Thoughts on Emily McCorquodale’s Wedding

It was a happy day for the Spencer family on Saturday, June 9, 2012. Prince William, Prince Harry, and the Duchess of Cambridge were all out to attend their cousin Emily McCorquodale’s wedding to James Hutt.

To keep attention away from the bride, Kate wore a repeated hat, dress, and jacket.

Harry was in fine form, as usual. Here he is joking with his friend James Mead.

What makes this wedding extra special are some traditions and family heirlooms that were incorporated, so let’s dive in.

The Bride: Emily McCorquodale

The bride is the daughter of Princess Diana’s oldest sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale. Born in 1983, she is one year younger than Prince William and it it’s nice to see that she is still close to William and Harry. Emily also has a younger brother named George Edmund (born in 1984) and a sister named Celia Rose (born in 1990).

As children, they spent time together on holidays, including on a trip to Necker Island in the spring of 1990.

All the cousins joined in to bury Diana in the sand.

Diana’s mum Frances Shand Kydd and sisters Jane and Sarah were all there as well. It looks like Jane (on the left) and Sara (on the right) didn’t get the memo to bring cute beach cover ups.

Emily grew up in Lincolnshire with her family and attended West Heath School for Girls just like her mum and aunts had done (our post on Diana’s official visit to the school with her sisters in 1987 can be found here).  She then went on to study at Leeds Metropolitan University and in 2003, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called plasmacytoma which she seems to have recovered well from [source].

In early April 2011, she attended William Duckworth-Chad and Lucy Greenwell Wedding’s wedding with her mum and of course was also at her cousin Prince William’s wedding that month.

Fortunately, Emily was the picture of health on her wedding day.

The Bride’s Tiara

A gorgeous tiara was the perfect topper for the bride’s ensemble.

Before we discuss this mysterious tiara further, let’s review some history. As you probably know, Lady Sarah and Prince Charles stepped out for a while a few years before Diana was in the picture.

They were photographed together on several occasions and there was some speculation it would all end in a royal wedding.

It ended with a bang after Sarah made a giant faux pas and spoke to the press, which is a whole other story. In the end, Sarah married Neil McCorquodale in 1980, which we discussed in our post on the Spencer tiaras.

Here are Lady Jane (on the left) and Lady Sarah (on the right) wearing the Spencer tiara on their wedding days.

Of course, Diana wore the same tiara on her wedding day as well.

As far as we know, the most recent bride to have worn the Spencer tiara is Earl Spencer’s first wife Victoria Lockwood. Check out Prince Harry as an adorable attendant below as well!

And here’s Emily in the tiara which we haven’t been able to identify.

This gorgeous tiara clearly isn’t one of the two Spencer tiaras we are aware of, nor does it look like the tiara that her grandmother Frances wore on her wedding day to the future Earl Spencer.


Could there be a Spencer tiara we didn’t know about? Our other options are that this is a McCorquodale tiara or one owned by the groom’s family. Intriguing! I hope we get to the bottom of this tiara mystery.

Also, Emily’s bouquet looks a bit like Diana’s to me. I love that she didn’t go small and dainty with it- it is a proper bouquet!

Lady Sarah’s Pearl Choker

Next up for discussion is the stand-out pearl choker worn by the mother of the bride. She’s pictured here with Emily’s sister Cecilia.

As we’ve discussed in the past, the Spencer ladies like their pearl chokers (click here for a refresher). Sarah has worn this piece numerous times over the years. It has five strings of pearls with a central gold clasp that features an inset pearl. Another pearl dangles down from the clasp.

Lady Sarah wore this necklace to Diana’s wedding (she’s the lady in green to the far right).

At some point after the wedding breakfast, Lady Sarah took the choker off and passed it along to Diana to wear with her ‘going away’ outfit – love that!

The choker was back with Sarah for her brother Charles’ wedding as you can see below.

Naturally she also wore it to Prince William’s wedding. She’s in the white hat behind Prince Harry’s head below.

Lady Sarah’s Diamond Chandelier Earrings

For her daughter’s wedding, Lady Sarah is also wearing the same chandelier diamond earrings that Princess Diana wore on her wedding day.

The earrings were Diana’s ‘something borrowed.’

These earrings are reported to have belonged to Frances Shand Kydd and they’ve been displayed with Diana’s wedding dress at Althorp. My guess is that Frances left the earrings to Sarah who loaned them out for the exhibit.

Lady Sarah also wore the earrings to Prince William’s wedding reception. Here she is leaving the Buckingham Palace reception all dolled up in her finery.


The Attendants

The flower girls were dressed in very sweet white dresses with blue satin sashes and the little page boy was looking very official.

We unearthed this photograph taken during Lady Sarah and Neil McCorquodale’s Althorp wedding reception. Their wedding took place on May 17, 1980 and the page boys wore a very similar jacket. Could it be the same one? Also, that’s Princess Margaret’s daughter Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones as a bridesmaid! She’s standing in the back row on the far left. A few years later she was Lady Diana’s oldest bridesmaid. For our post on that, click here.

And that’s not all the sharing that went on- check out the greens dress on the Mother of the Bride.  It’s the exact same one Lady Sarah wore to Diana’s wedding.

Other Spencers in Attendance

Earl Spencer was there along with his son Edmund and third wife Karen Gordon.

Lady Kitty Spencer was there as well.


Lady Jane was at the wedding as well along with her husband Sir Robert Fellowes and their three children Laura (born 1980), Alexander (born 1983), and Eleonor (born 1985). Why oh why didn’t she pull out one of her pearl chokers for the occasion?? Seriously – those should not be kept locked up!

Notably, Lady Jane was one of the people spotted in a wide shot of the royal box during the Jubilee concert last weekend. Didn’t see Lady Sarah in the picture, though.

What do you think of these wedding traditions? And any more guesses on the history of Emily’s tiara? 


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  1. Regarding the Spencer tiara: A friend and I viewed the (traveling) exhibit, “Diana: A Celebration”, at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut this past November. Diana’s wedding dress, shoes, tiara and other tidbits were on display. The tiara was, I’m sorry to say, in DIRE need of a good cleaning. Very sad to see something so beautiful in such sorry shape… Anyway, I wonder if this ‘traveling tiara’ is an original or a copy?
    Thank you for all the time and work that MUST go into this AMAZING site that you so generously share with all of us!! Jenniffer

    1. I saw the same exhibit and I agree completely – the tiara was very underwhelming and in need of some serious TLC. I actually found the wedding dress underwhelming also – maybe simply because nothing can live up to 30 years of hype.

      1. Oh how sad. Tatty comments. Diana’s wedding dress was stunning, dramatic and interesting. Maybe some here would prefer Waity Kate’s shroud looking thing , it could have come off the rack from an average department store from the way it looked.

  2. Lady Jane Fellowes’s husband is the man wearing glasses in the picture of the Cambridges looking testy. I agree with your feelings about Catherine’s outfit. The pieces are nice by themselves but don’t quite work together.

  3. I agree that Kate deliberately chose her look as a guest at this wedding. She chose items that go together well enough, but each individual item – the dress, the coat, the shoes, and the hat were all neutral colors. And all were instantly recognizable as having been worn before.

  4. Emily looked lovely, but too much lace. She could have done better. I did like the tiara, and I beleive that her tiara is in the Spencer family. I too viewed the Diana Exhibit in the U.S. and I did feel that the metal of Diana’s tiara was very dark and looked like it needed some polish, but the diamonds on it were brilliant! I think the dress looked exactly like a victorian wedding dress should, the 25 foot train was exquisite, but let’s face it Diana made that dress look stunning, anything Princess Diana wore looked stunning, she made the clothes not the other way around. So, the dress without Diana in it is just a dress. Kate’s outfit at Emily’s wedding kind of looked like a burlap sack, she in general, is rather lack luster. She also has a very snarky look to her face, and when she doesn’t realize that the camera is on her she makes the meanest expressions. Not over the moon about her, here’s hoping Harry marries someone more like his mother.

    1. I agree. Diana was stunning and I loved her clothes and wedding dress. There’s no “style” these days.
      I am very underwhelmed by anything and everything about Middleton. Bleah –

  5. I am surprised to see the expression on Kate’s face where the article suggests she and William got a little testy. It’s good to see that ugly side of her. She tries to project an image such that one would think her incapable of giving anyone such a dirty look. Poor William; the more I see, the more I know he’s very naive.

  6. A snapshot is a nanosecond. Deliriously happy people can look “testy” in a snapshot. The media always try to leap to a conclusion about someone’s mood based on a snapshot.

  7. the earrings worn by Sarah are most probably hers now, passed on from her Mum, and on loan from her to the Althorp estate for the wedding display. I believe they did belong to Frances, and not a Spencer heirloom, because Frances wore those earrings to the 1985 21st birthday party of her Son Charles at Spencer house.

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