As Kate wears Queen Mother's £4M diadem, how much are the royal tiaras worth?
The Princess of Wales switched out her usual go-to Lover’s Knot Tiara, worn as recently as November at the State Banquet, for the Lotus Flower Tiara at the Annual Diplomatic Corps Reception on Tuesday.
Kate, 40, stunned in a long-sleeved, floor-length gown by Jenny Packham, channelling the festive spirit in the deep red, sequin-embellished dress.
The mother of three wore two brooches for the special occasion, including one which featured an enamel portrait of a young Queen Elizabeth II wearing an evening dress surrounded by a diamond frame atop a yellow ribbon.
It shows that the wearer – who normally places it on their left shoulder – has been welcomed into the Royal Family Order, most senior order of knighthood in the British honours system, outranked only by the Victoria Cross and the George Cross.
Thought to have been first introduced by George IV in the 1800s, the honour is bestowed upon female members of the Royal Family by the monarch, as women in the royal court were typically not able to receive the same commemorative medals that men did.
But it was her sparkling diamond tiara that caught the attention of fans. Once owned by the Queen Mother, and favoured by Princess Margaret, the Lotus Flower Tiara is estimated to be worth £4million.
But is it the most expensive royal headpiece there is? From the Queen Mother’s family heirloom to Queen Mary’s (many) favourite jewels, these are the estimated prices of the tiaras in the Royal Family.
The Lotus Flower Tiara
Queen Elizabeth (The Queen Mother) took a page out of her mother-in-law's book when getting the Lotus Flower Tiara created, refashioning a Garrard necklace she had received from her husband, the future King George VI, on their wedding day in 1923 into the headpiece we know today.
The diamond and pearl sparkler takes its name from the lotus flower (or papyrus leaf) elements and was passed down to Princess Margaret to wear in her time, before being given to Kate, and is reportedly worth £4 million.
Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau Tiara
Worn by Meghan Markle on her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018, the Art Deco-style bandeau tiara's 11 diamond sections and floral diamond clusters centre around the County of Lincoln Brooch.
Although the tiara was made in 1932 for Queen Mary by Garrard, the brooch was originally a wedding gift for the Queen and dates back to 1893. It was given to Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, who lent it to Meghan for her wedding day.
The Lover’s Knot Tiara
Delicately crafted back in 1914 for Queen Mary by the House of Garrand, the Lover’s Knot is stooped in royal history. Based on a Gothic Revival tiara first owned by her grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse, the piece boasts an impressive height and features pearls and diamonds from the family’s own vault.
According to the Court Jeweller, when Queen Mary had the extraordinary piece commissioned, she ‘sacrificed a tiara from her own jewellery collection, the Ladies of England Tiara, to make it.’
After Queen Mary died in 1953, the tiara was given to her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II it was her go-to headpiece throughout the Fifties, before later moving on to more modern pieces.
As a wedding gift, the Queen lent Princess Diana the family heirloom to wear on her big day, but in a protocol-breaking move, she instead chose to wear the Spencer Tiara. She did however go on to don the tiara for several royal engagements.
After her divorce from Prince Charles, Diana was asked to return the family heirloom despite being allowed to keep some of her royal jewels. It is thought to have then returned to the Buckingham Palace vaults.
That was until December 2016, when her daughter-in-law, the then Duchess of Cambridge, donned the sparkly number for the first time at that year's annual diplomatic reception, and gave the tiara a whole new lease of life. She accessorised the look with a red Jenny Packham dress.
The Cartier 'Halo' Tiara
On 29 April 2011, William and Kate tied the knot at Westminster Abbey. Dressed in a now-famous lace gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Kate stole the spotlight with a cascading veil and wispy bouquet in tow. But the undeniable talking point had to be her debut tiara.
The Princess of Wales was loaned a Cartier tiara from Queen Elizabeth II ahead of her big day.
Boasting a total of 1,000 diamonds, the sparkly accessory was first chosen by King George VI as a gift for his wife, the Queen Mother. Eight years later, he gave the tiara to the Queen to mark her 18th birthday.
Kate isn't the first royal to wear the Cartier Halo tiara. Originally a gift from King George VI to Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother), the headpiece dates back to 1936, when he asked Cartier to create something for his wife, using 739 brilliant-cut diamonds and 149 baguette diamonds.
It then became a 'beginner' tiara of sorts, due to its slightly smaller frame, and was favoured by Princess Margaret when she was young and later lent to Princess Anne who last wore the piece in public in the 1970s.