Perhaps one of the most famous tiaras in British royal history is the Spencer tiara, which isn’t even owned by the British royal family. It was worn by Lady Diana Spencer on her wedding day on 29 July 1981 to the heir to the British throne, the Prince of Wales. The Spencer tiara is, as the name might suggest, owned by the Spencer family. It has a design of swirled arcs of leaves and flowers.
Before it became Diana’s bridal tiara, it had been in the family for almost a century. The central part of the tiara was given to Lady Cynthia Hamilton as a wedding present from Lady Sarah Spencer, who was a daughter of the 4th Earl Spencer. She married the then Viscount Althorp in 1919. He succeeded as the 7th Earl Spencer in 1922, and they were Diana’s grandparents. Supposedly the rest of the tiara also came from Lady Sarah, and in the 1930s, the jeweller Garrard had made the tiara into the piece we know so well today.
The Spencer Tiara was also worn by both of Diana’s sisters on their wedding days, but their mother wore a tiara from her own family at her wedding. Victoria Lockwood, who was the first wife of Diana’s brother, also wore the tiara on her wedding day, but his subsequent two wives did not wear it.
Even after her wedding, Diana wore the Spencer Tiara from time to time. Since her death, it was part of an exhibition on Diana’s life, but it has since returned home to her brother, who owns it.1
The queen’s jewels: the personal collection of Elizabeth II p.36
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