Many members of the British royal family have created signature looks for themselves over the years. And Kate Middleton can count herself among them, as she continues to dress in style for royal functions with her husband, Prince William. On one occasion in October 2018, however, the Duchess of Cambridge drew a huge reaction when she wore a certain tiara.
Kate was born in January 1982 and met William in 2001 during her time at the University of St. Andrews. Some ten years later, the pair married at London’s Westminster Abbey – and the event became one of the biggest royal weddings of modern times. Before it, though, the Queen gave Kate her new royal title.
So Kate is now the Duchess of Cambridge. And since Kate entered the public eye, she and William have become one of the most famous couples in the world. This attention only grew after it was first announced that she was pregnant. Kate gave birth to Prince George in July 2013 – and she went on to have two more children: Charlotte and Louis.
Kate’s fashion choices have also been put under particular public scrutiny. Since her wedding, in fact, she has worn a number of outfits to royal functions that have caught the public’s eye. But in December 2015 one particular item stole the show completely.
Yes, photographers captured Kate wearing the famous Lover’s Knot tiara at the Queen’s annual Diplomatic Reception. This is one of the most well-known royal pieces – and a number of other members of the family have worn the tiara in the past. And the last person to wear it before the duchess was William’s late mother, Princess Diana.
Yet the item has a much longer history than that. Queen Mary’s grandmother Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel actually wore the original Lover’s Knot tiara. That piece was eventually auctioned off in May 1981, however, with a buyer paying close to $750,000 for it in Geneva. But back in the 1910s, Queen Mary had a replica made for herself.
And Queen Mary enjoyed wearing her new Lover’s Knot on a number of occasions. Featuring 38 pearls and 19 arches, it stayed with her until her death in 1953. Her granddaughter Elizabeth – who had been crowned in February 1952 – then received the tiara.
So, much like her grandmother, the Queen often wore the Lover’s Knot. But she eventually replaced it with another piece and took it out less after the 1950s. And some time later, she lent the tiara to her future daughter-in-law, the soon-to-be Princess Diana, before her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981.
Because of that, many expected Diana to wear the tiara on her big day. She ultimately chose an item from her own family instead, though. But despite that decision, the Princess of Wales seemingly remained fond of the Lover’s Knot, and it apparently became one of her favorite accessories.
The tiara would go on to accompany some of Diana’s most iconic looks, in fact. But it ended up being returned to the Queen in 1996 after Diana divorced Prince Charles. Then, on August 31, 1997, Princess Diana died in a high-speed car crash alongside her boyfriend Dodi Fayed. Some 2.5 billion people around the world would watch her funeral.
And following that time, it is believed that the Lover’s Knot spent a number of years at Buckingham Palace inside one of the safes there. Certainly, followers of the royals wouldn’t see the Lover’s Knot again until Kate wore it to the Queen’s Diplomatic Reception in 2015.
This was also noticeable because, since her wedding back in 2011, Kate has relatively rarely worn tiaras to royal events. Of those she has sported, though, the Lover’s Knot seems to be a favorite. Indeed, following that night in December 2015, the duchess has worn the piece another three times. And the latest opportunity came in October 2018.
On that particular evening, Buckingham Palace hosted a state dinner for the King and Queen of the Netherlands, with Prince William and Kate also in attendance. It was Kate, however, who stole the show with her fashion choices. In fact, she wore a number of eye-catching items.
Along with the Lover’s Knot, Kate donned a blue Alexander McQueen dress, a yellow ribbon and a brooch containing an image of the Queen. The gown drew comparisons with the iconic blue dress in Disney’s Cinderella. But the duchess’ overall look brought back some other memories as well.
Back in 1983, you see, Princess Diana wore some very similar items at another royal function. With the famous tiara perched on her head, she also sported a yellow ribbon and the brooch that Kate would wear more than three decades later.
Kate also wore one more famous item that night: a necklace that the Queen Mother particularly liked. But all eyes were on the Lover’s Knot. Speaking to the Daily Express, gem expert Alexandra Michell offered her opinion on the iconic piece. In her view, the replica tiara would in fact now be worth more than the original piece.
“This was a favorite piece of the late Princess Diana which of course adds to the overall value,” Michell told the Daily Express in October 2018. “I would expect to see this fetch in the region of £5 to £10 million at auction.”
On that note, Michell spoke of the differences between the Lover’s Knot and the original tiara, known as the Cambridge Lover’s Knot. “This piece was made using components from other pieces of jewelry and originally was going to be an exact replica of the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara,” she said.
“It is slightly different on purpose, so as to differentiate between the Cambridge tiara and [the] Queen Mary one, where the upright pearls have been replaced with diamonds,” Michell explained. The online reaction to Kate’s appearance, meanwhile, was a positive one. And one comment in particular on the Daily Express website summed up the overall response.
“[Kate] looked very regal and elegant,” the comment read. “The tiara looks fabulous on her, and I’m so glad that she’s the one wearing it now. Queen Alexandra’s necklace is another stunning piece and looks perfect with Queen Mary’s tiara and Diana’s Collingwood earrings.”