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To tiara or not to tiara?
Kate Middleton appears to have a difficult choice ahead as reports have emerged that the royal might not wear the expected sparkling headpiece to her father-in-law, King Charles III’s, coronation on May 6.
According to People, Buckingham Palace shared that while the conversation was “ongoing,” the Princess of Wales, 41, could potentially break tradition and go without a tiara for the historic ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
Tiaras have historically been worn by female members of the royal family as well as aristocratic women at coronations, and the young princesses Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) and Margaret even wore tiny gold crowns called coronets to their father’s coronation in 1937.
However, this possible break from tradition for the princess does not come as a surprise to some royal experts.
“Given that Charles is aiming for a modern coronation, it would make sense that he would choose for a formal day dress code which does not include tiaras,” royal historian Jessica Storoschuk tells Page Six Style, adding it’s “very possible” the Princess of Wales and other family members will go without the glittering headpieces.
In line with this vision, the An Historian About Town blogger says that “while there are some extreme displays of wealth at the coronation, such as the Gold State Coach, we will most likely see far less jewelry and personal wealth.”
Instead of gowns and diamonds, outfits more like the coat dresses and fascinators worn to events like the Commonwealth Day ceremony or the Service of Thanksgiving for the Platinum Jubilee could be seen at the coronation.
However, Storoschuk adds that she “could see Kate wearing a coronet, simply as a future queen.”
Royal watchers don’t seem particularly keen on the idea of a tiara-less Kate on May 6.
“The people pay for this. Do your part and give us a show!” one Twitter user commented on The Court Jeweller’s post discussing the tiara debate.
“Maybe the coronation will be business casual – just no denim please,” another wrote. “Having a hard time with Charles vision here….”
A third royal fan wrote, “Royalty, especially in this circumstance, isn’t supposed to be relatable. The world needs an escape from reality and you can offer it,” tagging the royal family and the Prince and Princess of Wales.
Lauren Kiehna, founder of The Court Jeweller, acknowledges the disappointment of royal watchers, telling Page Six Style, “Many royal fans are clearly hoping for major glamour from this coronation, a return to the old tiaras, coronets, and robes of the last ceremony 70 years ago.”
However, she acknowledges that “the wider public may see that kind of splendor as anachronistic and out-of-touch with the contemporary world.”
“I’m curious to see how the palace tries to balance the need for the event to be special and significant with the desire to strike the right tone for today,” the royal jewelry expert says.
Even if the princess goes with a hat, King Charles, 74, and Queen Consort Camilla, 75, will deliver on the crown front.
The King will follow centuries of tradition with St. Edward’s Crown, a dazzling piece featuring semi-precious gems that was created for King Charles II’s coronation in 1661.
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Since it is only “used at the moment of coronation,” according to the royal family’s website, Charles will also wear the equally impressive Imperial State Crown during the ceremony.
As for Camilla, she’ll honor her late mother-in-law — and break royal tradition by not having a new piece created — when she wears a crown worn by Queen Mary in 1911 with the addition of some of Queen Elizabeth II’s diamonds.
It’s sure to be an iconoclastic May 6 coronation, no matter what.
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