Five Royal Brides Who Wore Wedding Tiaras Not Borrowed From the Royal Vault

Royal brides wearing brand new wedding tiaras

We've been used to hearing royal brides wear tiaras on their wedding day from the jewelry collection of the royal family, loaned to them by the monarchs, however, there are some who get new head sparklers as wedding gifts.

Five of the modern royal brides from the reigning royal houses in Europe wore brand new wedding tiaras on their special day.

1. Sarah, Duchess of York - Sarah Ferguson is a great-great-great-granddaughter of the 6th Duke of Buccleuch, and her father, Ronald Ferguson, was the second cousin of Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester. Ronald Ferguson was the former polo manager of both Prince Philip and Prince Charles.

Sarah Duchess of york wedding tiara
The Duke and Duchess of York following the wedding ceremony

Sarah ferguson and Prince Andrew wedding

Sarah, informally known as Fergie, wed Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, on July 23, 1986, at Westminster Abbey. But unlike her sister-in-law, Diana, the Princess of Wales, who wore a family heirloom, the Spencer Tiara, and had a loan tiara from the Queen, the Queen Mary's Lover's Knot Tiara, Sarah did not wear a tiara from any of the above descriptions.

Instead, she donned a magnificent brand new topper on her wedding day, now known as the York Diamond Tiara. It was new piece bought by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh as a wedding gift, together with diamond earrings and necklace.

Sarah the duchess of york
Getty Images

Sarah Duchess of York
Getty Images

The tiara was custom-made by Garrard and features floral-shaped diamond scrolls. She would wear it several times on royal tours, state banquets, and other state occasions, during her short tenure as the Duchess of York.  

Following her separation from Prince Andrew in March 1992, and divorce in August 1996, the York Diamond Tiara made no appearance in public. It was last seen worn by Sarah in 2001 during the Elton John's White Tie Ball in Windsor.

Sarah duchess of york and her wedding tiara
The last time she wore the York tiara to an event. 2001

Many have thoughts her daughters would wear it on their respective wedding days, but Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie opted to use a royal family heirloom. 

Princess Eugenie, who was the first to wed among the two sisters, wore the Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara from her grandmother's jewelry collection when she wed Jack Brooksbank in October 2018. While her older sister, Princess Beatrice, wore her grandmother's wedding tiara, the exquisite Queen Mary Diamond Fringe Tiara on her wedding to Edoardo Mapelli-Mozzi in July 2020.

Sarah Duchess of York wedding tiara
Sarah, the Duchess of York on her wedding day

The York Diamond Tiara was a personal gift from the Queen and Prince Philip, thus, Sarah was able to keep it following her divorce from Princess Andrew. 

This tiara is believed to have stayed in the vault of the Royal Lodge, home of Prince Andrew near Windsor Castle because Sarah still lived with him until now despite being divorced for nearly 30 years.

2. Sophie, the Countess of Wessex - Sophie is another Windsor bride who wore a brand new tiara on her wedding day, although the materials used were said to be part of the Queen's antique jewelry collection. 

Sophie Countess of Wessex wedding tiara
The Earl and Countess of Wessex on their wedding day

The former Sophie Rhys-Jones, a PR executive, wed Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, on June 19, 1999, at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, avoiding the same circus his two older brothers' wedding had gone through in the 1980s.

Sophie Countess of Wessex wedding tiara
The Earl and Countess of Wessex following their wedding

This tiara is called the Anthemion Tiara and was a wedding gift from her in-laws, the Queen, and the Duke of Edinburgh. It was reportedly created out of the antique pieces from the Queen's jewelry collection. 

According to The Court Jeweller, this tiara was believed to have been composed of four anthemion elements that were originally alternative pieces of Queen Victoria's Regal Circlet.

Countess of Wessex wedding tiara
Countess of Wessex wearing the Anthemion Tiara

Sophie had worn this headpiece to many royal events including the royal weddings of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark to Mary Donaldson in May 2004, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden to Daniel Westling in June 2010, and Prince Albert II of Monaco to Charlene Wittstock in July 2011.

Countess of Wessex wedding tiara
Countess of Wessex wearing her wedding tiara to other royal weddings

But lately, we have seen the Countess of Wessex alternating with other tiaras from the royal family jewelry collection loaned by the Queen to her. 

3. Princess Claire of Belgium - She was born Claire Coombs to a British father and a Belgian mother and was a land surveyor before her marriage to the Belgian royal family. She wed Prince Laurent, the youngest child of then King Albert II of Belgium and Queen Paola, on April 12, 2003.

Princess claire of belgium wedding tiara

She wore a wedding tiara that had not been seen in the Belgian royal family, so many have thoughts this tiara was custom-made for her. The piece was a wedding gift from her in-laws, the King and Queen of Belgium.

Princess claire of belgium wedding tiara
Prince Laurent and Princess Claire of Belgium wedding

The tiara features diamonds and a floral design and looks like patterned after a hair comb, so small that when Princess Claire will make an up-do hairstyle, it will lost in sight.

Princess claire of belgium wedding tiara
Prince Laurent of Belgium and Princess Claire

Following her wedding, Princess Claire would wear her tiara to high-profile events like weddings and state banquets. It looked lovely on her head, despite its petite size, because Princess Claire has a charming face and a pair of sleepy eyes. 

Princess claire of belgium wedding tiara
Princess Claire of Belgium

4. Crown Princess Mary of Denmark - The former Mary Donaldson, an Australian sales executive, moved to Denmark a year before her engagement to the future King of Denmark, Crown Prince Frederik, was announced in October 2003. 

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark wedding tiara
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark

Their wedding was held on May 14, 2004, at the Copenhagen, Cathedral. The bride wore a stunning satin dress with a beautiful boat neck cut style custom-made by Danish designer, Uffe Frank. 

Crown Prince  Frederik of Denmark wedding day
Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark wed Mary Donaldson

Mary however did not wear a family heirloom topper. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Prince Henrik reportedly bought a brand new tiara as a wedding gift to their new daughter-in-law.

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark wedding tiara

Made of diamonds, the topper features fleur-de-lis motifs and can be worn also as a necklace. The crown princess has been seen wearing both styles as a tiara and a necklace at various royal events. 

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark wedding tiara

However, Mary did wear a family heirloom on her wedding day, the wedding veil, which was originally owned by her husband's great-grandmother, Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden. Crown Princess Margareta was born Princess Margaret of Connaught, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

Mary of Denmark wedding tiara

Lately, Crown Princess Mary rarely wore her wedding tiara. The headpiece she has been seen wearing to recent royal events and official portraits is the family heirloom, the Danish Ruby Parure, which she wore for the first time during the pre-wedding gala dinner in May 2004.

5. Princess Sofia of Sweden - Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, Duke of Varmland, the second child and only son of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, attracted controversy when he made headlines in 2010 dating a lingerie model, Sofia Hellqvist.

Princess Sofia of Sweden wedding tiara
Palmette Tiara. Getty Images

It was controversial in the sense that no princes (at that time) from the reigning royal houses in Europe have ever dated a reality star who once posed half-naked in a men's magazine.

Princess Sofia of Sweden wedding tiara
Prince Carl Philip of Sweden wed Sofia Hellqvist. Getty Images

Princess Sofia of Sweden wedding tiara

However, the relationship winded off criticism and endured the test of time. Five years later, on June 13, 2015, Prince Carl Philip married Sofia. 

His parents gifted his bride with a brand new tiara called Palmette Tiara, instead of digging sparklers from the royal vault to be loaned to her.

Princess Sofia of Sweden wedding tiara
Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden. Getty Images

The Palmette Tiara has a diamond-studded base and features small diamond palmettes and interspersed diamond spikes. Apart from the tiara, her in-laws also gifted her with diamond earrings and necklace.

Over the years, Princess Sofia experimented with different styles of wearing this tiara. It's easy to alter the style of this tiara though, because the tops are convertible. 

Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and Princess Sofia attend state banquet
Credit: Kungahuset instagram

It can be removed and replaced by other gems. Just this May 2022, during the state banquet in honor of the Finnish president, she modified the tiara by placing pearls on the spikes instead of emeralds (photo above with Prince Carl Philip).

Princess Sofia of sweden wedding tiara
Left photo: The Palmette Tiara with emerald spikes. Right Photo: with pearl spikes

So far, we have seen Princess Sofia wearing other tiaras from the Swedish royal family jewelry collection, but her wedding tiara has been her favorite go-to tiara when attending state events.

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