Kate Middleton's Stunning Lover's Knot Tiara Has a Fascinating Royal History

The sparkling pearl heirloom was a favorite of Princess Diana.

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Once again, Duchess Kate was spotted wearing one of Princess Diana's favorite tiaras while at the state banquet tonight at Buckingham Palace.

kate middleton lover's knot tiara U.S. President Trump's State Visit To UK - Day One
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives for the state banquet in honor of Trump’s visit.

The sparkler is quickly becoming Kate's go-to tiara. While tonight she paired the topper with the Queen Mother's sapphire and diamond fringe earrings and her new royal order, she has previously worn it with an icy blue Alexander McQueen gown and a plunging blush-colored Marchesa dress, among other ensembles.

One of Diana's most iconic pieces, the diadem obviously holds sentimental value for the Duchess of Cambridge, but it also has an amazing royal history. Sometimes referred to as the Cambridge Lover's Knot, the topper is, in fact, a replica of an earlier tiara.

The piece of jewelry Kate wears was created for Queen Mary in 1914 by the House of Garrard from pearls and diamonds already owned by her family. Mary modeled after her grandmother Princess Augusta of Hesse's headpiece, the original Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara, which is currently thought to be held in an unknown private collection.

According to the Court Jeweller, when Queen Mary commissioned the piece, she "sacrificed a tiara from her own jewelry collection, the Ladies of England Tiara, to make it."

Lover's Knot Tiara
Queen Mary wearing the Lover’s Knot Tiara.

After Queen Mary died in 1953, the crown was passed down to her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen wore the tiara several times in the '50s, before moving on to other pieces like the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara, which have since become her favorites.
In 1981, the Queen reportedly loaned the Lover's Knot Tiara to Princess Diana as a wedding gift. Diana opted instead to wear the Spencer Tiara, a family heirloom, on her big day, but the Lover's Knot became one of her favorite pieces, despite being so heavy that it hurt her head.
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When Diana and Charles divorced, the crown was returned to Queen Elizabeth II—Diana was allowed to keep her jewelry as part of the settlement, but as the tiara was on loan from the Queen, it was given back—and reportedly put into a safe at Buckingham Palace.
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According to People, following Diana's death in 1997, the tiara wasn't seen publicly until 2015, when Duchess Kate wore it to much fanfare at a reception at Buckingham Palace.
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