The Spencer Tiara belongs to the family of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, but it was worn so often by her that some people assume it is a royal piece (see: the many instances of this tiara appearing on lists as a possible option for the Duchess of Cambridge). It’s not the only tiara owned by the Spencer family, but it is by far the best known, thanks to that royal association.
|The Spencer Tiara|
Video: Charles and Diana's weddingThat final shape includes diamonds in silver settings mounted in gold in various floral shapes: stylized tulips, star-shaped flowers, and scrolling foliage. It was worn by both of Lady Diana Spencer’s older sisters, Jane and Sarah, at their weddings; in 1989, it was worn by Victoria Lockwood for her wedding to Diana’s brother, Charles, 9th Earl Spencer.
1983, with sapphires that were a wedding gift from the Saudi crown princeAs the Princess of Wales, Diana continued to wear her family’s tiara, borrowing it first from her father and then from her brother (an arrangement that was rumored to have caused some family friction). The Queen loaned her the Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara, which was heavier and trickier to wear because of those moving pearl pendants, so the Spencer Tiara was a lighter and easier second option. These were the only two tiaras she wore.
Video: Diana wears the tiara in Canada in 1983, on her 22nd birthdayIt’s no surprise this tiara embedded itself so thoroughly in so many memories. The design is feminine and whimsical, as though it might once have been a doodle around the edges of a fairy tale page – the perfect accompaniment for a young princess in a poufy evening gown. I think it did her a bit of a disservice later on, though, once the poufy gowns were gone and that young princess had matured and transformed. (And on a totally superficial note – much more our wheelhouse here – some of her later hairstyles managed to cover up a significant number of those diamonds.)
1993, wearing the Art Deco Emerald ChokerThe tiara went back to the Spencer family and was sent on tour along with Diana’s wedding gown for some years, so perhaps some of you have seen it in person. We originally covered it in 2011, when it made your list of favorite tiaras, and I wonder if it would still make that list.
Always a favorite, or no?
One little postscript here, because though we haven’t seen the Spencer Tiara used since the days of Diana, it does have a doppelgänger on the current royal scene.