Tonight, The Princess of Wales attended the State Banquet for the President of South Africa, wearing the Lover’s Knot Tiara.
The tiara has been worn on several occasions by The Princess. But what is the history behind this stunning jewellery? Who originally owned it? We’ve got all the details for you.
The tiara was originally commissioned in 1913 by Queen Mary, consort to George V. It was designed based on the original Cambridge Lover’s Knot, which was given as a wedding present to Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel, when she married Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, son of George III.
Augusta passed the tiara to her daughter, Princess Augusta, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (who was Queen Mary’s aunt) in 1858. Through the generations, the tiara was ultimately passed down to her granddaughter, Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg.
A bit of a magpie herself and a jewellery lover, Queen Mary had her own version of the tiara made as she loved Augusta’s version so much. She commissioned Garrard to make the piece.
Queen Mary Lover’s Knot tiara features a French neo-classical design, with 19 open diamond frames each with a large pearl drop. At the top of each, from which each pearl hangs, is the lovers’ knot.
When the piece was initially commissioned, the tiara was nearly a replica of the original, but Queen Mary had the piece altered after a few years. Originally, the tiara featured upright pearls, sitting on top of the knots, making the piece a lot taller. It also featured the same pearls that once featured on the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara.
Following the death of Queen Mary, the tiara was passed down to her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen wore the tiara on a number of occasions in the 1950s and 1960s, including a visit to the United States in 1957.
The tiara was then loaned to the Princess of Wales in 1981 for her wedding by the Queen, but she chose to wear the Spencer tiara instead. However, the tiara became a favourite of Diana’s and was worn on a number of times.
The tiara was not seen during her and Charles’ separation as she did not attend any white tie events. Upon her divorce from Prince Charles, the tiara was returned to the Queen.
After years of not being seen at royal events, the tiara made a return when the then-Duchess of Cambridge wore it for a Diplomatic Reception in 2015.
Catherine wore the tiara again for the Spanish State Banquet in 2017, the 2017 Diplomatic Reception, the Dutch State Banquet in 2018 and the Diplomatic Reception in the same year. It is now her go-to headpiece for white tie events.