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 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?