A deep dive into all the tiaras Meghan Markle might wear to her wedding

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
From Princess Diana’s wedding tiara to Queen Elizabeth II’s 18th birthday present, which tiara will Meghan Markle wear on her wedding day? [Photo: Getty]

With just a matter of weeks to go until Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s royal wedding, the big day is really starting to shape up.

Kensington Palace has teased the nation by confirming details of the May 19 ceremony on an unpredictable basis (all in the hope of ramping up the excitement no doubt).

But with our self-confessed fascination with everything from Meghan’s rumoured wedding dress designer to the chef behind their unusual choice of cake, we didn’t think there was anything left to speculate over.

Until of course, the nation kick-started a debate around which tiara the former actress will don on the big day.

It is customary for a ‘commoner’ who is marrying into the royal family to wear their first tiara on their wedding day. But unlike the Duchess of Cambridge’s desire to stick to the royal rulebook, Meghan isn’t afraid to break a little protocol so we could expect her to eschew tradition altogether.

From Princess Diana’s family heirloom to Queen Mary’s favourite jewels, these are the tiaras in the running for the big day.

The Spencer Tiara

Will Meghan Markle wear the Spencer Tiara? 2/10 chance

How Meghan Markle will honour Prince Harry’s late mother has been widely speculated about in the run-up to the royal wedding. From her bespoke engagement ring which includes two stones from Princess Diana’s jewellery collection to her wedding bouquet, there are already signs that May 19 will celebrate the late royal’s life.

Princess Diana donned the Spencer Tiara on 29 July 1981 for her wedding to Prince Charles [Photo: Getty]

Therefore, it is not entirely farfetched to speculate that the 36-year-old may borrow Princess Diana’s wedding tiara. The late royal’s brother, Earl Spencer, is now in possession of the family heirloom meaning that it would be a lot easier to get hold of in comparison to the jewels stashed away in the Buckingham Palace vaults.

Donned by Princess Diana on her wedding day back in 1981, the piece – which features diamond ‘tulips’ – holds sentimental value to Harry and would prove to be a grand gesture.

However, the piece has not been worn since Diana’s death in 1997 and as Meghan is marrying into the Windsor family (not the Spencer household), she may not choose the item purely based on this.

The Cambridge Lover’s Knot

Will Meghan Markle will wear the Cambridge Lover’s Knot? 4/10 chance

Delicately crafted back in 1914 for Queen Mary by the House of Garrand, the Cambridge 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 vault.

The Princess of Wales frequently donned the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara. Here, she is pictured wearing the accessory at a royal banquet in Canada in June 1983. [Photo: Getty]

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. Throughout the 1950s, the piece was Her Majesty’s go-to before she later moved on to more modern pieces.

As a wedding gift, the Queen gifted 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.

In December 2016, the Duchess of Cambridge wore the Cambridge Lover’s Knot for the annual Diplomatic Reception [Photo: Getty]

That was until December 2016, when her daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, donned the sparkly number for the annual diplomatic reception and gave the tiara a whole new lease of life. She accessorised the look with a red Jenny Packham dress.

But will Meghan borrow the striking accessory on May 19? Since her engagement was announced, the former actress has seriously fine-tuned her wardrobe swapping Hollywood-approved hemlines for Philip Treacy hats. Therefore, it is hard to imagine Meghan choosing such a statement piece when her newfound royal wardrobe features minimal silhouettes and fuss-free accessories.

Jewellery editor and stylist, Tanya Dukes, emphasised: “Although the Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara would be a sentimental choice, Meghan may decide to make an entrance in a piece that hasn’t been in heavy rotation for quite some time.”

She continued, “One alternative option that’s both spectacular looking and has a notable history is the Strathmore Rose Tiara. It dates from the 19th century and features curving floral garlands and set with rose cut diamonds mounted in silver and gold. The piece once belonged to the Queen Mother and hasn’t been worn in public in ages – possibly since the 1930s. Meghan may be just the woman to revive it.”

The Duchess of Cambridge’s Cartier Tiara

Will Meghan Markle wear the Cartier Tiara? 1/10 chance

On 29 April 2011, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tied the knot at Westminster Abbey. Dressed in a now-famous lace gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Kate Middleton stole the spotlight with a cascading veil and wispy bouquet in tow. But the undeniable talking point had to be her debut tiara.

For many ‘commoners’ wedding into the royal family, their nuptials is the very first time that they are allowed to don a tiara and the 36-year-old’s sparkly moment was from the pages of a fairy tale. It’s also interesting to note that to this day, the Duchess of Cambridge has only worn a total of six tiaras.

It is highly unlikely that Meghan Markle will wear the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding tiara on her big day [Photo: Getty]

The Duchess of Cambridge 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. Eight years later, he gave the tiara to the Queen to mark her 18th birthday. Not bad, eh?

But will Meghan Markle follow in the footsteps of her future sister-in-law and don the tiara on May 19? The chances are incredibly low, as the headpiece is currently on loan to the National Gallery of Australia for Cartier: The Exhibition which runs from May 30 to June 22.

A custom-made tiara

Will Meghan Markle wear a custom-made tiara? 8/10 chance

Though she is not by definition a member of the royal family, there’s no denying Pippa Middleton’s reigning ties (she is the heir to the throne’s auntie after all). And when she married James Mathews in a bespoke gown by Giles Deacon, she opted for a custom-made tiara.

Pippa Middleton opted for a custom-made tiara on her big day [Photo: Getty]

While some believe Meghan may borrow a sparkly piece from the royal vaults, she may in fact decide to kick-start her own tradition by creating a bespoke tiara which she will then be able to pass down the generations.

Prince Harry designed Meghan’s engagement ring using two stones from Princess Diana’s jewellery collection [Photo: Getty]

But who could she turn to? Prince Harry collaborated with jeweller David Thomas of Cleave and Company to create Meghan’s bespoke engagement ring using stones from his late mother’s jewels.

Therefore, the 36-year-old could well ask for a custom-made piece which includes gemstones from Diana’s sparkly collection to don on May 19. Watch this space.

What if Meghan Markle doesn’t even wear a tiara?

Will Meghan Markle forgo the tiara altogether? 5/10 chance

It’s interesting to note that Meghan has not played by the royal rulebook like the Duchess of Cambridge did.

Meghan Markle has grown accustomed to royal headgear but will she don a tiara? [Photo: Getty]

From her penchant for Strathberry bags to that Alexander McQueen suit, it’s possible that the former actress will eschew tradition and instead, not wear a tiara at all. All together now, gasp!

But if she does choose to don one, there’s also room for a little personalisation.

Jewellery editor and stylist, Tanya Dukes, told Yahoo Style UK: “Meghan doesn’t have to borrow from the royal coffers at all. She has a very definite style of her own and may want to blaze her own path with a new tiara. It wouldn’t be an unprecedented move.”

She continued, “When Sarah Ferguson married Harry’s uncle Prince Andrew, she wore a new tiara from Garrard that was given to her by the Queen. It might be the perfect way to strike a balance between tradition and a brand new beginning.”

“If she were to opt for a newly-made tiara, one thing for certain is that it would certainly not be made from factory-made diamonds, which have been introduced to the market lately. Royal collections are all about passing items from generation to generation – something they would never do with these laboratory-grown stones. Instead, the tiara would be made from the highest quality diamonds – most likely sourced from Botswana given the couple’s love for the African country.”

And what better way to accessorise her now-famous messy bun than with a sparkly tiara? We guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

Follow us on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

Read more from Yahoo Style UK:

From royal rebellion to fashion influence: The striking parallels between Princess Diana and Meghan Markle

From afternoon tea to rooftop screenings: The best ways to celebrate the royal wedding

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding: The date, details and latest news