Kate Middleton can't wear Diana's tiara at first official banquet as Princess of Wales for this reason

Kate Middleton can't wear Diana's tiara during the event celebrating the state visit of the President of South Africa this week

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge departs after attending the annual Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace on December 8, 2016 in London, England.
(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Kate Middleton can't wear Diana's tiara on her first official banquet as Princess of Wales. Female members of the Royal Family usually sport tiaras during official state visits and although it remains to be seen which Princess Kate chooses - it won't be Diana's.

Kate Middleton's engagement ring is famously inherited from her late mother-in-law and is a direct connection between the late Princess of Wales and her successor. Despite her new title, the Princess of Wales isn't eligible to wear the Spencer tiara, which Diana wore on her wedding day and first day as the Princess of Wales. The reason for this is pretty straightforward - it's the Spencer Tiara and belongs to the Spencer family. 

Princess Diana and Charles wedding

(Image credit: erry Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

It's been four decades since Prince Charles and Princess Diana's relationship began and 26 years since it ended. Princess Diana's wedding dress went down in history as one of the most famous gowns in history, as did her stunning jewelry. The cherry on top was the Spencer Tiara - a garland-style diadem made up of circular and rose-cut, cushion and pear-shaped diamonds all mounted in gold. These precious stones cover a central heart that's flanked by running scrolls, which are interspersed with stunning star and trumpet-shaped flowers.

According to Sotheby's, "The tiara is reported to have been created originally in 1767 for Viscountess Montagu and remodeled by exclusive jewelers Garrard in the 1930s." Princess Diana's grandmother Viscountess Althorp was purportedly gifted the central motif by Lady Sarah Spencer in 1919. After this, further motifs were added, which combined to create the stunning tiara we see today.

Kate wore an L.K. Bennett dress in the colors of the Ukrainian flag

(Image credit: PAUL EDWARDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

After the late Princess' father John Spencer, the 8th Earl Spencer, inherited the tiara in the mid-1970s, all three of his daughters wore it on their wedding days. Celia McCorquodale, Princess Diana's niece, wore it for her wedding in 2018 and the family still has it in their possession. This is despite some reports claiming that Princess Diana's Spencer tiara will be given to her eldest granddaughter, Princess Charlotte.

Princess Kate is certainly settling into her new role as the Princess of Wales, as she's been busy doing plenty of public engagements. All eyes will be on the new generation of the Royal Family during the upcoming state visit - the first since the Queen died.

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.