You no longer have to be royalty or have access to the Queen’s jewelry collection to be crowned with a diamond tiara on your wedding day. That’s because the historic British jeweler, Hancocks London, has joined the luxury fashion rental market with a new proposition: it is offering historic diamond tiaras for rent for special occasions like weddings.
Diamond Tiaras Make Every Wedding a Royal Event
It’s not surprising that the interest in diamond tiaras has grown significantly in the past few years, being that the royals—especially Duchesses Kate and Meghan—are 24/7 newsmakers. Nearly 30 million people watched Meghan Markle walk down the aisle in Queen Mary’s diamond Bandeau tiara, which was on loan from Queen Elizabeth. And hit period dramas like Bridgerton and Downton Abbey also had an impact on brides who want to recreate their own regal and romantic style.
“There has definitely been a steady increase in interest in ‘grown up’ tiaras recently, and we’ve particularly noticed it over the last few months,” says Guy Burton, Director of Hancocks London, which has offered vintage and contemporary jewelry since 1849. The company’s tiaras, which range from a Victorian era leaf motif diamond design to an en tremblant diamond floral tiara circa 1904 to even contemporary styles, and can be rented at a charge of 1% of the retail value plus tax for periods of 24 hours.
How to Choose a Diamond Tiara for a Regal Wedding
After a year of subdued events and micro covid wedding as result of the pandemic, Burton says that brides are ready to celebrate in bigger and grander ways—and that includes the diamond tiara. He’s been selling more tiaras in the past several months, and, as he points out, “In the wake of the pandemic there seems to be a real focus on the ‘buy better’ ethos and people are willing to invest money in a substantial piece of jewelry that they can wear forever and then pass down. With that in mind, part of the appeal of these traditional tiaras is their versatility, as the majority of them will convert into a necklace and some can even be adapted to wear as brooches or smaller hair ornaments.”
A diamond tiara’s appeal goes beyond its regal lineage, it’s also simply a beautiful detail that can light up a bride’s face in the same way a great pair of sparkling diamond earrings illuminate you.
Part of the fun of the Hancocks London’s diamond tiara experience is discovering the stories behind these historic pieces. One of their extravagant tiaras was worn by Henry Cyril Paget, the flamboyant 5th Marquess of Anglesey who died in 1905 at just 29 years old. He was widely photographed wearing the lavish Victorian diamond tiara, which is set with over 100 carats of old European and old mine cut diamonds. The aristocrat spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on lavish clothes and jewels, and upon his death, the 6th Marchioness of Anglesey—Lady Marjorie—inherited the grand tiara and was photographed wearing it by Cecil Beaton at King George VI’s coronation in 1937. Henry Cyril Paget certainly understood the power of a diamond tiara to make you feel like a Queen.