Why Sarah Ferguson got to keep her wedding tiara - but Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle had to give their tiaras back to the Queen

Sarah Ferguson's wedding tiara was not returned to the Queen after her wedding to Prince Andrew for this very unique reason

Sarah Ferguson's wedding tiara
(Image credit: John Shelley Collection/Avalon / Contributor / Getty Images)

Sarah Ferguson's wedding tiara is one of the most iconic pieces of royal jewelry that caught the attention of fans at Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's wedding in 1986.

In 1986, Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew at Westminster Abbey in London and the pair became known as the Duke and Duchess of York. 

While many were focused on Sarah Ferguson's rare Burmese ruby engagement ring which had a unique shape and a pinky-red ruby center stone, others were more interested in her secret tiara that was revealed halfway through the celebrations.

The Duchess wore a flower crown for the first part of the ceremony which was then removed to reveal a delicate diamond tiara underneath. It was this stunning piece of jewelry that Sarah has been seen wearing over the past few decades since her royal wedding.

Sarah ferguson

(Image credit: Tim Graham / Contributor/ Getty)

Although it is customary that the women marrying into the Royal Family will borrow a tiara from the Queen's crown jewels and then return the item back to Her Majesty after the wedding, things were a bit different for Sarah Ferguson.

When Sarah married Prince Andrew, she wore a tiara that was reportedly purchased for her by the Queen, the York Diamond Tiara. "Unlike most of the tiaras worn at British royal weddings, this piece was completely new. It was purchased for Sarah by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip from Garrard," says The Court Jeweler.

This tiara has continued to appear in Sarah's personal collection even after her divorce from Prince Andrew, and it is clear that unlike the tiaras worn by Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle at their respective weddings, this piece of jewelry was not simply lent to Sarah.

Sarah Ferguson

Sarah Ferguson in the tiara in 2001

(Image credit: John Rogers / Contributor / Getty Images)

The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex borrowed Queen Elizabeth's tiaras for their wedding day which have returned to the Royal Family's collection. 

At her wedding to Prince William in 2011, Catherine wore the Cartier Halo Tiara which was made in 1936. Meghan Markle wore the Queen Mary's Diamond Bandeau. This piece once belonged to Queen Mary before she handed it down to Queen Elizabeth in 1953. 

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.