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How Sophie Wessex’s wedding tiara echoed previous royal generations

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh tied the knot at St George’s Chapel inside the walls of Windsor Castle on 19th June 1999.

Though they didn’t begin dating until 1993, Prince Edward originally met Sophie in 1987, when she was working for Capital Radio.

In the early 2000’s, shortly after Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee, the couple took on the role of full time royals and have undoubtedly played their roles within the royal family well ever since.

Fine jewellery and engagement ring experts at Steven Stone have taken a close look at the magnificent tiara that Sophie wore on their big day.

Instagram: @coutureandroyals
Instagram: @coutureandroyals
Instagram: @coutureandroyals

Though their nuptials attracted 200 million viewers, the then Earl and Countess of Wessex’s wedding was a rather modest affair.

Forever a trendsetter, Sophie wore a Samantha Shaw coat-style gown that was decorated with over 325,000 pearls and crystal beads – some of which lined her V-neck, cuffs and skirt while others dotted across the fabric.

The former countess of Wessex accesorised with a full-length veil made of silk tulle and crystals, which was held in place by her beautiful diamond tiara – the Anthemion tiara.

She completed her look with a black and white pearl necklace, and matching drop earrings that were gifted to her by Prince Edward.

The Anthemion Tiara

Sophie’s tiara was chosen from Queen Elizabeth II’s private jewellery collection.

Interestingly, it appears that she was given the diadem to keep, as she’s worn it for multiple royal occasions since her nuptials – including the weddings of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Donaldson in 2004, and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling in 2010.

Though it’s never been confirmed, it’s thought that the tiara was constructed using four pieces from Queen Victoria’s Regal Circlet and made by the Crown Jeweller of that time, David Thomas of Asprey & Garrard. According to Court Jeweller, Queen Victoria’s Regal circlet was made with a set of detachable fleur-de-lis, Maltese cross, and anthemion elements that could be swapped out and rearranged.

The name of the tiara comes from its use of anthemion – a technique used in ancient Greek times that features a number of radiating petals.

Our experts estimate the magnificent piece to be worth a staggering £1.25 million.

“Sophie Wessex certainly stunned on her wedding day and she gave a sweet nod to several members of the royal family through her jewellery choices – including Prince Edward, who’d gifted her the black and white pearl necklace and matching earrings that she was wearing.

We couldn’t take our eyes off Sophie’s beautiful diamond tiara, which was chosen from Queen Elizabeth II’s private jewellery collection. Though the Anthemion tiara also pays tribute to another former monarch, as it was reportedly constructed using four pieces from Queen Victoria’s Regal Circlet.

It’s also possible that the tiara serves as a tribute to Prince Philip, due to its use of anthemion – a technique used in ancient Greek times. Before he married Queen Elizabeth II, the late royal was Prince of Greece and Denmark.

It’s incredibly difficult to put a price on such a magnificent piece. I’d estimate it to be worth approximately £1.25 million.”

maxwell stone, diamond expert, steven stone

If you’re looking for jewellery to rival royalty, our team can design bespoke creations, tailored to you. From engagement rings and wedding rings to necklaces and pendants, your options are endless.

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