Kate, Princess of Wales dazzled on her wedding day in a lace gown by Sarah Burton, finished off with a long sweeping veil and beautiful bridal make-up. But the crowing glory of the bride’s ensemble had to be her glistening diadem, the Cartier Halo Tiara.
The history of the Cartier Halo Tiara
The Cartier Halo Tiara was part of the late Queen’s collection and she received it as an 18th birthday present from her parents in 1944.
The Queen was never pictured wearing the diadem publicly as a Princess or as a monarch, preferring other bolder pieces in the royal collection.
But many other members of the Royal Family have worn the Cartier Halo Tiara over the years, especially in their 20s.
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King George VI purchased the tiara for his wife, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, as an anniversary present and she wore it on several occasions.
The Queen’s younger sister Princess Margaret also wore it frequently in the 1950s, as did Princess Anne, the Princess Royal in the 1970s.
The Cartier Halo Tiara has earned a reputation as a “starter” tiara of sorts for British royals as it is much daintier than other royal diadems.
Anne alternated between the halo diadem and the Meander Tiara, a greek key diadem that belonged to her paternal grandmother Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark.
Margaret often wore it for state occasions in the early years of the Queen’s reign, but Princess Margaret later turned more frequently to the Poltimore Tiara.
She purchased the Poltimore Tiara at auction, and she wore it to her 1960 wedding to Antony Armstrong-Jones.
Kate Middleton’s decision to wear the modest Cartier Halo Tiara as her first-ever diadem was seen by many to be an appropriate choice.
The tiara’s outing at the royal wedding was perhaps its most famous ever, but it hasn’t been worn by Kate publicly since.
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Jon White, Director of leading precious metals buyer Gold-Traders, previously said: “When the Duchess of Cambridge first arrived at Westminster Abbey donning the dazzling Cartier Halo Tiara, the world was stunned by how well the piece complemented the royal bride.
“The tiara includes 739 brilliant diamonds and 149 baton diamonds, dating back to 1936.
“The Cartier piece was commissioned by King George VI for the Queen Mother and has since been worn by Princess Margaret and the Princess Royal as well.
“Its simple, yet elegant design perfectly complimented Kate’s bridal gown.”