We feel transported back in time with this gorgeous, glimmering collection of royal tiaras. Passed down through decades and even centuries, these jaw-dropping pieces are the pride and joy of these royal families.
The Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara
First up on our list: once commissioned by a group known as the “Girls of Great Britain and Ireland,” its namesake tiara was gifted to Queen Mary of Teck. Later, it was passed down to her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II.
As has been done with several royal tiaras, the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland tiara was reconstructed and repurposed in the 1990s. Today, it can be worn as a coronet, headband, or even a necklace - and it is one of Queen Elizabeth II’s most favored and recognizable tiaras!
Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara
What’s the use of a tiara this beautiful if it never gets worn? Thankfully, the royal family has taken that sentiment to heart. Over the decades, the glamorous Lover’s Knot tiara has been sported by Queen Mary, the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (in that order).
This tiara is perhaps most famously associated with Diana, Princess of Wales, who wore it frequently. For almost two decades after her passing, the piece was stored away, until it was worn again by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in 2015. It has been kept with Catherine ever since; how lucky!
The Lotus Flower Tiara
This distinctive tiara is named after its intricate lotus motif and was commissioned in 1923. Rather than being made from scratch, it was constructed from a set of diamond and pearl necklaces - the rose-cut diamonds can still be recognized at the top of the band. It was famously worn by Countess Linley at her wedding in 1993.
It has been loaned to many royal women over the years who have sported it in different ways - Queen Elizabeth wore it on top of her head, whereas her sister Princess Margaret wore it low on the forehead. Today, like the Cambridge Lover’s Knot, it resides in the Duchess of Cambridge’s collection.
The York Diamond Tiara
In the latter part of the century, it was unusual for new tiaras to be commissioned by the royal family. But an exception was made for the York Diamond Tiara, which was crafted brand new by royal jeweler Garrard. It was made especially to welcome Sarah Ferguson into the royal family.
It was first worn in public by Ferguson in 1986, during her public post-wedding ceremony with Prince Andrew, Duke of York. The piece was made not just as a wedding gift to Sarah, but also to symbolize her transition from common life to the life of British royalty.
The Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara
Originally made for the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia, the beautiful and intricate Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara eventually found its way to the British collection. It was once owned by Queen Mary but was passed on to Queen Elizabeth II upon her death.
The tiara is most recognizable due to the looping diamond circles interlinked along the top of its band. It has been renovated several times over the years by Garrard, who built a new frame for it and also altered it to hold Queen Mary’s Cambridge emeralds.
The Burmese Ruby Tiara
In 1973, Queen Elizabeth herself approached Garrard with a new commission. She wanted several of her diamond and ruby necklaces and tiara’s to be reassembled in an entirely new piece. And what she got was the jaw-dropping Burmese Ruby tiara, inspired by Queen Victoria’s famous Oriental Circlet.
The resemblance of its floral design to the Oriental Circlet is no doubt one of the reasons that Queen Elizabeth II loves it so much - it’s even said to her one of her favorites. Unfortunately, we don’t see much of the Burmese Ruby tiara these days, but we’re always keeping our eyes peeled during royal events!
The Gloucester Honeysuckle Tiara
After seeing the Burmese Ruby and the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland tiaras, there’s a noticeable pattern of beautiful tiara’s being made from dismantled royal jewelry. And the Gloucester Honeysuckle tiara is no different. Made for Queen Mary of Teck, the tiara is best known for the interchangeable stone in the center of the piece.
Today it has been loaned to Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester, who tends to wear the tiara with a revolving set of three different stones. The diamond honeysuckle, pink topaz, and an emerald beset by a circle of diamonds all have been passed down through her family. It is the piece the Duchess wears more than any other.
The Delhi Durbar Tiara
The Delhi Durbar is probably one of the most eye-catching and envy-inducing tiara’s in the royal collection, and for good reason. Crafted in the early 20th century, this elaborate piece is inlaid with diamonds cut from the largest diamond found in the world! It was a 3000-carat stone mined in South Africa in 1905.
The tiara was famously worn by the Queen Mother during her South African tour in 1942 and was eventually passed down to Queen Elizabeth II. With its intricate platinum and gold design, the tiara understandably appealed to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and it currently resides in her collection.
The Cartier Indian Tiara
The Cartier Indian tiara is named such due to its biomorphic design, which was influenced by traditional Indian patterns and motifs. Set with sapphire, diamond, and pearl, this gorgeous tiara was first owned by Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Marie Louise.
Today it is kept in the collection of Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester. She has worn it on rare occasions in the past, though we don’t see much of it these days. We don’t blame her - it may be beautiful, but with its solid inlay of three different types of stone, it’s probably a little too heavy to wear out and about.
The Modern Sapphire Tiara
Though the name ‘Modern Sapphire’ perfectly describes this tasteful sapphire tiara, it has gone through several names over the years - most famously, the George VI Sapphire tiara. Originally made for King Leopold II’s daughter, Princess Louise of Belgium, it was later bought by Queen Elizabeth II.
Today it is one of the most notable pieces of jewelry she has acquired during her career as head of state. It is an important part of the royal sapphire collection, including Princess Di’s famous set of sapphires: Her engagement ring, an inherited necklace from the Queen Mother, and a set known as the Saudi Suite.
The George IV State Diadem
One of the most famous and photographed tiaras in the royal collection is the George IV Diadem crown, with its unusual design and body - made of gold, silver, pearl, and diamond. The piece is set with a whopping 1,333 diamonds and a larger 4-carat yellow diamond.
Crafted in 1820, this headpiece has been worn by four reigning monarchs in its time: Queen Victoria, Alexandra, Mary, and Elizabeth II. It is best known for appearing in the Queen’s stamp and coin portraits and is often worn during special occasions as well as the State Opening at Parliament.
The Kent Diamond and Pearl Fringe Tiara
This sleek, sophisticated piece, known as the Kent Diamond and Pearl Fringe tiara, was first owned by Queen Mary of Teck. Back then, it was worn as a simple diamond bandeau and was eventually passed on to Katharine, Duchess of Kent. She wore it most famously at her wedding to the Duke of Kent in 1961.
More than ten years later, the Kents decided to update the tiara, making it a little more contemporary by adding a diamond and pearl fringe to the base frame of the bandeau. Since then, it has been used as the Lady Helen Windsor's bridal crown, the last time it was officially worn in public.
The Cubitt-Shand Tiara
This romantic tiara is currently in Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall’s collection. The Cubitt-Shand tiara (sometimes referred to simply as the Cubitt tiara) was designed after natural forms including flowers and vines, and was crafted with a high center that could still be seen no matter the hairstyle of the wearer.
The tiara was originally owned by Camilla’s grandmother, Sonia Keppel. After her passing, it was inherited by her mother, Rosalind, and then on to Camilla’s sister Laura, who wore it on her wedding day. Since then, it has been kept in the Duchess of Cornwall’s impressive tiara collection.
The Meander Tiara
Quite a departure from more traditional designs, the Meander tiara was first commissioned and owned by Princess Andrew of Greece. Unsurprisingly, it earned its name from its own design, which is based on an ancient traditional Greek pattern known as a meander.
Designed by Cartier with two honeysuckle sections on the sides and a laurel wreath as the centerpiece, the Meander is now owned by the family of Prince Philip - the only piece in the royal collection with that distinction. It is now in the possession of Princess Anne.
The Five Aquamarine Tiara
One of the few aquamarine pieces in the royal collection, the Five Aquamarine tiara (also known as the Canadian Aquamarine) is a rather mysterious piece. To this day, it is unsure where it came from or who commissioned it, and it is believed to be just one piece of a matching set.
It was first seen publicly during Queen Elizabeth II’s tour of Canada in 1970 before it vanished from the public eye for many years. It did not reappear until 2012 when it was worn publicly by Sophie, Countess of Wessex, after the Queen kindly loaned it to her.
The Greville Tiara
Here we have another remarkable tiara crafted from an older disassembled piece. The Greville Tiara was created in 1901 and made of platinum and diamond, later earning the nickname the ‘Boucheron Honeycomb’ due to its diamond-encrusted honeycomb-like structure.
Some 50 years after its creation, jewelry designer Cartier amended the piece with an added marquis stone that would give the uniform piece more variation. Though passed on to Queen Elizabeth II, today, the Greville tiara is on long-term loan to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara
This stately piece was originally commissioned for Russian Queen Consort Alexandra Kokoshnik in the late 19th century. It was funded by ‘The Ladies of Society,’ an aristocratic women’s society who fund-raised to pay for the gorgeous piece crafted by Garrard.
It was made in time for Queen Alexandra’s 1888 wedding anniversary, but today it is a part of Queen Elizabeth II’s tiara collection. The striking tiara is made up of 488 diamonds and can even be worn as a necklace! It was last seen publicly on the Queen’s head at a Mexican state banquet in 2015.
Cartier Halo Tiara
Delicate and simple, the Cartier Halo tiara stole the attention of women around the world when Catherine “Kate” Middleton sported the gorgeous tiara on her televised wedding day in 2011. Also known as the Cartier Scroll, the tiara was designed by Cartier in 1936.
With its understated glamour, it may surprise some readers to know that the tiara is actually set with almost 900 separate diamonds - 739 brilliant-cut and 149 baguettes! It was given as a wedding gift to George VI and his wife Elizabeth, shortly before they became king and queen consort.
Queen Mary's Diamond Bandeau Tiara
Next up we have another piece that took center stage at a royal wedding. The Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau tiara was loaned to Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, for her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018. Amazingly, it had been 65 years since the gorgeous platinum-set piece was worn in public!
The tiara was crafted in 1932 and made of 10 diamonds. Town & Country's Elizabeth Angell described the tiara as "Formed as a flexible band of eleven sections, pierced with interlaced ovals and pavé set with large and small brilliant diamonds and a central detachable brooch of ten brilliant diamonds."
The Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara
Weighing an incredible 93.7 carats, the mesmerizing emerald centerpiece of the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara has no doubt hypnotized a few royals in its time. Besides the main emerald, this tiara is also made up of 6 sparkling emeralds and rose-cut diamonds.
The royal family website states that the tiara "Was made by Boucheron for Mrs. Greville in 1919 in the fashionable 'kokoshnik' style popularized in the Russian Imperial Court." After 80 years hidden away in the family vault, it was placed in Princess Eugenie of York's jewelry collection.
The Kent City of London Fringe Tiara
When Princess Marina was preparing for marriage in 1933 to Prince George, Duke of Kent, she was given this gold and diamond tiara as a wedding gift by the City of London. Years later, it would appear at a second royal wedding, when Princess Beatrice donned the headpiece in July 2020 at the most recent royal wedding.
People magazine has reported that "The Queen saved this grand tiara specifically for Beatrice. It was always reserved for her as they are exceptionally close. [It is] arguably the most sentimental [piece] lent from the Queen yet." Today, the piece has been loaned to Princess Michael of Kent.
The Teck Turquoise Tiara
Pictured below is Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester, sporting this attention-grabbing turquoise set. The Teck Turquoise tiara was commissioned for none other than Queen Mary of Teck. This is the second Gloucester duchess who has worn the tiara, along with a set that includes rings, brooches, earrings, and a necklace.
"The Gloucesters own this piece privately and will presumably pass it on to one of their three children someday," according to The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor. The Teck Turquoise is just one of a collection of six daily tiaras, "an amount that could rival the collections of some entire royal countries."
The Ogilvy Tiara
Another biomorphic piece based on natural patterns, this delicate tiara with its floral motif, is known as the Ogilvy tiara. It was named after its first owner Princess Alexandra of Kent, who also went by the name Lady Ogilvy. It was built using the Princess’ own set of diamond flowers.
The piece was completed in 1963 by Collingwood Jewellers, who set the flowers into a ribbon structure with a removable center that fit three different stones: a pearl, sapphire, and turquoise. All three stones even had matching necklaces that could be worn for a variety of special occasions.
The Brazilian Aquamarine Parure Tiara
The president of Brazil actually presented this amazing aquamarine set to Queen Elizabeth II for her coronation in 1953! The Brazilian government personally commissioned Garrard to make a 3-piece set including a tiara, necklace, and pair of earrings, all set with emerald-cut aquamarine and diamonds.
Writer Leslie Field describes the Brazilian Aquamarine Parure tiara as "Nine large oblong aquamarines each in a diamond scroll setting with an even bigger oblong aquamarine pendant drop." Every piece in the set complements each other perfectly, including the cut, color, and setting.
The Kent Festoon Tiara
An extraordinarily fine and delicate piece of jewelry, the Kent Festoon tiara was commissioned by the Duke of Kent in the early 20th century. He gifted it to his wife, Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, and it has been passed down to the collection of Princess Michael of Kent - where it is still kept today.
With a swirled diamond motif topped with pearls and a simple pearl band, it originally had a headband set with only diamonds. However, in recent decades Princess Michael of Kent chose to replace the diamond band with the new matching pearl set. We think she made a great decision!
Lady Sarah's Floral Tiara
Unlike most of the other entries on this list, Lady Sarah’s Floral tiara isn’t technically part of the royal collection. The base of the piece was three diamond brooches that had been gifted to Princess Margaret at her wedding to Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960.
In 1994 the brooches were taken and reincorporated into a simple diadem base framed with green leaves. The resulting tiara was gifted to Lady Sarah for her wedding to Daniel Chatto that same year, and even the bridesmaids of the wedding had matching hair accessories, making the tiara the central jewelry piece for the ceremony.
The Persian Turquoise Tiara
Made in 1900 by Garrard, this intricate tiara was known by two names: the Persian Turquoise tiara and the “Triumph of Love tiara.” It was owned by Queen Elizabeth, though she later gifted it to Princess Margaret as a 21st birthday present for her daughter. Back then, it was the largest piece in her jewelry collection.
Princess Margaret was very fond of the tiara and was believed to have worn it often as a youngster. On her passing in 2002, it was said to have been inherited by her daughter, Lady Sarah Chatto, who reportedly wears it when she wants to think of her mother.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex's, Wedding Tiara
Though many of the tiaras on this list have rather long names, this next piece has no name at all! The elegant headpiece was worn by Sophie, Countess of Wessex, at her wedding to Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, in 1999. Royal brides are always expected to wear one of two items: an heirloom piece of jewelry or something brand new.
It seems Sophie opted for a mix, as her wedding tiara was believed to be the product of a dismantled and repurposed tiara. Despite its lack of a name, the tiara is a beloved part of the Countess’ collection, and she’s worn it several times since her wedding celebration.
The Iveagh Tiara
Here we have another piece from the glorious collection of Queen Mary of Teck - the Iveagh tiara, gifted to the Queen on her wedding day by Lord and Lady Iveagh. It also included a veil designed to match the pattern and detailing of the tiara. Today, it resides in the Duchess of Gloucester’s collection.
As the The Court Jeweler reported, "In 2008, the tiara adorned the head of another Gloucester woman: Lady Rose Windsor, the daughter of the current Duke and Duchess. She wore it at her wedding to George Gilman, which took place in the Queen's Chapel at St. James's Palace."
The Festoon Tiara
Though many of these pieces are part of a joint royal collection, this next tiara is actually privately owned. In 1973 it was gifted to Princess Anne by the World Wide Shipping Group. It would later be worn by Autumn Phillips, the Princess’ daughter-in-law, on her wedding day.
To this day, it is still owned and worn by Princess Anne. According to The Court Jeweler, she has been sporting this delicate headpiece regularly, particularly at state banquets. The Festoon tiara has a matching necklace and brooch, which she regularly wears in tandem with the piece.
Since the 1870s, this timelessly beautiful tiara has been passed through the royal family. It was originally a commissioned piece by Garrard for Lady Florence of Paltimore. Some years later, it was bought and gifted to Princess Margaret to celebrate her wedding to Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960.
Even before her marriage, Margaret wore the Poltimore tiara often. On the day of her wedding, she wore it with her wedding veil and circlet of diamonds beneath to hold the veil in place. Four years after the Princess’ passing, her tiara was sadly sold at a Christie’s auction.
Princess Alice's Crystal Headdress
This large and elaborate piece isn’t technically a tiara - it’s a headdress! Princess Alice’s Crystal Headdress was used in place of the traditional tiara when Princess Alice married Prince Henry in 1935. She looked fantastic at her wedding, though it was somewhat less celebratory than expected.
Sadly, Alice’s father had passed away just weeks before the wedding ceremony of his 34-year old daughter, as Alice had waited longer than usual before she chose to marry. She had the crystal headdress made just for the ceremony and paired it with a pearl pink gown decorated with orange blossoms.
The Spencer Family Tiara
Next, we have another tiara that isn’t technically part of the royal collection - at least it wasn’t in 1981 when Princess Diana wore the headpiece during her wedding to Prince Charles. The Spencer Family tiara was an heirloom owned by her father, John Spencer, Eighth Earl of Spencer.
The piece had been crafted by Garrard back in the 1930s, and Diana chose it to match her David and Elizabeth Emanuel gown. The tiara was a common piece of jewelry for the Spencer family weddings’ and both of her sisters, Lady Sarah and Jane, also sported the tiara at their own weddings.
Strathmore Rose Tiara
With its very distinctive floral design, the elegant Strathmore Rose tiara is easily recognizable amongst the expansive royal collection. Crafted in the late 19th-century, the tiara would later be worn for Queen Elizabeth’s wedding as well as the Queen Mother at her wedding to King George VI.
It was originally a gift for Mary of Teck from her father, the Earl of Strathmore. The book The Queen's Diamonds by Hugh Roberts revealed that the Strathmore Rose could originally be dismantled, and the rose garlands could be worn as brooches and swapped with sapphires. Sadly, the tiara hasn't been seen publicly in years.
The Heathcote Tiara
With its unusually large and high-sitting “dog rose” motif, the Heathcote tiara is sure to catch eyes and turn heads. If that isn’t enough, the entire piece is set with diamonds too! Like the Strathmore Rose, the tiara can be dismantled and worn as separate brooches if needed.
The woman wearing the Heathcote tiara in the picture above is Rose Astor, but the current owner of the piece is her cousin Jane Heathcore-Drummond-Willoughby, Lady Willoughby de Eresby. Today the tiara is being held (and was even altered) by Sarah Rose Hanbury.
The Northumberland Tiara
The Northumberland tiara is an extraordinarily elaborate piece that really looks more like a crown than a tiara. The vast difference in style between this piece and other tiaras on this list may have something to do with the fact that the Northumberland was commissioned all the way back in 1845!
It was worn by Duchess Louisa at her wedding to the 6th Duke of Northumberland and has been worn by the Percy family ever since. In 2013 Lady Melissa Percy wore it for her wedding to Thomas van Straubenzee. Considering how heavy it must be (it can be separated into 14 brooches!) - we’re sure it was a long ceremony for her.
Hanoverian Floral Tiara
Another generational treasure that looks a little different from its more modern counterparts, the bulky but beautiful Hanoverian Floral tiara is believed to be from the 1900s - but most recently appeared in public on the head of Alessandra de Osma, former model, and lawyer from Peru.
She donned the floral diamond headpiece at her wedding to Prince Christian, brother of Prince Ernst August of Hanover. For decades the tiara had been locked away in the House of Hanover’s jewelry collection - until it became a popular choice for soon-to-be brides marrying into the family.
Teck Crescent Tiara
This unique tiara is considered one of the few “hidden” royal tiaras and was brought into the family by Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck and mother to Queen Mary. Despite not having been worn in public for decades, we know that the Teck Crescent tiara is currently part of the Duchess of Cornwall’s collection.
With its gorgeous, delicate array of crescent moons (an unusual shape compared to the forms of most royal tiaras), it's a shame that Camilla hasn't chosen to wear it publicly since it was loaned to her by Queen Elizabeth in 2005. The last time it was seen was in 2012, when it was photographed for The Queen's Diamonds exhibit.
The Oriental Circlet
Though it is generally known as the Oriental Circlet, this tiara has a few different names, most notably the Indian Ruby tiara or simply the Indian tiara. Back in 1853, Prince Albert commissioned a ruby-laden tiara for Queen Victoria, his wife. Today it’s a part of Queen Elizabeth’s personal collection.
When it was first designed, the tiara consisted of arches and flowers, decorated with 2,600 diamonds and opal accents which were later replaced with rubies. Queen Victoria herself chose to commission a matching set of jewelry to complement her tiara, including a necklace, brooch, and pair of earrings.
Queen Mary's Boucheron Loop Tiara
By now, we know that Queen Mary of Teck was probably the most prolific jewelry collector amongst modern royals. So she must have been ecstatic when the De Beers diamond monopoly gifted her with 675 diamonds during her 1901 tour of South Africa, a few years before her coronation. She knew exactly what to do.
Within a year of receiving the gift, she commissioned Boucheron to create a loop tiara that she would wear upon her coronation. Of course, she also loved to dismantle her jewelry to be used for new pieces… so although we can’t see it in one piece anymore, a close look at the Delhi Durbar will reveal some familiar design elements.