Queen Elizabeth’s tiaras—the history behind her magnificent pieces and which key royals have worn them

Many of Queen Elizabeth's tiaras have been showcased by her fellow royals across the years and have a rich history to them...

Queen Elizabeth's tiaras revealed, seen here as she arrived for the state banquet in her honour at Schloss Bellevue palace
(Image credit: Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth’s tiaras range from more classic designs to show-stopping creations encrusted with colorful jewels and plenty of royals have worn them over the years. 

From Queen Elizabeth’s most incredible brooches to the most expensive piece of British Royal Family jewelry ever, there are some pretty magnificent pieces in the monarch’s collection. Perhaps the most eye-catching of all her jewelry items, however, are Queen Elizabeth’s tiaras. From the simple to the spectacular, these royal tiaras have so much history behind them.

Even though many haven’t been worn by the Queen in public for several years, she’s often loaned some of her most iconic tiaras to other members of the extended Royal Family. From Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle’s wedding tiaras to the headpieces worn for royal banquets, eagle-eyed fans might well have recognized some of these designs over the years...

Queen Elizabeth's tiaras and where you've seen them before

Queen Mary's Diamond Fringe Tiara

Queen Elizabeth's tiaras include the Queen Mary Diamond Fringe Tiara also worn by Princess Anne

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The Queen’s wedding tiara might not be quite as statement as the Burmese Ruby Tiara many fans might remember her wearing on many occasions throughout her 70 year reign. But the Queen Mary Diamond Fringe Tiara is still one of the most beautiful royal jewelry pieces and part of one of the most iconic moments in Her Majesty’s life. It was originally made for Queen Mary in 1919 from a diamond necklace given by Queen Victoria. 

This stunning piece features tapered diamonds and is understood to have been set in gold and silver. And its romantic history has been continued as the Diamond Fringe Tiara has been loaned to multiple royals for their own big days. Originally owned by the Queen Mother, she lent it to Princess Anne for her first wedding to Captain Mark Phillips in 1973. 

But the tiara has been brought out even more recently than that as after this became one of Queen Elizabeth’s tiaras, she lent it to Princess Beatrice to wear for her 2020 wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. 

Cartier Halo Tiara

Princess Anne and the Duchess of Cambridge wearing the Cartier Halo Tiara

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Whilst there are many aspects of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding day which captured the hearts and minds of fans, many might’ve spotted the sweet nod to the Queen in the new Duchess of Cambridge’s tiara choice. For her big day she was also loaned one of Queen Elizabeth’s tiaras: the Cartier Halo Tiara. 

According to Tatler, this magnificent tiara consists of 739 brilliant-cut diamonds as well as a further 149 baguette diamonds. Her Majesty’s sister Princess Margaret also wore the tiara during her lifetime, whilst Princess Anne also reportedly wore the Cartier Halo Tiara often before her marriage. The Princess Royal famously wore this fabulous piece on tour in New Zealand with the Queen and Prince Philip in 1970. 

And it’s likely a particularly sentimental part of the monarch’s jewelry collection as she received it as a precious 18th birthday gift from her mother in 1944. 

Queen Mary's Bandeau Tiara

Meghan Markle wears Queen Mary's Bandeau Tiara at the altar during her wedding in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle

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Meghan Markle’s wedding dress was a real show-stopper and the choice of one the more understated of Queen Elizabeth’s tiaras added more sophisticated glamor to this elegant look. For her nuptials at St George’s Chapel, the Duchess of Sussex wore Queen Mary’s Bandeau Tiara. 

Just like the name would suggest, it once belonged to Queen Mary before she bequeathed it to Queen Elizabeth in 1953. As revealed by the Royal Collection Trust, it is pavé set with both large and small brilliant diamonds and is formed of a flexible band that features eleven different sections. 

The center showcases a detachable brooch consisting of ten diamonds and the design for Queen Mary was specifically focused to accommodate the brooch.  

Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara

Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge wearing the Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara

(Image credit: Future// Image 1: Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images // Image 2: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Although the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara is understood to be one of Queen Elizabeth’s tiaras, it’s other royals who have perhaps become more closely associated with it in recent years. The late Princess Diana was often pictured wearing this beautiful creation and her daughter-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge stepped out in the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara for a Buckingham Palace reception in 2015 as well as several times since. 

The connection between the two wearers is very special and the piece itself is likely also an incredibly sentimental piece for the monarch. Like so many of Her Majesty's iconic tiaras, the Lover’s Knot Tiara was reportedly one of Queen Mary's. 

Town&Country reports that it was crafted in 1914 from pearls and diamonds owned by her family and it was supposedly designed in the style of the original Lover’s Knot Tiara owned by Queen Mary’s grandmother. With so many royal women associated with the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara, it likely holds many precious memories for Her Majesty.

Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara

Princess Eugenie of York wears the Queen Elizabeth's Greville Emerald tiara

(Image credit: Photo by JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Princess Eugenie’s wedding was held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor just a few months after her cousin Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot at the very same venue. Though when it came to tiaras, the Queen’s grandchild went for a totally different and more colorful look, opting for an emerald and diamond studded headpiece. 

The Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara is said to have been made by French jeweler Boucheron in 1919 and the original owner, Dame Margaret Greville, left many of her dazzling pieces to the Queen Mother who in turn left them to Queen Elizabeth. 

The tiara was designed in the kokoshnik style which was popular at the Russian Imperial court in the 19th century. With pave diamonds, emeralds and a platinum setting, this is one mesmerizing wedding tiara! 

Five Aquamarine Tiara

Sophie, Countess of Wessex wears the Five Aquamarine Tiara at the Gala dinner for the wedding of Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg and Stephanie de Lannoy

(Image credit: Photo by Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images)

More than one of Queen Elizabeth’s tiaras feature brilliant blue aquamarine stones, but the Five Aquamarine Tiara is more than a little intriguing. Whilst part of Her Majesty’s tiara collection, it’s claimed that she wore it during a visit to Canada in 1970, before it disappeared from the public eye. 

Then, in 2012, it was brought back out again by the Queen’s daughter-in-law Sophie, Countess of Wessex. The Countess wore it for the pre-wedding dinner of the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg that October and then again for the 2013 Wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden. 

She is also said to have worn it for a state dinner in 2014 and this stunning piece features five blue aquamarines arranged in an almost floral, ribbon-like design. 

Greville Tiara

Queen Mother and the Duchess of Cornwall wear the Greville Tiara

(Image credit: Future// Image 1: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images // Image 2: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Elaborate and diamond-encrusted as you might expect from Queen Elizabeth’s tiaras, this particular crown is one very popular with other members of the Royal Family. It’s thought that the Greville Tiara, sometimes known as the Boucheron Honeycomb Tiara, is Duchess Camilla’s “favorite” accessory and that it could be worth as much as £3 million. 

This awe-inspiring piece was once owned by Margaret Greville and as with the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara it was left to the late Queen Mother. Queen Elizabeth then inherited her mother’s collection and it’s believed that this piece is on long-term loan to the Duchess of Cornwall. 

The design was changed over the years and the Queen Mother reportedly had the iconic raised sections and rows of graduated diamonds added in. 

Lotus Flower Diamond Tiara

Queen Mother and Duchess of Cambridge wear the Lotus Flower Tiara

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Like other items in Queen Elizabeth’s tiara collection, the Lotus Flower Tiara is understood to have once been another jewelry piece entirely. Originally worn by the Queen Mother, she’s said to have had it made into a crown from a necklace she received from King George VI as a wedding present. 

She lent it to Princess Margaret, who in turn lent it to her son Viscount Linley’s now-wife Serena Stanhope to wear at their wedding. Although it might have been thought that the tiara belonged to Princess Margaret’s family, it seems this might not be the case at all as the Duchess of Cambridge has worn it several times, in 2013 and 2015. 

Although not confirmed, this suggests that Her Majesty has loaned it to Kate Middleton to wear it for those state occasions. The Lotus Flower Tiara features a band of stylised diamond flowers with diamond arches, with each of the arches leading to a single pearl.  

What tiara does Queen Elizabeth wear most often? 

Whilst there are no doubt many pieces in Queen Elizabeth’s tiara collection that are of special significance to the monarch, there are those she’s definitely worn more than others for major occasions, receptions and on tours over the years.

This includes The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara which despite its rather long name has a relatively simple design. The Queen has regularly been pictured wearing this tiara over the years to everything from state banquets to overseas visits. 

Queen Elizabeth ll attends the State Banquet given in her honour by King Carl XVl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden in Stockholm, Sweden

(Image credit: Photo by John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images)

This particular piece was a wedding present from “The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland” to Queen Mary in 1893 when she was the Duchess of York.

She then gave it as a wedding present to her granddaughter the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947. Queen Elizabeth has even appeared wearing this particular tiara on certain issues of banknotes and coins in Britain and the Commonwealth. 

Queen Elizabeth II hosts a State Banquet for the President of Turkey Abdullah Gul at Buckingham Palace wearing The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara

(Image credit: Photo by Rota/ Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Set in gold and silver with diamonds crafted into fleur-de-lis style patterns, it’s not hard to see why this is likely one of her favorites. Queen Elizabeth has also often been pictured wearing the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara and the Kokoshnik Tiara during her momentous reign.

How many tiaras does the Queen have?

Sadly for anyone wondering exactly how many tiaras the Queen has in her collection, the exact number is not known for certain. Many of Queen Elizabeth’s tiaras also haven’t been seen in public in many years and many of them have belonged to the Royal Family for generations, making it more tricky to determine. 

Queen Elizabeth wearing Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara

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

Amongst her collection there are several iconic tiaras that have long been associated with the Queen and which have been seldom seen recently as she doesn’t appear to have loaned them to fellow royals.

This includes Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara which is based on the shape of a traditional Russian headdress called a Kokoshnik. The Kokoshnik Tiara features 61 bars with diamonds intricately matched and this particular tiara was given to Queen Alexandra as a 25th wedding anniversary present in 1888.

Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Grand Duchess Vladimir Of Russia Tiara During An Official Overseas Tour Of Germany

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

Another of the most notable of Queen Elizabeth’s tiaras is the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara. Featuring diamonds and pearls, the Vladimir Tiara was reportedly commissioned by the Romanov’s court jeweler, Bolin, according to Town&Country.

Queen Elizabeth II's Vladimir Tiara is displayed at Buckingham Palace on July 25, 2006

(Image credit: Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

The Grand Duchess Vladimir was married to the uncle of the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II. After being smuggled out of Russia it was later sold by her family after her death to Queen Mary who introduced some major design details into the already impressive piece.

The current tiara can now be worn three different ways, with a mechanism added to swap in emeralds for the pearls that feature in the original, or to leave it “plain” with just the diamonds.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.