Princess Eugenie has followed in the footsteps of both the Duchess of Sussex and the Duchess of Cambridge by borrowing a tiara from the Queen for her wedding day. The Princess arrived at St George’s Chapel wearing her the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara, made by Boucheron in 1919.
In platinum and diamonds, the tiara has an enormous 93.70-carat emerald at its centre, and six smaller emeralds either side. It was part of the ‘Greville bequest’, a remarkable collection of jewellery left to the Queen Mother by Margaret Greville, a prominent member of society who was a close friend of Queen Mary. The Queen inherited the tiara, along with the rest of the jewels, when her mother died in 2002.
The tiara is made in the Russian ‘kokoshnik’ style, made popular by the Imperial royal family, and thus echoes the kokoshnik-style fringe tiara that the Queen wore on her own wedding day. It had also been made in 1919.
Princess Eugenie paired the tiara with a pair of diamond and emerald drop earrings, a wedding gift from her husband. Mother of the bride Sarah Ferguson also wore diamond and emerald earrings, complementing her emerald-green dress.
In the run-up to the wedding, it was widely speculated that the Princess would wear the York tiara, the platinum and white diamond piece that Sarah Ferguson wore on her own wedding day in 1986. At the time, much was made of the fact that Fergie didn’t borrow a tiara from the Queen’s collection - rather, it was a gift from her mother-in-law-to-be, commissioned from the then-Crown Jeweller Garrard.
Fergie’s tiara featured floral scrolls topped with a five-carat diamond, and was part of a demi-parure that also included a necklace, bracelet and earrings. On her wedding day it was at first concealed by a huge flower crown, which was removed when the bride and groom signed their wedding register to reveal the tiara.
Fergie kept the York tiara after she and Prince Andrew divorced, wearing it to social events and galas. She was last seen wearing it in public at Elton John’s White Tie and Tiara ball in 2001.
The last royal bride to borrow a tiara from the Queen’s collection was of course Meghan Markle, who wore the Queen Mary diamond bandeau tiara when she married Prince Harry in May. The tiara was made in 1932 for the Queen’s grandmother, Queen Mary, to incorporate a diamond brooch she had been given as a wedding gift in 1893.
In 2001, Kate Middleton borrowed the Cartier Halo tiara, also known as the Scroll tiara, a delicate scrolled headpiece that was bought by King George VI for his wife, the Queen Mother, for their anniversary in 1936. It was given to the Queen as an 18th birthday present in 1944, but she never wore it in public.
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