For the royal family, headwear can be extremely controversial. Tradition abounds for what type of headpiece one wears to certain events. Plus, it can certainly be a faux pas to wear the incorrect piece to certain events, especially a wedding. Perhaps then it’s no surprise that Meghan Markle’s wedding tiara wasn’t her first choice of headwear for the big day.
When it comes to wearing tiaras, there are specific occasions and places where women in the royal family are allowed to wear them. Women are allowed to wear tiaras to formal events that occur after 6:00 p.m. However, any event prior to that time requires a hat. Of course, the most notable occasion a female royal family member wears a tiara is on her wedding day.
When Meghan Markle married Prince Harry, she wore a beautiful diamond tiara. However, reports suggest that the stunning tiara Markle donned wasn’t the one she initially wanted to wear. Instead, the Duchess of Sussex wanted to wear a lovely emerald tiara.
The problem is that controversy surrounds the emerald tiara. For the royal family, some family heirlooms are a bit tainted. Turns out, the emerald tiara is one of those pieces.
A Tiara Tainted By Controversy
According to the Daily Mail‘s diary editor Richard Eden, “There was one tiara that, I think, Meghan had expressed an interest in wearing. Then it was pointed out that there were Russian connections, which were all a bit awkward. Then it was decided that she wouldn’t wear that one.”
The royal historian, Robert Lacey, confirmed that Markle wanted to wear the controversial emerald tiara. As Lacey explained, “Unconfirmed by the palace—but not denied—we were told that [Queen Elizabeth II] felt that she had to say ‘no’ to Meghan’s first choice.” Since the “beautiful emerald headdress” supposedly came “from Russia,” Markle was not allowed to wear the piece.
Lacey also mentioned, “The treasure was one of those that had found its way into Windsors’ hands through ‘undefined’ not to say dodgy channels—and for an undisclosed price—in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution.”
Turns out that Queen Consort Camilla is currently in the same predicament. The Queen Consort hopes to wear the famous Koh-i-Noor 105.6-carat diamond tiara to the upcoming coronation. While the headpiece was last worn in 1937 by the Queen Mother, tensions surround the tiara.
The controversial diamond tiara was given to Queen Victoria by the 11-year-old Maharaja Duleep Singh in 1849, as part of the Treaty of Lahore. Due to the colonial history of the treaty, the royal family may be accused of cultural insensitivity if the piece is worn.
Since Markle didn’t wear the emerald tiara due to its Russian connections, King Charles III may keep Camilla from donning the similarly controversial diamond tiara.