Sometimes referred to as the Cambridge Lover's Knot, it is one of the best-known tiaras in the British royal family's collection, mostly thanks to it being a favorite of the late Princess Diana.
A little more than century old, the tiara recently sparkled in the spotlight once again when Princess Kate wore it for a reception at Buckingham Palace in December. (Granted, we only got the teeniest glimpse of the diamond-and-pearl creation when Kate wore it, but here's hoping that we'll get to see lots more tiara time for the royal mom in the future.)
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The stunner was originally commissioned from famous court jewelers Garrard by Queen Mary sometime in 1913 or 1914. It's actually a replica of a 200-year-old Gothic Revival tiara owned by Mary's grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse, the Duchess of Cambridge. (Hence the alternate name of "Cambridge Lover's Knot.") The original Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara was later sold at auction at Christie's in Geneva in May 1981 for more than $747,000 in today's dollars to an anonymous buyer and is presumed to be in an unknown private collection. But really, what's the point of owning a historical tiara if you can't show it off every now and then?
Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Hulton Archive / Getty
When Queen Mary died in 1953, she left the tiara to her granddaughter, the Queen, who wore it with style during many formal appearances throughout the '50s. However, she later retired the tiara in favor of her other go-to looks, including the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland sparkler. In 1981, she loaned the tiara to Diana as a wedding present, with many thinking the future Princess of Wales would wear it on her wedding day. However, when the big day came, Diana instead chose to wear the Spencer Tiara, an 18th-century family heirloom from her great aristocratic family, the Spencers. (That famous tiara, which Di wore often during royal engagements, still belongs to the Spencer family.) Diana still held onto the Lover's Knot topper, however, and it became a favorite piece over the years and thus became closely associated with the Princess of Wales.
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