“The Princess Diaries” sold us the ultimate dream of an average girl becoming a tiara-wearing princess. The moment when Mia Thermopolis was shown the many jewels and crowns that would be at her disposal, we all turned green with envy.
It turns out, the reality is even better than the movies. From diamond-encrusted tiaras to custom-made crowns, these are some of the most beautiful tiaras and crowns worn by real-life Queens and Princesses over the years.
1. The Lover’s Knot – Lady Diana Spencer
The Lover’s Knot tiara is one of the most precious pieces owned by the British Royal Family. Made up of a sequence of diamonds and pearls taken from the “Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara,” the Tiara was created in 1913 for Queen Mary.
It was passed down to Queen Elizabeth after Queen Mary passed away. Elizabeth wore it on several occasions before giving it to Lady Diana Spencer, as a wedding gift. In 1996, after her divorce from Prince Charles, Lady D returned the tiara. Now, Kate Middleton is seen wearing the tiara from time to time.
2. Cartier Halo Tiara – Kate Middleton
One of the most iconic tiaras Kate Middleton has worn was the one she chose for her wedding day to Prince William. The Duchess of Cambridge borrowed the Cartier Halo Tiara from Queen Elizabeth.
The tiara features delicate diamond and platinum piece that seamlessly fitted with her Alexander McQueen gown. It dates back to 1936 and crafted by Cartier for the Queen Mother before being handed down Queen Elizabeth II on her 18th birthday.
3. The Cameo Tiara – Princess Victoria of Sweden
Historians believe the cameo tiara was a gift from Napoleon Bonaparte to Joséphine de Beauharnais. It now belongs to the Swedish royal family. The tiara is one of the most unique designs worn by modern royals. Made in France during the first decade of the nineteenth century, the tiara was inherited by the Bernadottes of Sweden from the Duke of Leuchtenberg. It features a series of cameos with the central cameo depicting a scene from the myth of Cupid and Psyche.
4. The Floral Tiara – Queen Letizia of Spain
The Floral tiara is a piece owned by the Spanish Royal family. Queen Letizia, in particular, loves to wear the stunning tiara and has been doing so from the time she was a Princess. The piece was created in Russia in the 19th century. It was donated by dictator Franco to Queen Sofia as a wedding gift. The diamonds are worked into a large floral pattern. Even more impressive is that the versatile piece has a dual purpose. It can be worn as a tiara or as a necklace.
5. Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik Tiara – Queen Elizabeth
The Queen of England is most often seen wearing the crown or the “Girls of Great Britain and Ireland” Tiara. However, she also occasionally wears the Kokoshnik tiara that hails from Russia.
The tiara is designed in the shape of a Russian folk headdress called the Kokoshnik. The Princess of Wales, the future Queen Alexandra fell in love with her sister, Empress Maria’s hat. In 1888, to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary, the Queen was gifted a crown similar to the headdress by the British aristocratic ladies. It was created by court jewelers Garrard & Co. and consists of 488 diamonds set onto 61 platinum bars. The tiara was inherited by Queen Mary after the death of her mother-in-law and later passed on to Queen Elizabeth.
6. The Sapphire Tiara – Queen Maxima of Netherlands
The stunning tiara was worn by Queen Maxima on her coronation day. It was made up of 242 carats of white South African diamonds and 155 of blue Kashmir sapphires. The cushion-cut middle sapphire can be detached and worn as a brooch.