Princess Diana's Iconic Wedding Tiara on Display for First Time in Decades: All About Her Family Heirloom

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Diana On Wedding Day
Diana On Wedding Day

Lichfield/Getty Princess Diana on her wedding day

Nothing says royal celebrations quite like a sparkly tiara!

To celebrate Queen Elizabeth's historic 70 years on the throne, Sotheby's, the prestigious London auction house, is exhibiting over 40 of the most dazzling royal and aristocratic tiaras, including Princess Diana's iconic wedding tiara.

The famous Spencer tiara actually belongs to Diana's family, who can trace their aristocratic lineage back to the Tudor period. The topper has not been on display since the 1960s. Reported to have been initially created in 1767 and embellished over the years, the tiara was refashioned into its current design by Garrard in the 1930s and currently belongs to Diana's brother, Charles Spencer.

Designed in the garland style as a heart flanked by continuous running scrolls interspersed with star and trumpet-shaped flowers, the family heirloom is set throughout with circular and rose-cut, cushion and pear-shaped diamonds. The central heart-shaped motif was a particularly sentimental part of the design as it was a gift to Diana's grandmother Lady Cynthia Hamilton on her wedding day in 1919.

princess diana
princess diana

Sotheby's The Spencer Tiara

While Diana wore it several times during her lifetime (seven times alone between 1983 and 1992), it is most closely associated with her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981, when she walked down the aisle at St. Paul's Cathedral wearing an elaborate wedding dress by Elizabeth Emanuel, complete with a 25-foot train and 153 yards of tulle veil.

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princess diana
princess diana

Anwar Hussein/Getty Princess Diana in the Spencer family tiara

"The Queen's Jubilee celebrations have given us the perfect opportunity to put on public display an outstanding selection of tiaras from noble and royal provenance, many of which haven't been exhibited in decades," says Kristian Spofforth, Head of Jewellery at Sotheby's London.

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The exhibition, titled Power & Image: Royal & Aristocratic Tiaras, runs from May 28 to June 28 at Sotheby's on New Bond Street in London and includes an emerald and diamond tiara designed by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria in 1845 and several pieces worn by guests at the Queen's coronation service in 1953.

princess diana
princess diana

Sotheby's Queen Victoria's emerald and diamond tiara

Whilst most of the pieces have been loaned to the auction house, there are a small number for sale alongside new commissions by contemporary British jewelers such as Kiki McDonough (a favorite of Kate Middleton) and Christopher Thompson-Royds.

Alongside the tiaras, a collection of royal portraits will also be on display, including an Andy Warhol portrait of the Queen and the famous Armada Portrait on Elizabeth I, painted to commemorate the most famous conflict of her reign.