Little-Known Facts Behind Princess Beatrice's Wedding Tiara

Queen Elizabeth II wore the iconic tiara for her own wedding day in 1947.
joyce chen wedding news expert the knot
Joyce Chen
joyce chen wedding news expert the knot
Joyce Chen
Wedding News Contributor
  • Joyce writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, specializing in celebrity wedding features and pieces on wedding trends and etiquette
  • Joyce conducts interviews with real couples about how they’ve adapted to the challenges of wedding planning during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
  • In addition to The Knot Worldwide, Joyce also regularly contributes writing to Architectural Digest, Paste magazine, Refinery29, and
Updated Nov 03, 2021

Princess Beatrice got engaged to her beau, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, in September 2019, just months before the world would be rocked by the coronavirus pandemic. Their original wedding date of May 31, 2020, had to be scrapped. Instead, they ended up having a private, intimate ceremony at the Royal Chapel of All Saints in July with only direct royal family members. This allowed her father, Prince Andrew, to partake in the occasion while keeping a low profile amid an ongoing scandal. In short, Princess Beatrice's wedding wasn't the grand royal wedding she'd imagined initially.

The Queen, acknowledging the trying circumstances that surrounded her granddaughter's big day, did what she does best by using the family jewels to reframe the narrative. She loaned Princess Beatrice the Queen Mary Fringe tiara, the very one that she wore for her own wedding day to Prince Philip, a move that helped signal not only her support for Beatrice, but the entire Windsor family's as well.

Which Tiara Did Princess Beatrice Wear on Her Wedding Day?

Princess Beatrice went full-on vintage with her wedding day attire, starting with her wedding gown, a beautiful Norman Hartnell vintage dress borrowed from the Queen. Her wedding tiara, too, was on loan from the Queen: the Queen Mary Fringe tiara, an impressive headpiece that was originally a fringe necklace that Queen Victoria gave Queen Mary as a wedding gift on her wedding day in 1893. In 1919, Queen Mary decided to turn the necklace into a proper royal tiara, and commissioned Garrard to remake it into a kokoshnik-style diadem featuring 47 graduated brilliant and rose-set tapering bars with 46 narrow diamond spikes in between. Beatrice kept her look elegant and simple with a classic veil, hoping not to outshine either the iconic tiara or her stunning vintage dress.

Who Else Has Worn the Queen Mary Fringe Tiara?

When Queen Mary died in 1953, she left many of her tiaras to her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II (then Princess Elizabeth). Among them was the Queen Mary Fringe tiara, which Queen Elizabeth herself chose to wear for her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947. (As the story goes, the tiara actually snapped the morning of the wedding after the bride accidentally touched the clasp; luckily, royal jeweler Garrard was on hand to save the day.)

Queen Elizabeth II's daughter, Princess Anne, also chose to wear the bespoke tiara for her 1973 wedding to Captain Mark Phillips, continuing a long lineage of royal brides who donned the dazzler. In 2020, Her Majesty bestowed the Queen Mary Diamond Fringe tiara upon Princess Beatrice, hoping to instill her marriage with the same sort of strength and fortitude that it did for her own marriage.

Surprising Facts About Princess Beatrice's Wedding Tiara

Given how much history the Queen Mary Diamond Fringe tiara holds, the fact that the Queen lent it to Princess Beatrice for her wedding day spoke volumes without saying a word. It proclaimed the royal family's support for Beatrice during difficult times. Queen Elizabeth II similarly projected a sense of calm in her April 2020 address to the nation by wearing a diamond and turquoise brooch that previously belonged to Queen Mary. (It was a call-back to how Queen Mary had to guide the nation through the horrors of the First World War, much the same way Queen Elizabeth would have to lead the British through an unprecedented global pandemic.) Below are a few other unexpected facts about the Queen Mary Fringe tiara that might not have been apparent at Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi's intimate wedding ceremony.

The tiara can be worn as a necklace.

Even though Queen Mary had the fringe tiara turned into a tiara in 1919, it can still technically be worn as a necklace, as was originally intended. When it snapped just hours before Queen Mary's wedding to Prince Philip, it had to be rushed to the Garrard workshop via police escort, where, the royal jeweler's website says, "it was promptly repaired and returned just in time for the ceremony." The Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth's mother, reportedly said calmly, "We have two hours and there are other tiaras."

The fringe tiara isn't the only kokoshnik-style tiara the Queen owns.

The kokoshnik style was very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries; as a result, Queen Elizabeth II inherited a number of similarly stunning bandeau headpieces with wide bands and dozens of embedded jewels. The tiara she lent Princess Beatrice's sister, Princess Eugenie of York, for instance, was the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara, which featured a massive emerald center gem and six smaller emeralds spaced evenly on either side. Another kokoshnik-style tiara the Queen owns is one previously belonging to the Grand Duchess Vladimir. Even Meghan Markle's Queen Mary Bandeau tiara, though not explicitly made in a kokoshnik style, featured a similarly wide band and sat high on her head.

The tiara was only worn by one other member of the royal family.

Though the Queen was frequently photographed wearing the Queen Mary Fringe tiara (most notably at her own wedding), the impressive diadem was actually worn by only one other member of the royal family before Princess Beatrice: the Queen's daughter, Princess Anne. Princess Beatrice's July 2020 wedding marked the first time the tiara had been spotted in public since 2011, when Queen Elizabeth wore it for the Diamond Jubilee Portrait for New Zealand.

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