Duchess Sophie's wedding tiara belonged to Queen Elizabeth II - but that's not the only important Queen it's connected to

Duchess Sophie's wedding tiara is a sweet nod to several members of the royal family and it has the most fascinating history

The newly-wed British royal couple Prince Edward (R) and Sophie Rhys-Jones greet wellwishers on their way from Windsor Castle after the wedding ceremony 19 June 1999. The royal couple took a brief ride through the historic town of Windsor.
(Image credit: MIKE SIMMONDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Duchess Sophie's wedding tiara is a sweet nod to several members of the royal family's most powerful women and it has the most fascinating history. The Duchess has worn it several times since her wedding day to Prince Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Edward And Sophie Rhys-jones On The Day Of Their Wedding.

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Although Sophie Wessex had a 'private' second wedding dress, there was only one tiara for the Duchess - who received the stunning piece from her late mother-in-law Queen Elizabeth.

The youngest of Queen Elizabeth II's children, Prince Edward, married the former PR consultant at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor in June 1999, six years after the couple first began dating. The nuptials were notably less formal than those of more senior royals, with no military or ceremonial state officials present and no politicians invited to the high-profile event. 

It may have been a less formal affair - but Duchess Sophie's tiara was fit for a Princess! Known as the Anthemion Tiara, the Duchess' tiara was chosen from Queen Elizabeth II’s private jewelry collection.

The Earl & Countess Of Wessex Attend The Wedding Of Crown Prince Haakon Of Norway & Mette-Marit In Oslo.

(Image credit: Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images)

According to the fine jewelry and engagement ring experts at UK retailer Steven Stone - it appears that the Duchess was lucky enough to be able to keep her tiara. This assumption is made on the basis that she's worn it at several royal occasions since her big day.

This includes wedding celebrations of European Royals like Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Donaldson in 2004, and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling in 2010.

Wedding of Princess Martha Louise and Ari Behn in Trondheim, Norway on May 24, 2002 - Martha Louise and Ari Behn with their guest at the balcony for looking a firework, left to rigth: X, Karl Philip and Madeleine of Sweden, Prince Nikolaos of Greece, Sophie Rhys Jones and prince Edward.

(Image credit: BASSIGNAC/BUU/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

According to The Court Jeweller, it's believed that, "the tiara is composed of four anthemion elements that were originally alternative pieces of Queen Victoria’s Regal Circlet."

They continue to explain that the circlet, "was made with a set of detachable fleur-de-lis, Maltese cross, and anthemion elements that could be swapped out and rearranged."

Interestingly enough, one of the anthemions was designed to accommodate one of the greatest, and most controversial, diamonds from Queen Victoria’s reign -  the Koh-i-Noor, which is currently set in the Queen Mother’s Crown.

Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and Princess Sophie, the Countess of Wessex attend the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling on June 19, 2010 in Stockholm, Sweden.

(Image credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

According to the experts at Steven Stone, the name 'Anthemion comes from its use of anthemion – an ancient Greek technique that features a number of radiating petals.

This, claim the experts, may even symbolise another important member of the Royal Family - the late Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip.

Wedding of Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Donaldson: arrivals at the cathedral in Copenhagen, Denmark on May 14, 2004 - Prince Edward and Sophie of Wessex.

(Image credit: Pool BENAINOUS/DUCLOS/TRAVERS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

"It’s also possible that the tiara serves as a tribute to Prince Philip, due to its use of anthemion – a technique used in ancient Greek times," they explain. "Before he married Queen Elizabeth II, the late royal was Prince of Greece and Denmark."

The piece is likely priceless to the Duchess, but according to the experts at Steven Stone - it's worth approximately $1.6M/£1.25M.

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly woman&home's junior news editor and a contributing writer at Bustle, her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica and EVOKE.

Her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.