The Spencer Tiara, famously worn by Princess Diana on her wedding day, will soon be on display to the public for the first time in decades!
Marking 70 years in style
This summer, auction house Sotheby’s will feature the tiara alongside several others for a new exhibition “Power & Image: Royal & Aristocratic Tiaras.” The exhibit opens in London on May 28th and will display 50 royal tiaras ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which marks the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation 70 years ago.
Kristian Spofforth, the Head of Jewelry at Sotheby’s London, said, “The Queen’s Jubilee celebrations have given us the perfect opportunity to put on public display an outstanding selection of tiaras from noble and royal provenance. This is also a wonderful moment for us to shine a special light on the dazzling craftsmanship delivered by generations of mainly British-based jewellers across several centuries of tiara making.”
A tiara fit for a princess
On July 29, 1981, Lady Diana Spencer stepped out of the glass coach at St. Paul’s Cathedral wearing an extravagant silk taffeta gown adorned in lace, 10,000 pearls, and a 25-foot-long train designed by British designers The Emanuels. As per Lady Di’s request, the train was the longest in royal wedding history.
As a touching nod to her family, Diana chose to wear the Spencer Tiara over one from the Queen’s collection. The Spencer Tiara has been in the family for a century. It was originally a wedding gift to Lady Cynthia Hamilton, Diana’s grandmother, from Lady Sarah Spencer in 1919. The original tiara was created for the Viscountess Montagu in 1797.
In the 1930s, other family heirlooms were added to the original tiara to create what we know as the Spencer Tiara. The tiara was a favorite of Diana’s, which she wore seven times after her wedding and before her death in 1997 (royal brides are not permitted to wear a tiara until their wedding day). But will other Spencer brides wear the tiara on their big day?
Princess Diana’s niece Lady Amelia Spencer became engaged to her long-time boyfriend Greg Mallett in 2020 – and the couple is planning to host their nuptials at Diana’s family home Althorp House in the near future, and the bride-to-be could choose to tribute to her late aunt by adorning the family heirloom on the big day!