The Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom — a singular, world-famous collection of sacred and ceremonial objects, including crowns, robes and other items — have been stored at the Tower of London for over 600 years. With the world abuzz about Prince Harry’s impending nuptials to the American former actress Meghan Markle, speculation regarding the crown jewels she will wear during the May 19 ceremony is rampant.
Since the 1930s, almost every royal bride who has married in Britain has worn a tiara on her wedding day, so the odds are that Meghan will, too. Here are a few of the possibilities for Meghan’s wedding day jewels.
The Strathmore Rose Tiara
While there aren’t official rules governing which types of tiaras can be worn to a wedding, they historically tend to feature a floral motif. The Strathmore Rose Tiara, which is fashioned of pavé-set diamonds set in silver and gold in the shape of a wild rose garland, was originally purchased as a gift for Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (who would later go on to become the Queen Mother) from her father for her wedding to the Duke of York, the future King George IV.
The Queen Mother’s Cartier Bandeau
Sleek, modern and packed with diamonds, this Art Deco-era royal heirloom consists of three of a set of five gem-set bracelets, which can be worn on their own on the wrist or on a bandeau frame as a tiara. If Meghan — who tends to favor simple, elegant jewelry — chooses to wear this piece on her wedding day, the connection to the Queen Mother (who first owned it) and Queen Elizabeth II (who owns it now) would make a lovely touch.
The Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot
With its romantic name, storied past, and jaw-dropping beauty, this quintessentially British tiara is a little more than a century old. It is one of the best-known tiaras in the British royal family’s collection, mostly thanks to it being a favorite of the late Princess Diana, who wore it often. Unlike some other famous royal pieces, the stunning diamond-and-pearl creation is part of the family’s private collection and currently belongs to Queen Elizabeth II.
The Spencer Tiara
Although it’s not in the royal collection, the Spencer Tiara, which was worn by Princess Diana at her wedding to Prince Charles, is another wedding-day option for Meghan. However, many consider it a long shot. Not only is it a Spencer family heirloom, not a royal one, but it will also only invite more comparisons to Diana — something Meghan and her future sister-in-law Kate get enough of already.
Markle may also have something new commissioned for the occasion — either a refashioning of other jewelry in the royal collection or an entirely custom piece. She might also opt to skip the tiara altogether and wear another kind of jeweled ornament in her hair.
Other Famous Crown Jewels
The most famous royal sapphire is the engagement ring given to Lady Diana Spencer by Prince Charles in 1981 — later slipped on Kate Middleton’s finger by Prince William on their engagement day in 2010. It features an 18-carat oval blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds.
The Cullinan Diamond
The Cullinan Diamond, named after mine chairman Thomas Cullinan, weighed in at 3,106.75 carats when it was discovered in South Africa on January 26, 1905.
After being presented to King Edward VII on his 66th birthday, it was cut into several polished gems, the largest of which is known as the Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa. At 530.4 carats, it is the largest clear-cut diamond in the world. Cullinan I is mounted in the head of the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross. The second-largest, at 317.4 carats, is Cullinan II or the Second Star of Africa; it is mounted in the Imperial State Crown. Both diamonds are part of the Crown Jewels.
Although you’ll have to travel to England to view some of these and other royal jewels, you can browse our stunning collection of new and vintage jewelry at Eiseman Jewels at NorthPark Center in Dallas.