The tiara has been a symbol of wealth and status for thousands of years, worn initially by both men and women to indicate their power. Despite a decline in popularity for many centuries, the tiara became popular again during the 1700s, but now only as a form of female adornment. Around this time, the European monarchy began to wear tiaras for formal occassions. One of the most notable tiara collections is that of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II; the dazzling Cartier Halo Scroll tiara was loaned to the Duchess of Cambridge on her wedding day, featuring over 800 diamonds. The Duchess has also been seen in a number of other royal heirlooms since her wedding, including the Lotus Flower tiara and the Cambridge Lovers' Knot. Tiaras have been worn by non-royals since the 20th century, becoming popular amongst flappers during the 1920s and being used to 'crown' beauty pageant winners in the US.
Explore some of the most fascinating and exquisite royal jewelry pieces and their dazzling auction stories.
Christie's and Sotheby's each sold a royal wedding tiara made by Fabergé at their May auctions in Geneva for a combined total of $1.5 million: one belonging to Princess Alexandra of Hanover and the other to her sister-in-law, the German Crown Princess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.