Princess Beatrice, 31, wed Edoardo Mapelli Mozzii, 37, yesterday in an intimate ceremony in Windsor. For her nuptials, Beatrice made a nod to her grandmother the Queen by choosing to wear the same tiara Her Majesty chose for her own wedding nearly 73 years ago.
The blushing bride stepped out in the glittering Queen Mary’s Fringe tiara, a diamond diadem whose design was inspired by the court of the Romanovs.
Like much of the jewellery in the Queen’s collection, this originated with Queen Mary.
Queen Mary had this made in 1919 according to the fashions of the time – and it is not, in fact, the only fringe style tiara in the Queen’s collection.
It is often confused with Queen Adelaide’s Fringe – a smaller, more delicate piece made in 1831 and worn by many British royals in history. Queen Elizabeth is not known to have worn this particular piece publicly.
Her Majesty explained how the tiara came to break during a tour of the Buckingham Palace exhibition of the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding gown in 2011.
Speaking about the tiara with Kate Middleton, she explained: “The catch, which I didn’t know existed, it suddenly went [gestures with her hands].
“And I didn’t know it was a necklace, you see…I thought I’d broken it…we stuck it all together again, but I was rather alarmed…”
In the book Garrard: The Crown Jewelers for 150 Years, it is said the Queen Mother calmed Elizabeth down by saying “We have two hours and there are other tiaras.”
But Elizabeth was determined, and waited for Queen Mary’s Fringe to be repaired.
Elizabeth is not the only royal bride to wear this tiara – Princess Anne chose it for her wedding to Mark Phillips in 1973, and again, it was a loan from Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
After the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, the tiara passed to Queen Elizabeth, and she has worn it on a few occasions since, including for her New Zealand’s Diamond Jubilee Portrait.
For her big day, Beatrice wore her auburn hair in loose tumbling waves around her shoulders.
Her simple hair and makeup choices allowed her dress, which was also a loan from the Queen and featured heavy embroidery detail, to take centre stage along with the glittering tiara.
It was assumed Beatrice would, like her sister, choose a tiara long forgotten in the vaults of the Queen’s collection.
Options at her disposal included the Stratmore Rose, worn by the Queen Mother in the 1920s, or the Triumph of Love, worn by Princess Margaret.
Beatrice could also have plumped for Queen Mary’s Sapphire Bandeau, the Cartier Bracelet Bandeau, or Queen Mary’s Diamond Lozenge – none of which have been seen in many decades.