Here Margaret Holder at the DAILY EXPRESS looks at some of the designs that may reappear this summer
As a future member of the Royal Family, Kate Middleton needs a tiara, not just for her wedding, but for state banquets like the one being organised for the Obamas’ visit in late May and for such important events as the State Opening of Parliament.
William’s mother, Lady Diana Spencer, already had use of a family heirloom: the diamond Spencer tiara she wore on her wedding day and frequently afterwards. This now belongs to Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, for the use of Spencer brides and wives and is unlikely to be loaned to Kate, especially as Earl Spencer is marrying again soon.
To signify Diana’s status as Princess of Wales, the Queen also gave her a gem from the royal collection, the Cambridge Lover’s Knot diamond and pearl tiara. This was returned to the Queen after Diana’s death.
For Diana, the Queen handpicked not only the tiara but also wedding gifts including a diamond watch and the fabulous Cambridge Emerald Choker that Diana later sometimes wore as a headband.
In 1989, jeweller Laurence Krashes estimated the known royal jewel collection for Andrew Morton’s book Theirs Is The Kingdom at more than £35million. This did not include Princess Diana’s own collection.
Kate is set to take over many of the fabulous gems worn by Diana. The huge sapphire brooch, an engagement gift from the Queen Mother, that the Princess wore to the White House in 1985 would surely be among the wonderful pieces set aside for William’s and Harry’s wives.
Camilla has worn two of the Queen Mother’s tiaras: the Delhi Durbar tiara, created for Queen Mary for the Delhi Durbar in 1911 to celebrate the coronation of King George V, and the Boucheron tiara, said to contain diamonds given to Edward VII in 1901. Kate could be given one of these or a choice of several other tiaras left by the Queen Mother such as the delicate Strathmore Rose Tiara, given by the Queen Mother’s father on her wedding day in 1923.
Exactly how the Queen decides which jewels are given to royal brides remains a mystery. Her own sister, Princess Margaret, did not have a royal diadem for her wedding. The Poltimore tiara she wore was bought by the Queen on advice from court officials and was sold after Margaret’s death.Neither Sarah Ferguson nor Sophie Rhys-Jones had family tiaras when they married the Queen’s younger sons so she gave them both tiaras for their wedding day and to use for grand occasions afterwards.
However for Sophie, the favourite daughter-in-law who married Prince Edward in 1999, the Queen had a tiara from her collection altered for the new royal bride. Its exact provenance is still unknown but is rumoured to date from Queen Victoria.
The royal collection, which is separate from the state-owned Crown Regalia in the Tower of London, dates back beyond Queen Victoria to the Hanoverians. Some pieces are linked to the Russian Romanov court.
The Queen could give Kate one of the eight tiaras that she has used herself for state occasions but these are closely associated with the monarch in her formal role. However, if the Queen allowed Kate to use one of her own tiaras, such as Queen Mary’s beautiful Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, it would be taken as a visible token of the confidence the Queen has in the young girl marrying her grandson.
As a new bride, Sarah Ferguson reportedly ran around showing off her new jewels to friends, shouting: “Clock the rocks!” Kate is a more mature, steadier girl, happy to wear the engagement ring of the mother-in-law she never knew as it means so much to William.In the fullness of time Kate will have use of one of the world’s greatest historical collections of jewels. The tiara will be just the beginning.
Source : Daily Express