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The secret stories behind the most expensive royal family tiaras

Fans around the world are in awe of the Royal family tiaras, and it’s no surprise, as they are known for being among the most expensive pieces of jewellery in the world.

To find out more, luxury jewellery experts at Steven Stone, analysed the most expensive tiaras worn by British Royal brides in order to reveal the most interesting facts on the timeless headpieces.

The Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara worn by Princess Eugenie on her wedding day is the most valuable tiara overall, worth an estimated £10M.

Diamond expert, Maxwell Stone, said: “The Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara is made of rose-cut pave diamonds set in platinum and is adorned with six emeralds. The centre features a 93.7-carat cabochon-cut emeralds, which is what makes it so valuable.

The distinctive diamond and emerald headpiece, made by the French jeweller Boucheron in 1919, which we estimated to be worth £10 million, making it the most expensive of all the tiaras studied.

Wearing emeralds is said to promote friendship, peace, harmony, and domestic bliss by enabling the wearer to both give and receive unconditional love. In ancient Greece and Rome, emerald was said to be the gemstone of the goddess of love, Venus, which is perfectly fitting for a royal bride.

“Its original owner was Dame Margaret Greville, a famous society hostess who, upon her death, left her jewels to the Queen Mother. When the Queen Mother passed away in 2002, much of that collection, including the Kokoshnik tiara, went to Queen Elizabeth. In 2018, the Queen lent it to Princess Eugenie for her wedding day—making it the most extravagant “something borrowed.”

The Queen Mary Fringe tiara worn by Princess Beatrice is worth £5M.

Commissioned by Queen Mary in 1919, it was originally a fringe necklace that was a wedding day gift from Queen Victoria, which she often wore in her hair. However, Queen Mary was fond of customising her jewellery pieces, so 26 years after her wedding day in 1893 she asked royal jeweller Garrard to make it into a kokoshnik-style piece, consisting of 47 graduated brilliant and rose-set tapering bars, separated by 46 narrower spikes, which could still be removed to make a necklace.

Queen Mary’s Bandeau tiara from Her Majesty’s collection, worn by Meghan Markle, is worth an estimated £2M.

Reportedly, Meghan Markle visited Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace to choose what tiara she would wear on her wedding day. The tiara she picked belonged to Queen Mary, who was married to King George V and is Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother. The centre stone featured in the tiara is actually a brooch, comprised of 10 diamonds and which Mary of Teck received as a wedding gift from the County of Lincoln in 1893. In 1932, the diamond and platinum bandeau tiara was specifically made to accommodate the brooch.

Kate Middleton’s Cartier Halo Tiara is worth £1M

The dazzling tiara Kate Middleton chose to wear on 29 April 2011 has become one of the most iconic royal wedding tiaras of all time. Known as the Cartier Halo tiara, it’s made up of 739-brilliant cut diamond and 149 baguette diamonds, and was lent to Kate by the Queen.

Interestingly Kate was not the first royal to wear it. It was often considered a good ‘beginner’ tiara of sorts, perfect for a younger family member, with a smaller-than-average size that wouldn’t induce headaches. Princess Margaret was the first to borrow the Cartier Halo tiara and it quickly became one of her favourite pieces when she was young. The tiara was also lent to Princess Anne who last wore the piece in public in the 1970s.

Queen Elizabeth has only worn the tiara once, shortly after she received it and before she became Queen Consort. She has never worn the tiara to a public event, as she prefers to wear larger, grander pieces.

The Cartier Halo tiara dates back to 1936, originally a gift from King George VI to  Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother). He asked Cartier to create something magnificent for his wife, using diamonds and platinum he had purchased.

If you’re inspired by these incredible tiaras and are looking for your own incredible jewels take a look at our engagement rings and wedding rings.

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