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Queen Offered Diana a Royal Tiara for Her Wedding like Other Family Members – She Declined

Junie Sihlangu
Jan 20, 2022
07:00 P.M.
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Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles only dated for a few months before getting engaged. Their wedding was meant to be the "wedding of the century," with the Queen offering the bride a unique accessory.

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Prince Charles dated Lady Diana Spencer for only six months before proposing marriage. The Lord Chancellor made the official announcement on February 24, 1981, at 11 a.m.

Charles proposed with an 18-carat white gold ring from Garrard that featured a 12-carat blue oval sapphire that came from Sri Lanka. The gem was later passed on to Diana's oldest son, Prince William, who gave it to his bride, Kate Middleton when he proposed to her.

Princess Diana rides in an open carriage from St. Paul's Cathedral to Buckingham Palace, following her wedding on July 29, 1981, in London, England, and the Queen after Diana's wedding | Photos: Anwar Hussein & Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

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"WHATEVER IN LOVE MEANS" – THE ENGAGEMENT

During the couple's public announcement of the engagement, the press was present to ask questions. A journalist happened to mention how "very much in love" the pair looked, and Diana agreed, but her groom-to-be awkwardly famously responded:

"Whatever 'in love' means."

Princess Diana and Prince Charles during the Royal Tour of Canada on June 29, 1983, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | Photo: David Levenson/Getty Images

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WEDDING BELLS ARE RINGING

Charles and Diana's ceremony was dubbed the "wedding of the century." The day was declared a national holiday, and Diana, then-20, would become the Princess of Wales after marrying then-32-year-old Charles.

The date was set for July 29, 1981, at St. Paul's Cathedral for 3,500 guests. An estimated 750 million people worldwide tuned in to watch the royal ceremony on television.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles holding sons Prince Harry and Prince William on the deck of the Royal Yacht Britannia, during the Royal Tour of Italy on May 5, 1985, in Venice, Italy | Photo: David Levenson/Getty Images

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Seven bridal attendants were used for the event. Edward van Cutsem and Lord Nicholas Windsor were the two pageboys, while the bridesmaids were Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, India Hicks, Sarah-Jane Gaselee, Catherine Cameron, and Clementine Hambro.

Diana and Charles had a traditional Church of England wedding ceremony. It was presided over by the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, Alan Webster, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, conducted the marriage.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding ceremony at St. Paul's Cathedral, London, England on July 29, 1981 | Photo: Express Newspapers/Getty Images

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After the vows were taken and Lady Diana officially became Princess Diana, she and her husband hosted 120 guests at Buckingham Palace for a wedding breakfast. Guests also got to eat some of the couple's 27 wedding cakes.

DIANA DECLINES QUEEN'S OFFER

David and Elizabeth Emanuel designed Diana's silk taffeta wedding dress, but her wedding tiara was an interesting choice. The Queen offered the bride the "Lover's Knot" tiara from her collection for the ceremony, but Diana politely declined.

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Instead, the bride chose to wear a family heirloom named the "Spencer Tiara" that had been in her family for nearly a century. Ironically, the "Lover's Knot" later became one of Diana's favorite tiaras.

However, she once confessed that it was so heavy that it gave her headaches. The "Lover's Knot" was a pearl and diamond tiara initially designed for Queen Mary in 1913 before being passed on to her granddaughter.

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Steven Stone, who spoke to Express in January 2022, said the tiara was estimated to be worth around $1.3 million today. After Diana passed away in 1997, the jewelry went back into the Queen's collection.

The Queen also had the top row of pearls removed and has worn it frequently. In 2016, the "Lover's Knot" was passed down to Prince William's wife, now known as Duchess Kate.

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Besides wearing her own family heirloom on her head for her wedding, Diana also wore the longest train in the history of royal weddings. The train was a whopping 25-foot in length.

KATE'S WEDDING TIARA

Diana wasn't the only royal bride that got to wear a tiara on her wedding day, and we got to see a few other princesses who got to wear the heirlooms. On April 29, 2011, Kate wore the Cartier Halo tiara made up of 739 diamonds and 149 baguette diamonds that were lent to her by the Queen.

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MEGHAN'S WEDDING TIARA

William's younger brother, Prince Harry, married his bride, Meghan Markle, on May 19, 2018, in a televised ceremony at Windsor Castle. On her special day, the tiara she wore was Queen Mary's bandeau, a Royal Family heirloom that was also loaned to her by the Queen.

EUGENIE'S WEDDING TIARA

For her 2018 wedding to Jack Brooksbank, Princess Eugenie wore a diamond and emerald headpiece for her nuptials at Windsor Castle. She borrowed the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara from her grandmother – the Queen.

The designer [Clive Shilton] also added a heart between the couple’s [Princess Diana and Prince Charles] initials.

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BEATRICE'S WEDDING TIARA

On July 17, 2020, Princess Beatrice held a private wedding ceremony at the Royal Chapel of All Saints, Royal Lodge in Windsor. While marrying Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, she wore the Fringe Tiara, initially owned by Queen Mary.

DIANA'S WEDDING DRESS, SHOES, & BOUQUET

Now back to Diana's wedding day. Her dress was a silk-taffeta gown with puff sleeves and, of course, the 25-foot train that was embellished with 10,000 pearls and mother of pearl sequins.

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The gown was estimated to cost around $122,000. The designers also added an 18-karat gold trinket studded with white diamonds to the label and added a matching umbrella in case it rained.

Clive Shilton designed Diana's wedding shoes, and she reportedly asked that they not make her appear taller than Charles. The slippers had a low heel and were made of lace and satin.

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They were decorated with 100 seed pearls 500 sequins, and the suede sole arches had a minor "C" and "D" painted under the heel. The designer also added a heart between the couple's initials.

The bride's bridal bouquet was doubled to avoid loss, with the first one arriving at 8 a.m. in Buckingham Palace before the second one came later. They featured stephanotis, gardenias, odontoglossum orchid, tradescantia, Earl Mountbatten roses, lily of the valley, freesia, ivy, veronica, and myrtle.

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Ultimately, Diana choosing her own tiara for her wedding day wasn't the only "clash" she had with the Queen over the years. According to reports, throughout her marriage to Charles, there were a lot of alleged tensions.

Rumors also went around stating that Diana and the monarch had an interesting relationship. Sadly, the People's Princess and Charles separated in 1993 and officially divorced three years later before her death on August 31, 1997.

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