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This is why Princess Kate didn't wear a tiara at the coronation

The Princess of Wales chose a bespoke floral headpiece instead


Princess of Wales headpiece
Fiona Ward
Acting Fashion and Beauty Editor
May 6, 2023
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The Princess of Wales looked beautiful in her bespoke Alexander McQueen dress at the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla on Saturday 6 May – but many may be wondering why she didn't wear a sparkling tiara as some royal historians may have expected.

Instead, Kate wore a beautiful bespoke headpiece with silver bullion, crystal and silver threadwork three-dimensional leaf embroidery – it was made in collaboration between one of her favourite milliners, Jess Collett, and her go-to designer Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.

A closer look at the Princess of Wales' stunning headpiece© Getty Images
A closer look at the Princess of Wales' stunning headpiece

Until now, it was unclear whether the Princess would wear a tiara to the event, since historically close family members of the monarch would wear a diamond headpiece or coronet to a coronation ceremony.

But in keeping with King Charles' slightly more scaled-back celebrations, Kate did not wear a tiara to the coronation – which was no doubt a choice made to reflect His Majesty's wishes. 

The Princess of Wales wore a bespoke Alexander McQueen gown beneath her coronation robes© Getty Images
The Princess of Wales wore a bespoke Alexander McQueen gown beneath her coronation robes

Other than the King and Queen, who were crowned with their glittering jewels, there were no tiaras to be seen at Westminster Abbey – despite the number of royal guests in attendance.

Though she did not wear a tiara on the day, Kate's coronation outfit deeply reflected tradition and respect for the new King and Queen. While there was much speculation as to whether Kate would follow historic precedence with her look, her choice of dress certainly gives a nod to Queen Elizabeth's 1953 coronation, for which close family members wore ivory gowns.

The Princess of Wales and Princess Charlotte both wore Alexander McQueen© Getty
The Princess of Wales and Princess Charlotte both wore Alexander McQueen

Like Queen Camilla's, her ivory silk crepe dress featured threadwork embroidery featuring rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock motifs, to reflect the emblems of the UK. Undoubtedly, her stunning headpiece gave the effect of a tiara, in shape and silhouette.

READ NEXT: Carole Middleton amazes in fitted coat dress for coronation ceremony

And alongside her husband Prince William, Kate also wore a formal robe, with her deep blue Royal Victorian Order mantle edged in scarlet.

The Princess was made a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) by the late Queen in 2019.

Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation Gown

© PA Images

In 1953, a 25-year-old Queen Elizabeth II slipped into an extravagant white duchesse satin gown embroidered with strings of pearls, sequins and crystals. The Norman Hartnell-designed dress moreover featured embroidered national and Commonwealth floral emblems in gold, silver and pastel-coloured silks.

On top of her sumptuous gown, the late monarch wore a six-and-a-half-metre Robe of Estate - made by royal robe-makers Ede & Ravenscroft. It took a team of 12 seamstresses, using 18 types of gold thread, a whopping 3,500 hours to complete the Queen’s velvet robe.

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