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Kate in the Lotus Flower Tiara

You guys! After waiting two years and eight months since Kate’s last tiara appearance (which of course was her wedding day), we have photos of Kate in another tiara. She and William were photographed en route to the annual Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace this evening which in itself is quite a big deal since they have avoided these sorts of occasions in the past. Perhaps this is a sign that Kate and William are going to stepping more into full times roles now. WHatever the case Kate brought out the big guns for the occasion:

Kate in the Lotus Flower Tiara en route to Buckingham Palace on December 3, 2013 (via Daily Mail)

Kate in the Lotus Flower Tiara en route to Buckingham Palace on December 3, 2013 (via Daily Mail)

Instead of wearing the Cartier Halo tiara that Kate chose to borrow for her wedding, this time she  is wearing the Queen Mum’s Lotus Flower Tiara which we recently featured in one of our posts. You can read all about the history of the tiara here (there’s a whole lot of history).

The new Duchess of Cambridge wearing the Cartier Halo Tiara and matching earrings from Robinson Pelham

I wonder if Kate had a tough time deciding between the two tiaras for the wedding. Perhaps she ultimately went with the Halo since the lotus flower represents “estrangement” in the language of flowers. After all, the language of flowers was a major theme in the wedding and that obviously wasn’t the message she was hoping to give off, am I right?

Kate is also wearing a delicate-looking lace dress that has been confirmed as a bespoke McQueen creation. She also accesorized with a pair of STUNNING diamond chandelier earrings that were first seen on Kate at the BAFTA dinner she attended in Los Angeles back in the summer of 2011. Their provenance is unknown and has never been confirmed by the palace, so we’re assuming they were a private gift.

Arriving at the BAFTA dinner 2011 (via Style.MTV.com)

Arriving at the BAFTA dinner 2011 (via Style.MTV.com)

Here is a closer look:

A close up of Kate's earrings (via )

A close up of Kate’s earrings (via Diana’s jewels.net)

This tiara is a great choice for Kate, since it is both pretty and delicate and incorporates both pearls and diamonds, which we know she loves. I mean, who wouldn’t? And bonus: this piece is not associated with Diana.

Photograph from Tiaras: A History of Splendour

Photograph from Tiaras: A History of Splendour by Geoffrey Munn

The tiara was originally owned by Queen Mary, who likely created it out of the diamonds and pearls from this necklace:

Via Royal Fandom

Via Royal Fandom

She in turn passed the tiara along to the Duchess of York after she married Bertie, who liked to wear the tiara low on her forehead as was the fashion of the time:

The Duchess of York in the Lotus Flower c. 1925 (via Royal Dish)

The Duchess of York in the Lotus Flower c. 1925 (via Royal Dish)

She in turn passed the tiara on to Princess Margaret

The National Portrait Gallery, London

The National Portrait Gallery, London

And before Kate wore it out this evening, the last person to be seen in public wearing this tiara was Princess Margaret’s daughter-in-law Serena Stanhope, who wore it on her wedding day on October 8, 1993. That’s over 20 years, kids!

via MSN.com

via MSN.com

It’s interesting that Kate decided to pull out something different for tonight and that she left the Halo Tiara and matching earrings in the vault – perhaps she really did love it back when wedding preparations were underway and jumped at the chance to bring it out this time? Updated: Turns out the Halo tiara is currently part of a Cartier exhibit underway in Paris. I’m all for the Lotus Flower Tiara being given another chance to shine. Also could this event be a reason that Kate didn’t attend the Winter Whites Gala at Kensington Palace in support of Centrepoint recently?

William is looking good, too (via the Daily Mail)

William is looking good, too (via the Daily Mail)

If you’re in the mood for more tiara talk, check out these past posts:

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8 replies

  1. I’m kind of (really) pissed that there will be no photos. I mean, the only reason to tax-subsidize a monarchy is so that we could ooh and aah at them like zoo animals (I kid, but only half so). And we’ve been clamoring for a tiara event for Kate, and now it’s been withheld? Two formal events withheld, really. WTHell?

  2. She didn’t wear the Halo tiara because it’s on exhibition in Paris.

  3. “This tiara is a great choice for Kate, since it is both pretty and delicate and incorporates both pearls and diamonds, which we know she loves.”
    Does Kate wear pearls at all? I am not aware that she does much except for the one pair of earrings.
    Also I am a bit disappointed that she’s never worn her wedding earrings again :(

    • I’m with you- I hope those wedding earrings come out again soon. So pretty.

      As far as the pearls go, while she doesn’t wear them as much as Diana did (no pearl chokers yet for kate!) she does seem to like to accessorize with them. She has two pairs of drop pearls earrings that come out a lot and she wore studs to Wimbledon to see Andy Murray play. Then on her tour of South East Asia she wore those little rhinestone and pearl pins in her hair for a little extra pizazz. Her light pink bespoke McQueen jacket that she wore in the summer also had pearl buttons…I think she’s like pearls almost as much as she likes lace but that’s just my take.

      And yes it’s a bit nuts that I keep these sorts of things filed away in my mind!! LOL.

  4. I don’t think Queen Mary ever owned the tiara. In The Queen’s Diamonds, Sir Hugh Roberts wrote that the necklace pictured was purchased at Garrards and given as a wedding gift by the Duke of York (later George VI) to his bride. It was soon dismantled and the tiara made from the stones. Queen Mary may have assisted her son with the selection of the necklace and possibly could have even been involved with its transformation, but the Queen Mother was the first to have owned the piece in its current form.

    • Hi Baxter! Thanks for your thoughts. That could very well be the case. I hope to get a copy of that book soon. To research my post on this tiara, I referenced Geoffrey C. Munn’s delightful book ‘Tiaras A History of Splendour’. In it he says “The jewel, which originally belonged to Queen Mary, was not originally intended to be worn as shown [across the forehead] but high on the head.” So that’s why I figured the necklace and/tiara were originally in Queen Mary’s collection.

      Can’t wait to read The Queen’s Diamonds! Thanks again for your thoughts

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