Cartier Halo Tiara
Another first of The Duchess of Cambridge’s Royal Journey is Cartier Halo Tiara. She wore the beautiful royal piece at her wedding on April 29, 2011. Designed by Cartier in 1936 the diamond ‘halo’ tiara formed as a band of 16 graduated scrolls is set with 739 brilliants and 149 baton diamonds, each scroll divided by a graduated brilliant and with a large brilliant at the centre.
The tiara was an anniversary gift from King George VI to his wife Queen Elizabeth I (The then Duke and Duchess of York). Queen Elizabeth II received the tiara from her Mother on her 18th birthday but never wore it publicly. It is believed that both The Queen and her mother were not fond of this tiara.
But the tiara remained a staple piece in the wardrobes of Princess Margaret and Later Princess Anne in their early years. Both Princesses were seen wearing the tiara on various occasions. Princess Margaret famously wore this tiara at the 1953 Coronation. Princess Anne wore this tiara until her wedding in 1973 and the demure yet elegant piece went into the Royal Jewel Vault where it remained hidden for almost 4 decades.
Her Majesty The Queen loaned the Cartier tiara to Catherine Middleton for her wedding in 2011. The tiara merged with her ceremonial attire very subtly while standing out. Catherine’s Robinson Pelham Wedding earrings had the same shape as the tiara’s scroll motifs.
After the 2011 Royal wedding, the tiara was on display at the Royal Collection’s show ‘The Royal Wedding Dress: A Story of Great British Design’ at Buckingham Palace along with the Duchess’ Wedding dress and veil.
On her wedding day, Catherine’s hairdresser, Richard Ward, and his team styled Catherine’s hairs into a demi chignon to set the tiara. A foundation for the tiara was set by back-combing where the tiara sat and then they added tiny plait in the middle and sewed it to make sure the tiara stays as it is during the long day. The salon reportedly used a £6.50 Claire plastic tiara for practice.