Meghan wore a tiara and now we all want one: here, we trace the tiara trend

Chloe Street
Kate Middleton wears the Cambridge Lover's Knot tiara in December 2016: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

For a long time regarded as overly fussy - or indeed deeply uncool - bridal tiaras have experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years.

Google searches for tiaras have increased 18 per cent in the past year and on the day of the wedding the there were 25 times the normal number of tiara searches in the UK, and 12 times more globally.

Debenhams – who stock an extensive range of reasonably priced tiaras, clips and twinkly headbands – have also noticed searches for ‘bridal hair accessories’ up 48 per cent on last year and searches for ‘bridal tiara’ up a whopping 117 per cent.

And now, having seen the dazzling dust of diamonds that adorned Meghan's hairline on Saturday, even the most minimal of brides have been inspired to take on the trend.

In fact, eBay saw over 1,200 searches for tiaras on the wedding day – up a whopping 72 per cent from the day prior.

Hair accessories are big news for 2018, and the Spring/Summer 2018 runways were awash with hair adornments, with everyone from Dolce & Gabanna to Miu Miu and Rodarte championing tiaras and headpieces of all kinds.

And as we begin to embrace barrette clips and Alice bands as part of our daywear, it’s only natural that brides should warm to the idea of a hairline frosting when it comes to their big day.

Golden headwear on the Dolce and Gabbana AW18 runway

It has been a tradition for British royal brides to wear tiaras since the 1930s (ancient protocol dictated that prior to that, only married women could wear them) and strictly speaking, it’s traditional for a bride to wear a tiara owned by her family, and items from her husband’s collection thereafter.

For her marriage to Prince Harry on Saturday 19 May, Meghan wore tiara lent to her by the Queen; Queen Mary's diamond bandeau tiara. "The diamond bandeau is English and was made in 1932, with the entre brooch dating from 1893," said Kensington Palace in a statement.

Meghan’s tiara was her ‘something borrowed,’ like Kate, who was also loaned a tiara – the Cartier Halo Tiara - by The Queen when she married Prince William in 2011.

Before Kate and Meghan however, British royal brides had always worn tiaras belonging to their families.

At her wedding to Prince Philip, The Queen wore the Fringe Tiara, which had been created from a necklace given to her grandmother Queen Mary by Queen Victoria. She, in turn, lent it to her daughter Princess Anne to wear for her marriage to Mark Phillips. Diana also wore a tiara belonging to her family, The Spencer Tiara, for her marriage to Prince Charles.

(PA Archive/PA Images)

Many had thought, before Meghan’s big day, that she might borrow the Spencer Tiara from Harry’s mother’s family.

“The piece has not been worn in public since Princess Diana’s death, but there are rumours that the Spencer family may lend it to their nephew’s bride for the occasion of their wedding in May,” said DeBretts in their Guide to a Modern British Wedding.

Some also speculated that Meghan, ever the modern royal, might have had a tiara custom-made for her big day, much like Sarah Ferguson did when she married Prince Andrew in 1986. Jerry Ehrenwald of the International Gemological Institute told Business Insider that such a creation would cost around £499,779.46.

For most brides, going bespoke might be a little steep, but there are all sorts of amazing off-the-shelf options out there for brides-to-be seeking their princess-for-a-day moment.

And for those fearing a look that’s too princessy, there are a whole host of interesting, modern designs available that make a tiara more high fashion than Disney princess.

Kate Middleton wears the Cartier Halo Tiara on her wedding day in 2011 (AFP/Getty Images)

Online luxury retailers Net-a-Porter and Matches Fashion both stock a broad range of super-chic bejewelled bands and headpieces from the likes of Lelet NY, Jennifer Behr, Dolce & Gabbanna and Rosantica, and Marylebone-based luxury bridal store The Wedding Gallery stocks a similarly broad range of silhouettes inspired by architecture and the natural world.

“We’ve seen a surge in sales of head pieces and hair vines recently, with brides loving the way they can either perfectly complete or in some cases, transform a look,” says the store’s curator, Lotte Martin. “Almost all brides are now at least considering accessories like this even if they hadn’t imagined themselves to.”

Sameer Lilani, EMEA Director of fine jewellery house Amrapali, has noticed a similar trend. “People are becoming more experimental with their jewellery and this is the trend that is being reflected in tiaras,” she says. “We have seen a significant increase in requests for bespoke tiaras, especially for weddings.”

So whether it’s a stately crown or a dainty diadem, why not take heed from the young royals and inject some monarchial magic into your big day?