After months of speculation, we know what tiara Meghan Markle chose for her wedding day.
We caught our first glimpse of it as Markle set off from the hotel with her mother, Doria Ragland.
The Palace has confirmed that it is Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara, which the Queen lent to Meghan. “The diamond bandeau is English and was made in 1932, with the entre brooch dating from 1893,” reads a Tweet from Kensington Palace. You can read a full history of the royal heirloom here.
The veil is held in place by Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara, lent to Ms. Markle by The Queen. The diamond bandeau is English and was made in 1932, with the entre brooch dating from 1893.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 19, 2018
Perhaps even more so than her dress, the tiara Meghan Markle wears on her wedding day (if she chooses to wear one at all) will make a statement about not only her style, but also her position within the royal family. Here’s what we thought her top choices might be.
The Strathmore Rose Tiara
While there isn’t protocol regarding which types of tiaras can be worn to a wedding, historically those chosen tend to have a floral motif.
“The classical inspiration of some of these jewels were simple garlands of flowers, so brides do tend to favor this design in wreaths made of precious metals and gemstones,” London jewelry expert Geoffrey Munn told T&C earlier this year.
With that in mind, the Strathmore Rose Tiara might be a perfect fit for Markle. The piece, which features rose-cut diamonds, was originally presented to the Queen Mother, then Duchess of York on her wedding day by her father, and she wore it low on her forehead, as was the style at the time. Per Munn’s book, Tiaras, A History of Splendour, it can be worn on two different frames.
The Spencer Tiara
Immediately following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement announcement, speculation started brewing about whether Markle would wear the Spencer Tiara on her wedding day.
The piece, which was worn by Princess Diana at her wedding to Prince Charles, is not in the royal collection (it belongs to the Spencer family), but according to royal expert Ingrid Seward, Markle will have the option to wear it, if she so chooses.
“Diana was very proud of her Spencer heritage and I think Harry will like his future bride to carry this tradition on,” Seward told US Weekly. “She will not own the tiara but will have the choice to wear it if she wants to.”
However, royal jewelry writer Ella Kay doesn’t think we’ll see Markle pay tribute to her late mother-in-law in this way.
“I think it’s unlikely because Meghan is marrying into the Windsor family, not the Spencer family, so if she borrows a tiara, I think it will reflect her new royal status,” Kay, who runs the blog, The Court Jeweller, tells T&C. “Also, I don’t think that anyone would want to invite even more comparisons to Diana; her daughters-in-law get enough of that anyway.”
The Queen Mother’s Cartier Bandeau
Kay, instead, would like to see Markle in the Queen Mother’s Cartier Bandeau, and we have to agree, it would be a striking choice.
“I’d love to see Meghan wear the Queen Mother’s Cartier Bandeau, which is made of three gem-set bracelets on a bandeau frame. It’s modern and sleek, but it’s also a royal heirloom packed with diamonds,” Kay wrote via email.
“The connection to the Queen Mother (who first owned it) and the Queen (who owns it now) would be a lovely touch. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if Meghan wears a new piece acquired just for her.”
Princess Margaret’s Triumph of Love Tiara
Town & Country editor-in-chief Stellene Volandes would like to see Meghan in Princess Margaret’s Triumph of Love Tiara.
“Could there possibly be, in the royal tiara arsenal, a more appropriate tiara for this most modern of royal weddings—the union of a British Prince to a divorced American actress and activist—than one named the Triumph of Love?” she writes in her new jewelry column.
However, jewelry expert and author Vivienne Becker thinks otherwise. “Oh she is not going to wear turquoise,” Vivienne Becker says. “They are going to be very careful in making sure her tiara is appropriate.”
Something New Entirely
To Kay’s point, there is a possibility that a new tiara will be commissioned for Meghan Markle’s wedding day, and that could be either an entirely custom piece or a refashioning of other jewelry in the royal collection.
“Almost every royal bride who has married in Britain since the 1930s has worn a tiara on her wedding day, so it’s a good bet that Meghan will, too,” Kay says. “But she could choose to go without a tiara, or she could wear another kind of jeweled ornament in her hair.”
Markle and her groom Prince Harry are clearly ok with breaking from tradition when it comes to their wedding, so perhaps it’s best to expect the unexpected.
The one tiara we definitely won’t see her wearing is the Cartier Halo.
That diadem, worn by Markle’s soon-to-be sister-in-law Kate Middleton as she walked down the aisle in 2011, will be on display in Australia come May 19. More on that here.