Well, one way or another, Kate Middleton will wear a tiara on her wedding day. Which one, whether old or new, is unknown.
Here are the contenders from the Queen’s collection of jewels:
Contender #1: Girls of Great Britain and Ireland
I’m starting with this one because it’s an awesome name for a tiara. Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother, Queen Mary (Mary of Teck, the Queen Consort), gave this tiara to her. A wedding present to Queen Mary in 1893, the Queen Mother returned the favor and gave it to her granddaughter as a wedding present. This is Queen Mary wearing it:
The tiara is a very famous one due to this portrait of the Queen, which ended up on many currencies of the Commonwealth.
Contender #2: The Fringe Tiara
Also referred to the George III tiara and the Russian Fringe Tiara, the Fringe Tiara is the same one that Queen Elizabeth II wore for her wedding day. Made of diamonds owned by George III, the tiara actually snapped prior to the wedding and was rushed to be repaired.
The tiara was previously worn by Queen Victoria and, after Queen Elizabeth’s wedding, was loaned to Princess Anne for her’s.
I think this one may be a strong possibility. I think it would be a very grand gesture of the Queen, considering it has only been worn by royalty so far. Y’know, the real kind, not the married-into kind.
Contender #3: Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara
Commissioned by Queen Mary to replicate a tiara of her mother’s, this tiara was given by Queen Elizabeth to Princess Diana as a wedding present. After Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorced, she returned the tiara to the Queen.
Contender #4: The Russian Kokoshnik Tiara
Contender #5: The Vladimir Tiara
This tiara is named the Vladimir Tiara because it was made for Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia. Later, it was smuggled out of Russia during the 1917 Revolution and given to Princess Nicholas of Greece, the Grand Duchess’s daughter, who sold it to Queen Mary, who gave it to Queen Elizabeth.
The tiara can be worn with Cambridge emeralds, as pictured above. Camilla decided to wear this option.
I’ve seen a few pictures of Camilla wearing this tiara. I think she’s kind of staked her claim on this one, although I did not find where she had actually been given a tiara. I’m sure we’ll see Kate where it sometime.
Contender #6: The Durbar Tiara
Commissioned for Queen Mary (that lady liked her jewelry) in 1911, the tiara was first worn by same queen in Delhi, when celebrating the coronation of George V. Recently worn by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in 2005 for a banquet honoring the King and Queen of Norway, the Duchess caused quite a stir. It had only previously been worn in public by the Queen Mother on an official visit to South Africa.
Out of the Question are these:
The King George IV State Diadem – this is Queen Elizabeth’s coronation crown (ahem, and Queen Victoria’s coronation crowd) and what the Queen wears every year when going to Parliament.
The Burmese Ruby Tiara – this one’s just kind of ugly to me. So I hope it’s not the one.
Now, the Queen may not choose to give a tiara, but have one commissioned in the case of Sarah Ferguson (who wore a coronet of flowers during her processional).