modifications over the years. The piece is, owing to its heritage, often referred to as the Greville tiara.
Britain: The Modern Sapphire Tiara
Queen Elizabeth proved that tiaras don't have to just be made of diamonds when she wore the Modern Sapphire tiara in October 2015 for the state dinner for Chinese President Xi Jinping. The stunning diamond and sapphire creation was commissioned by Elizabeth in the 1960s to match the sapphire necklace and earring set she was given by her father, King George VI, after her marriage to Prince Philip.
Britain: The Lotus Tiara
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, wore the Lotus tiara to her first-ever official state dinner in London in October 2015. She also wore the piece to a 2013 white-tie event at Buckingham Palace. The tiara came to Kate via Prince William's great-grandmother, the Queen Mother. It was originally a necklace given to the Queen Mother from King George VI in 1923. He had the necklace remade into a tiara, which was given to Princess Margaret and, later, Queen Elizabeth.
Sweden: The Cameo Tiara
Sweden's Princess Victoria wore her family's Cameo tiara to her 2010 wedding. The piece has been worn by generations of Swedish royals to weddings and special events. The look of the tiara is completely unique; festooned with pearls and set in gold, the piece features nine cameos of varying shapes and sizes. The tiara's history has been traced all the way back to Empress Joséphine, who received the piece from her husband, Napoleon, in the early 19th century.
Spain: The Cartier Loop Tiara
Queen Sofia of Spain is the proud owner of the Cartier Loop tiara. The piece has belonged to the Spanish royal family for over 100 years and features a number of pearls set into a stunning diamond-encrusted frame. Sofia wore the stunning tiara in 2007 when she and her husband welcomed King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia to Madrid, Spain.
Britain: Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara
Queen Elizabeth has had the privilege to wear the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara on many occasions, including during a 2012 state visit to Berlin. The tiara was presented to Queen Mary at the end of the 19th century and has stayed in the British royal family ever since. An organization called Girls of Great Britain and Ireland, appropriately, made the piece for Queen Mary. It consists of two pieces, a band and the crown, each of which can be worn separately.
Britain: The Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara
Princess Diana had many occasions to wear stunning jewels, and she selected the Cambridge Lover's Knot tiara for a 1983 tour of Australia and New Zealand. The piece was originally made for Queen Mary, who in turn gave it to Queen Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth gave the tiara to Diana as a gift in honor of the younger woman's 1981 marriage to Prince Charles.