When it comes to any royal wedding, much of the focus is on the bride’s wedding dress.
However, no royal nuptial is complete without a tiara from the jewellery vaults and Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and Princess Eugenie have been given some of the best headpieces from the Queen’s personal collection for their big days.
But which of their tiaras is estimated at a worth of £10 million?
Deborah Papas, gemologist and jewellery expert from Prestige Pawnbrokers of Channel 4’s Posh Pawn, spoke to The Express and revealed the cost of each royal bride’s tiaras.
Made by Cartier in 1936, the Halo tiara was an anniversary present from King George VI to the Queen Mother. She passed it down to her daughter the Queen on her 18th birthday in 1944.
Deborah said: “The Queen Mother was only ever photographed wearing it once and then she was seen wearing much grander pieces. The Queen has not been seen wearing it much either but has been lending it out to other royals.
“It has been seen worn by her sister, Princess Margaret and her daughter, Princess Anne and was been aired again on Kate’s special day nearly eight years ago.
“It has 149 baguette-cut diamonds as well as an astounding 739 brilliant cut diamonds of varying weights (size), with the largest being at the top in the centre. Most of the diamonds are small in comparison to the piece worn by The Duchess of Sussex but are subtle and beautifully set.
“It is very hard to estimate the value but as a Cartier piece, I would estimate it to be worth approximately £750,000 – £1,250,000.”
The former actress tied the knot with Prince Harry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on May 19, 2018.
Meghan wore a wedding gown designed by Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy, with Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara.
The detachable brooch that sits at the centre dates back to 1893 and was given to Queen Mary from the County of Lincoln as a wedding gift for her 1893 wedding to the Duke of York (later King George V).
Queen Mary later commissioned the diamond bandeau tiara to fit the brooch and it was bequeathed to her granddaughter the Queen, after her death in 1953.
Deborah told The Express: “It is set with a large brilliant cut (possibly old-cut) diamond estimated to be approximately 10 carats or more and surrounded by nine smaller brilliant-cut diamonds (but not so small at an estimated two to three carats each).
“There is a cluster either side also of seven round diamonds and an array of additional round brilliant-cut diamonds all over this 11 jointed art-deco piece.
“It is hard to put a value on this little seen piece but could be worth up to £2 million.”
Princess Eugenie, 28, married her long-term boyfriend Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel on October 12, 2018.
She opted for a low-back gown by Peter Pilotto with the stunning Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara.
It was lent to her by the Queen, as her ‘something borrowed.’ The tiara was made by Boucheron for Mrs Greville in 1919 in the fashionable ‘kokoshnik’ style popularised in the Russian Imperial Court.
The tiara is made of brilliant and rose cut diamonds pavé set in platinum, with six emeralds on either side.
It was bequeathed by Mrs Greville to Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother, in 1942.
When she died in 2002, Her Majesty inherited her mother’s jewellery collection and this headpiece was among the exquisite pieces.
Deborah explained to The Express: “In keeping with the fashion of the time, this tiara was designed in the Russian headdress style, made of finely pierced platinum, which was kept delicately simple, although intricate in detail, to show off the main stone.
“Accompanying the centre emerald are matching old step-cut emeralds, as well as ample pave set brilliant and rose cut diamonds.
“This piece is certainly exquisite; the centre emerald has a wonderfully vivid colour and large size, something which is rare to find these days.
“With such strong historical provenance, from Mrs Greville to the Queen Mother, and now the Queen, an elegant jewel such as this would be estimated to fetch in the region of £5-10 million at auction.”
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