While some details of King Charles III’s 6 May coronation have been confirmed, there are still many questions that have yet to be answered. Royal watchers everywhere have been watching press releases closely to see if female members of the Royal Family will be wearing tiaras for the coronation.
Historically, women in the Royal Family have worn a tiara to coronations, as have aristocratic women. Many women would commission new tiaras to mark the event, while others would wear historic family pieces.
In 1953, Princess Margaret wore the Cartier Halo Tiara to her sister’s coronation. The future King George VI bought it for his wife who then gave it to the future Queen Elizabeth II as an 18th birthday present. Elizabeth frequently loaned it to her younger sister. Princess Anne also wore it in her early years as a working royal, and Catherine Middleton borrowed the tiara to wear for her 2011 wedding to Prince William.
Royal and aristocratic women also had a second piece of headwear at coronations. Historically they have put on coronets (as have their husbands) at the moment when the monarch is crowned.
The coronet is distinct from tiaras, as it is a complete circle unlike a tiara. It is also distinct from crowns, as it does not feature any arches.
Originally, only dukes and duchesses were allowed to wear coronets. In the 15th century, marquesses and marchionesses were then allowed to; earls and viscounts were given the right in the 16th century, with barons finally able to wear a coronet in the 17th century.
There has been no confirmation on whether or not members of the Royal Family will be wearing coronets at the coronation. There have been reports that peers will not wearing their robes of estate, as in past corontions.