Kate Middleton looked sensational at the Queen’s Diplomatic Reception, which was held at Buckingham Palace earlier this week. The Duchess of Cambridge dazzled in a Jenny Packham gown and the late Princess Diana’s Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara. But the regal headpiece sparked a lot of curiosity: Why hasn’t Meghan Markle worn a tiara since the royal wedding? Why does Kate wear the same bejeweled item?
It turns out there are very strict royal rules the females in the royal family have to follow when it comes to their headwear. Here are five important rules you need to know.
When can women wear a tiara?
It has been tradition for numerous years that only a married woman or bride could wear a tiara. The rule has been stretched to women on their wedding day. For Kate, Meghan, and Princess Eugenie, their wedding days marked the first time they ever wore the dazzling item.
Etiquette expert Grant Harrold previously told the BBC: “For married ladies it was a sign of status and would show you were taken and not looking for a husband. For the gentleman it was a clear sign not to make advances toward the lady in question.”
Some may think once married, a woman can wear a tiara whenever she chooses, but it isn’t as simple as that. Marie Claire previously reported that a tiara or crown cannot be worn before 6 p.m. because diamond headwear is considered formal attire. However, there is an exception to the rule: When royal guests are required to attend a special royal engagement. For example, this was allowed at the royal weddings, which took place earlier in the day.
Choosing the Tiara
There are historical traditions to follow when a woman finally gets to wear a tiara. It is typically expected for a female to choose a headpiece from their family collection on their wedding day, but following their special day, the bride will then get to select a piece of headwear from their husband’s family’s variety, Bustle previously reported. However, Kate and Meghan were unable to follow this protocol as they were not part of the royal family, and instead the pair borrowed elaborate accessories from the British monarch.
As children, girls simply plonked a tiara on their head and hoped it wouldn’t fall off. But there is a specific method to follow when placing a crown on your head. According to Tatler, the wearer should abide by the following procedure to get the correct position: place the thumb on the middle of the chin and the index finger in the gap between eyebrow, then simply move the fingers up until the thumb ends up where the index finger was, and that is where the base of the tiara must sit.
When to Wear a Tiara
Once married, women are allowed to wear a tiara to most formal occasions, but the decision to don the expensive headpieces, which have been in the royal family for decades, is based on the dress code as well as the wearer’s personal preference, a source told Hello! For example, Meghan attended a black tie reception in Fiji earlier this year, and though she could have worn a tiara, she refrained from doing so. Meanwhile, Kate decided to wear a tiara for a more formal state dinner.
This article was originally written by Maisie Bovingdon. For more, check out our sister site, Grazia.