Sophie, Countess Wessex's £2million tiara collection shows her relationship with royals

As well as the general wedding gift, it has been reported that the stunning design was commissioned by the Queen, which is not usually the case.

What are her royal tiaras like?

Queen Victoria Regal Circlet tiara – £1million

The unique design had three peaks and is believed to be made from royal jewels.

Eddie LeVian, CEO of jewellery Le Vian, told Express.co.uk: “The tiara Sophie, Countess of Wessex, wore for her wedding day, the day she became a royal was commissioned for her by the Queen and is widely believed to have been made up of four pieces of Queen Victoria’s Regal Circlet.

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“If you look closely, the tiara is composed of four anthemion elements – these are sections composed of twisting diamond floral motifs, set on a gold frame.

“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 original tiara has an estimated price tag of £1million and Sophie has worn it on several occasions over the years.

However, having the Queen commission the piece could have hinted at their close bond even before Sophie joined the family.

Eddie added: “The tiara Sophie Countess of Wessex wore was a new tiara made up from antique pieces.

“On her wedding day, it came as a surprise to onlookers and jewellery lovers because the tiara had never been seen before.”

Five Aquamarine Tiara – £1million

The Five Aquamarine Tiara is another one Sophie has brought out for special occasions.

Before Sophie wore it, the jewel had been spotted on Queen Elizabeth II.

The eye-catching tiara features aquamarine stones and could come with a huge price tag, according to Ailsa Russell Appraiser Prestige Pawnbrokers of Channel 4’s Posh Pawn.

She explained: “The ‘Five Aquamarine Tiara’, also coined the ‘Canadian Aquamarine Tiara’ after the Queen wore it on a state visit to Canada in 1970, is a high sitting tiara with floral and ribbon motifs set with diamonds and large aquamarines.

“It appears incredibly delicate given the size of the stones, each perfectly matched sea blue stone is estimated at around 10 carats.

“This tiara is often assumed to be on permanent loan to the Countess from the Queen, and as a royal favourite, it would possible for this tiara to reach £1 million on the open market today.”



Queen's closest aide 'heartbroken' as she's dragged into Meghan Markle and Harry tiara row

Faceless and anonymous, they work tirelessly in support of the monarchy, ever loyal, flawlessly discreet, always there when needed, and yet somehow almost invisible. But there is one member of the royal household whose special relationship with Her Majesty transcends the normal rules of Palace life. In a world where flunkies come and go, and one false move can see you out on your ear, the Queen’s dresser Angela Kelly seems virtually untouchable – something Prince Harry found out to his cost when he demanded she break the rules and produce Meghan’s chosen wedding tiara at the drop of a crown.

His 2018 Tiara-gate confrontation with Mrs Kelly made headlines again this week after Harry and Meghan’s biographer Omid Scobie claimed Harry had phoned his grandmother and demanded: “I don’t know what the hell is going on. This woman needs to make this work for my future wife.”

Despite the fact the Queen backed her dresser, it is claimed, and not her grandson, Mrs Kelly is said to be unhappy that she has been dragged into the controversy over the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

One royal source said yesterday: “The sad thing is that Angela is not allowed to give her side of the story. There are all these rumours but the Angela I know is not someone who would do anything to upset any of the royal family. Her loyalty first and foremost has to be to the monarch. I am sure she is really upset to be at the centre of what is being said.”

Of course, as a royal prince and sixth in line to the throne, the Duke of Sussex might have been forgiven for thinking his will would prevail over a mere servant, but those who know Mrs Kelly better would have told him to save his breath.

It may seem to outsiders that this 62-year-old divorced, council house-born Liverpudlian daughter of a fork-lift truck driver would be an unlikely confidante for the monarch, but it is her complete unwillingness to bend the rules to which she now owes her position.

Meghan Markle stands at the altar during her wedding

Meghan Markle stands at the altar during her wedding (Image: Jonathan Brady – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

She and the Queen first crossed paths by chance 28 years ago when she was housekeeper to the British ambassador to Germany, Sir Christopher Mallaby. When the Queen and her entourage came for a royal visit, Mrs Kelly was in charge of ensuring the smooth running of the household.

Before taking their leave, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh asked to meet the staff who had helped ensure their visit was a success. But when Her Majesty stopped to speak to Mrs Kelly and politely inquired as to who the team was expecting next at the Embassy, she was met with almost unprecedented stonewalling.

“I replied that the information was confidential,” Angela would recall of the 1992 meeting with the monarch. “The Duke asked, slightly incredulous, ‘Surely you can tell Her Majesty The Queen?’ Again, I explained that I could not disclose the information as I had signed the Official Secrets Act.”

The housekeeper was apologetic – even offering to give back a picture of the royal couple, which all the staff had been given as a souvenir of their stay – but unrelenting.

At the end of that short and awkward audience, she told the Queen: “I will remember this for the rest of my life.”

The Queen replied: “Angela, so will I.”

Angela Kelly with the Queen

Angela Kelly with the Queen (Image: Nina Duncan/thelicensingproject.com)

And Her Majesty was as good as her word. Just a few weeks later, the housekeeper was contacted by the royal dressmaker, asking if she would be interested in a job as her assistant. The offer had come following a special request from The Queen. In the years that followed, she has risen to become the Queen’s dresser, stylist, curator and personal assistant, but also her companion, confidante and occasionally her tame rottweiler. She is known as the Queen’s “gatekeeper” or, less flatteringly as AK-47 by some colleagues – a play on her initials and the firepower of the Soviet-era assault rifle.

Their relationship was cast into the spotlight again recently after publication of the unofficial biography of Harry and Meghan, Finding Freedom, apparently sanctioned by the now California-based Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Mrs Kelly, who is also now in charge of the Queen’s jewellery vault, was accused of deliberately ignoring phone calls from Meghan who wanted to try on a certain tiara with her hairdresser. Buckingham Palace aides responded that, as Mrs Kelly was in Windsor with the Queen, she couldn’t go to Buckingham Palace at such short notice. The book claims Harry saw something more insidious.

“Harry didn’t believe that Angela was truly unavailable,” write authors Scobie and Carolyn Durand. “Instead he thought she was purposely ignoring Meghan. A senior Palace aide insisted Harry was simply being, ‘oversensitive when he accused Angela of trying to make things difficult for his fiancée’.”

Such reports of an angry phone call to the Queen have this week been strongly denied by Harry. But whatever happened, it clearly did nothing to change the astonishing closeness between the Queen and Mrs Kelly, who in 2012 was granted the grand title of Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order for “distinguished personal service to the Sovereign”.

The two share a love of star gazing, the countryside and plain talking. The Queen likes to pop in on her dresser for a giggle and a gossip while at Windsor, where Mrs Kelly has a grace-and-favour home.

Her Majesty, a talented mimic, apparently does a good impression of her aide’s Liverpool accent.

Throughout lockdown, the dresser has stayed where she has been for nearly 30 years – at the Queen’s side, ensuring she always looks her best.

She is the only royal servant to be given permission to write not just one but two books about her life with the royals and she has already started her third. The first was just about the Queen’s outfits, but eyebrows were raised at the release of her second, The Other Side of The Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe, last year. The irony of being accused by Harry of being part of the Palace establishment is probably not lost on the woman who had to overcome tremendous prejudice when she first started working there.

She is the first to admit she struggled to fit in. While divorcees were once banned from the Royal enclosure at Ascot, Mrs Kelly has three marriages behind her.

Her first husband was shopfitter Frank Wylie who she married in 1971, a month after her son Frank was born. A year later she gave birth to Paul and then daughter Michelle.

By the early 1980s their newsagent business and marriage were both over and she found a catering job with the Army, leaving her husband to raise the children (although she saw them regularly). A brief marriage to a German followed and, in 1989, she met husband number three, Irish Guardsman Jim Kelly.

They married in 1992 just before she started working for the Queen but split three years later. Jim later said of the woman who still bears his name: “What she lacks in education she makes up for in her ambition. She left school as a girl and never had any formal training, but has risen to the top of her profession.

She has always wanted to work for the Queen and has sacrificed a lot to do so.” But it was far from easy. “In those early years at Buckingham Palace, I remember feeling very aware that some people might look down on me,” Angela wrote in her second book. “I was, after all, from Liverpool and had a Scouse accent, not to mention that I was divorced with three children.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leaving St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leaving St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding (Image: Ben Stansall/PA Wire)

She considered getting elocution lessons but the Queen gently dissuaded her. She too came up against the grey men in suits who Harry likes to rail against. “Back then the Royal Household was very male-dominated. It had long been a place where traditions were upheld and routines followed. On one occasion, I was told that only after 12 years as a staff member would I be allowed to have an opinion.”

In fact, it appears to be Mrs Kelly’s refusal to rein in her opinions that the Queen most appreciates. She started asking her to attend meetings with clothes designers.While the monarch hated to offend anyone by saying she didn’t like something, her dresser had no such compunction.

Over the years she has started creating many of the Queen’s clothes herself, alongside couture designer Stewart Parvin.

“She has an almost instinctive knack for getting the Queen’s clothes right,” says a Palace insider. “She pays immaculate attention to detail and always makes sure that the Queen is comfortable as well as elegant.”

Angela Kelly

Mrs Kelly is also now in charge of the Queen’s jewellery vault (Image: Indigo/Getty Images)

She even “breaks in” the Queen’s new shoes by wearing them, as they are the same size. The two are said to have become particularly close when the Queen faced the loss of both her mother and Princess Margaret in 2002.

“We could be sisters,” the Queen once told her. A friend of the family, Lady Anne Glenconner, also observed that when the two are together “there is lots of laughter”.

A Palace insider says she has a similar sense of naughtiness to that of the late Princess Margaret, which the Queen badly misses. “I don’t know why the Queen seems fond of me because I don’t give her an easy time,” she has said. “Years ago the Queen kindly invited me to listen to her conversations with her designers and give my opinion. Well asking a Scouser to give an opinion is dangerous so I told her straight.”

But she has always taken great pains to never get above her station. She still calls the Queen “Your Majesty” and admits to getting emotional when dressing the Queen in her ceremonial robes, while the monarch simply laughs.

“I hope the Queen and I get old together,” she has said.

All in all, it seems unlikely anything Prince Harry can say or do will stop that happening.



Royal horror: The 'haunted' tiara royals never use as chilling 'bad luck' stalks wearers

Royals have been known to love the glitz and glamour of their extensive jewellery collection but there is one diadem that has long been kept from use. The Strawberry Leaf Tiara has been labelled as “bad luck” to all wearers and owners because of a steady line of tragedies connected to the diadem since it first entered the history of the Royal Family in the mid-19th century. Speaking to Channel 5 documentary ‘Secrets of the Royal Jewellery,’ historian Dr Kate Williams said: “The Hesse Strawberry Leaf Tiara is a beautiful tiara but it’s known to be one seen as haunted because it brings bad luck to pretty much anyone who owns it or wears it.

“It starts out as a wonderful thing, a wedding gift from Prince Albert to his daughter Princess Alice on her wedding to Prince Louis of Hesse.

“But Albert dies just before the wedding, and Alice 17 years later dies of diphtheria, the first of Queen Victoria’s children to die. Three of her children die in tragic circumstances.”

Princess Alice died aged 35 after refusing to leave her children’s side after three of them caught diphtheria and became herself infected.

Her youngest daughter passed within days of her, while an elder son, Friedrich, had died of haemophilia five years earlier. Two other daughters, Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna and Empress Alexandra of Russia, were both executed during the Russian Revolution.

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Dr Williams continued: “After the death of Alice, her eldest son Prince Ernst takes the tiara.

“Unfortunately, Ernst and his wife have quite bad luck as well as their daughter dies of typhoid and they have a stillborn son.

“Ernst marries again and his son George then inherits the tiara and that’s very unlikely because he marries Cecilie, a sister of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.”

Ernst of Hesse married his cousin Victoria Melita  but divorced her following the death of their grandmother, Queen Victoria, in 1901 after failing to produce an heir.

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The Hereditary Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Hesse left one daughter, Johanna, who had remained home as her family headed to the wedding of her uncle, Prince Louis of Hesse, to Margaret Campbell Geddes.

Prince Louis and his new wife adopted their orphaned niece shortly after the crash but she died of meningitis a month before her third birthday in 1939.

The tiara is then believed to have passed on to Princess Margaret but it was not left to the Geddes family when she died in 1997.

Margaret was never pictured wearing the Strawberry Leaf Tiara but the jewel has been exhibited on several occasions and is believed to now be in possession of the Hessian House Foundation.



Prince Harry's Finding Freedom biographer reveals the TRUTH behind Meghan's tiara row

A source close to Prince Harry has refuted claims that the Duke of Sussex called the Queen asking her “what the hell is going on?” after Meghan was denied access to her wedding tiara. The source added that the claims were “completely ridiculous”.

Omid Scobie, the co-author of Finding Freedom – an explosive new biography about the Sussexes – has defended himself from claims that he said Harry shouted during the phone call.

During the alleged conversation, the Duke is said to have enquired whether Meghan would be able to try on her diamond bandeau tiara with her hairdresser ahead of the wedding.

In the reported call, Harry describes a tussle with the Queen’s long-time dresser Angela Kelly.

Mr Scobie said in an interview with True Royalty TV that the Prince Harry was reportedly angry at Ms Kelly after she “deliberately dragged her feet” when Meghan asked to see the headpiece before her wedding day.

In the interview, Mr Scobie said: “Harry had to intervene.

“He called his grandmother and said, ‘I don’t know what the hell is going on. This woman needs to make this work for my future wife’.

“And of course, we can kind of see now where this ‘what Meghan wants, Meghan gets’ narrative came from.

“Harry felt that there were those within the institution that would stop at nothing at the very least to make Meghan’s life difficult.”

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In Mr Scobie’s book, co-authored by Carolyn Durand, the situation between Harry and Ms Kelly is described as a “heated exchange”.

The book states: “What followed between the prince and Angela was a heated exchange that was far from the typical restraint expected.

“According to a source, Harry had no problem confronting the issue had on. ‘He was fed up,’ said the aide.

“In the end, Harry had to speak to his grandmother about the situation. And she got her trial.”

According to the authors, a senior Buckingham Palace aide insisted Harry was being “oversensitive” when he accused Ms Kelly of trying to make things difficult for the Duchess.

But a source close to the Duke said “nothing could convince Harry that some of the old guard at the Palace simply didn’t like Meghan and would stop at nothing to make her life difficult”.

A friend said: “Meg had flown her hairdresser over from Paris for a hair practice and they needed the tiara.

“Angela Kelly said she couldn’t come to London [from Windsor] and Harry went ballistic.

“He was furious at the treatment of his then fiancee. Such a snub.”



Princess Anne £5million diamond tiara could show close bond with Queen Elizabeth II

As a senior royal, Princess Anne, 69, is regularly spotted at events with the Queen, 94. The tiara she wore at her wedding could show her close relationship with the monarch.

They are the parents of two, Zara Tindall, 39, and Peter Phillips, 42.

For her wedding – which took place at Westminster Abbey – Princess Anne wore a timeless white gown.

The dress had a high neck and fitted bodice with long puff sleeves.

The stunning gown was designed by Maureen Baker for the fashion label Susan Small.

Sticking with royal tradition, Princess Anne borrowed a tiara from the Queen’s collection.

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She wore the eye-catching Queen Mary Fringe tiara which has a special link to the Queen.

The monarch may have shown her close relationship with Princess Anne by lending her the tiara she wore on her own wedding day, 26 years before.

Most recently, the headpiece was worn by Princess Beatrice, who married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in a small ceremony on July 17, 2020.

The tiara reportedly has a whopping valuation of £5million and is steeped in royal history, according to Richard Tille, president of world-leading buyer of pre-owned jewellery Circas.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “Garrard created the Queen Mary Fringe tiara in 1919.

“The famous jeweller had been asked to dismantle her necklace, the wedding present given to her (then Princess Mary) by Queen Victoria in 1893.

“This style of diamond fringe tiara had become fashionable during the Romanov imperial court, and later had become popular in the collections owned by the House of Windsor.

“Queen Mary in turn gave the tiara to her daughter-in-law Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 1936. She lent it to her daughter Princess Elizabeth (the current Queen) as ‘something borrowed’ at her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947.

“The Queen Mother also lent it to her granddaughter, Princess Anne, for her marriage to Captain Mark Phillips in 1973.”

The jewel is covered in diamonds and is still regularly worn by Queen Elizabeth II.

Richard continued: “It is made up of 47 diamond bars that are divided by smaller diamond spikes to mimic a Russian Kokoshnik Tiara.

“Queen Elizabeth II didn’t wear her wedding tiara regularly as it remained in her mother’s jewel collection until she died in 2002.

“She now wears it often. While many might say this piece is priceless, some royal pieces do come up for sale now and then. When they do, royal provenance can multiply the value many times.”



Royal snub: Shock reason Meghan was NOT allowed to wear Princess Diana's tiara

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a huge decision earlier this year, as they announced their intentions to step back as senior members of the Royal Family. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle eventually relocated from their temporary Vancouver Island residence to Los Angeles in March as they began their new post-royal lives. The couple are reportedly living in Tyler Perry’s Beverly Hills mansion.

Meghan is understandably thrilled to be back in her hometown of Los Angeles, and her mother, Doria Ragland, has reportedly moved in to help out with Archie.

Despite many reports claiming the Duchess is enjoying life outside the Royal Family, many fans of the couple are saddened by their relocation and decision to step down.

Harry used to be the most popular royal after the Queen and his royal wedding to Meghan in 2018 became the most-watched television event of the year in the UK.

The global audience was estimated to be in the hundreds of millions.

While the former actress is now being criticised and accused of taking Prince Harry away from his family, at the time, Meghan was also widely praised and dubbed by many as a “breath of fresh air”.

Before the nuptials, it was even believed she would have worn the Spencer Tiara to honour her late mother-in-law.

However, once she stepped out of the Queen’s custom Rolls-Royce in front of St. George’s Chapel, it was confirmed that she went with a crown jewel instead.

In the past, the Queen would select a tiara for a royal bride to wear on loan.

However, Meghan’s crown jewel selection went a little differently.

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While it would have been a touching tribute to the late Princess, the Spencer Tiara has not been worn since Princess Diana’s passing and would have most-likely taken the attention away from Meghan’s stunning Givenchy dress and veil, as well as other details from the big day.

In addition to taking the attention away from some key royal wedding details, Meghan is likely to have not worn the Spencer Tiara because it did not represent the family she was marrying into.

Prince Harry may be half Spencer, but much of his focus is on his dad’s side of the family, as is Meghan’s.



Meghan Markle bombshell: The REAL person behind Duchess' wedding tiara row exposed

The book also claims Prince Harry attributed blame for the row to the Queen’s personal dresser, Angela Kelly, who allegedly dragged her feet over Meghan’s tiara choice. The book, Finding Freedom, written by royal authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, is due to be published next month.

However, excerpts from the book have been released to the media ahead of its release date.

Reports from the row had previously claimed Meghan wanted a tiara featuring emeralds for the wedding day.

However, the Duchess was told she could not have that particular tiara, since no-one knew where it had come from, royal sources said.

This allegedly led to a “heated exchange” involving Prince Harry, who was eventually taken aside by the Queen.

Meghan Markle with tiara

An upcoming book sheds new light into a row to do with the Duchess’ wedding tiara (Image: Karwai Tang / WireImage / Getty)

Royal sources claimed the Queen told Prince Harry Meghan would get “what tiara she’s given by me.”

Now, reports with access to extracts from Finding Freedom claim Ms Kelly, 52, was accused by the Duke of being involved.

However, there are few details at the moment regarding exactly what Prince Harry said on the matter.

In any case, the tiara eventually worn by Meghan on the royal couple’s May 2018 wedding day was a diamond bandeau owned by the Queen.

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Harry and Meghan smiling

Reports claimed Meghan had initially expressed interest in an emerald tiara for her 2018 wedding (Image: Ben Birchall / WPA Pool / Getty)

The diamond tiara was made in 1932, and up until the wedding day it had not been seen since 1965 when it was worn by Princess Margaret.

Ms Kelly, the royal dresser and fashion expert is a close friend of the Queen, having first been appointed Personal Assistant and Senior Dresser since 2002.

Her official titles is Personal Advisor to Her Majesty (The Queen’s Wardrobe). This means Ms Kelly designs the Queen’s clothing.

According to reports, the royal fashion expert came from a “humble background”, and it was her mother who initially taught her to sew and work with clothing.

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Angela Kelly with Queen

Angela Kelly (furthest right) and the Queen at a fashion show in 2018 (Image: Yui Mok / Pool / Getty)

Her work has been seen in public on a number of occasions, including the yellow dress worn by the Queen to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011.

She also designed the light-coloured mind green dress worn by the Queen during the 2012 Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

She also has a fashion label – Kelly & Pordum – named after herself and co-founder Alison Pordum.

In other royal news, Finding Freedom also provides new insight into the Duke and Duchess’ decision to step down as senior royals earlier this year.

Queen at Diamond Jubilee in 2012

The Queen’s 2012 Diamond Jubilee dress, pictured, was reportedly designed by Angela Kelly (Image: Stefan Wermuth / WPA Pool / Getty)

According to the authors, blame for the move has been unfairly pinned on Meghan Markle.

They write: “While the British media often blamed royal wives, in Harry’s case, he was very much on board with distancing himself from the public eye,” the Sun reports.

The book adds the Duke “needed someone by his side that is strong enough to weather the same storms, but also someone who wasn’t afraid of breaking the rules and going against the norm.”



Meghan Markle 'refused' wedding tiara by Queen – all the ones she may have been denied

Meghan Markle, 38, and Prince Harry, 35, tied the knot in a grand event which took place at Windsor Castle. In an upcoming royal book entitled Finding Freedom, the authors suggested the Duchess of Sussex was not allowed to wear the tiara she first picked. These are all the headpieces she may have been refused.

Most royal brides will pick a headpiece from the Queen’s collection to wear on their big day.

The Duchess of Sussex walked down the aisle in the Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau.

The book suggests Meghan had actually wanted to wear an “emerald tiara” but the final choice was made by the Queen.

The Queen’s collection features a range of emerald tiaras that could have been the ones Meghan was refused.

These are all of the jewels that could have been Meghan’s first pick.

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Vladimir Tiara

The Vladimir Tiara is thought to be one of Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite headpieces.

The diamond and pearl headpiece was commissioned by the Duchess Vladimir from Romanov court jewel Bolin.

It has been part of the royal collection since it was bought by the Queen’s grandmother, Queen Mary.

The piece features removable parts and it can be styled with pearl drops or with emeralds.

Queen Victoria’s Emerald Tiara

The jewel was designed by Prince Albert and commissioned in 1845 from London jeweller Joseph Kitching.

It is covered in diamonds and step-cut emeralds and it originally had a matching necklace, earrings and brooch.

However, the tiara ended up on display in Kensington Palace meaning it is unlikely it was the one requested by Meghan.



Princess Anne wore 'priceless' tiara at wedding with special link to the Queen

Princess Anne, 69, is a working royal and the daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. She has been married twice and tied the knot with her first husband Mark Phillips wearing a stunning royal tiara. The lavish headpiece was covered in diamonds and had a special family link, according to a style expert.

Following the tradition of royal weddings, Princess Anne completed the look with a tiara borrowed from the monarch.

She chose the lavish Queen Mary Fringe tiara which was worn by the Queen on her own wedding day.

Most recently, it was worn by Princess Beatrice when she wed Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in a private ceremony last Friday.

When Princess Anne chose the jewel, it was steeped in royal history, according to the president of world-leading buyer of pre-owned jewellery Circas, Richard Tille.

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He told Express.co.uk: “Garrard created the Queen Mary Fringe tiara in 1919.

“The famous jeweller had been asked to dismantle her necklace, the wedding present given to her (then Princess Mary) by Queen Victoria in 1893.

“This style of diamond fringe tiara had become fashionable during the Romanov imperial court, and later had become popular in the collections owned by the House of Windsor.

“Queen Mary in turn gave the tiara to her daughter-in-law Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 1936.

“She lent it to her daughter Princess Elizabeth (the current Queen) as ‘something borrowed’ at her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947.

“The Queen Mother also lent it to her granddaughter, Princess Anne, for her marriage to Captain Mark Phillips in 1973.”

The tiara has a long royal history and is seen most frequently on Queen Elizabeth II now.

The jewel is covered in diamonds and priceless, the expert suggested.

Richard continued: “It is made up of 47 diamond bars that are divided by smaller diamond spikes to mimic a Russian Kokoshnik Tiara.

“Queen Elizabeth II didn’t wear her wedding tiara regularly as it remained in her mother’s jewel collection until she died in 2002.

“She now wears it often. While many might say this piece is priceless, some royal pieces do come up for sale now and then. When they do, royal provenance can multiply the value many times.”



Princess Beatrice wedding: Royal makes sweet nod to the Queen with tiara choice

Princess Beatrice, 31, wed Edoardo Mapelli Mozzii, 37, yesterday in an intimate ceremony in Windsor. For her nuptials, Beatrice made a nod to her grandmother the Queen by choosing to wear the same tiara Her Majesty chose for her own wedding nearly 73 years ago.

The blushing bride stepped out in the glittering Queen Mary’s Fringe tiara, a diamond diadem whose design was inspired by the court of the Romanovs.

Like much of the jewellery in the Queen’s collection, this originated with Queen Mary.

Queen Mary had this made in 1919 according to the fashions of the time – and it is not, in fact, the only fringe style tiara in the Queen’s collection.

It is often confused with Queen Adelaide’s Fringe – a smaller, more delicate piece made in 1831 and worn by many British royals in history. Queen Elizabeth is not known to have worn this particular piece publicly.

READ MORE: Sophie Countess of Wessex wedding tiara: £1million diadem was a gift from the Queen

Her Majesty explained how the tiara came to break during a tour of the Buckingham Palace exhibition of the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding gown in 2011.

Speaking about the tiara with Kate Middleton, she explained: “The catch, which I didn’t know existed, it suddenly went [gestures with her hands].

“And I didn’t know it was a necklace, you see…I thought I’d broken it…we stuck it all together again, but I was rather alarmed…”

In the book Garrard: The Crown Jewelers for 150 Years, it is said the Queen Mother calmed Elizabeth down by saying “We have two hours and there are other tiaras.”

But Elizabeth was determined, and waited for Queen Mary’s Fringe to be repaired.

Elizabeth is not the only royal bride to wear this tiara – Princess Anne chose it for her wedding to Mark Phillips in 1973, and again, it was a loan from Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

After the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, the tiara passed to Queen Elizabeth, and she has worn it on a few occasions since, including for her New Zealand’s Diamond Jubilee Portrait.

For her big day, Beatrice wore her auburn hair in loose tumbling waves around her shoulders.

Her simple hair and makeup choices allowed her dress, which was also a loan from the Queen and featured heavy embroidery detail, to take centre stage along with the glittering tiara.

It was assumed Beatrice would, like her sister, choose a tiara long forgotten in the vaults of the Queen’s collection.

Options at her disposal included the Stratmore Rose, worn by the Queen Mother in the 1920s, or the Triumph of Love, worn by Princess Margaret.

Beatrice could also have plumped for Queen Mary’s Sapphire Bandeau, the Cartier Bracelet Bandeau, or Queen Mary’s Diamond Lozenge – none of which have been seen in many decades.