Why Has Kate Middleton Only Worn a Tiara 3 Times?

posted: 10/21/15
by: Mara Betsch

Look at any pop culture princess, and she's more than likely wearing some sort of tiara. But real-life royal Kate Middleton is rarely seen sporting this type of bling, typically shying away from wearing them, even on formal occasions.

In fact, this week Kate wore a tiara for the third time, which is somewhat surprising considering she's been attending state dinners and white-tie affairs since she married William in 2011. Let's look back at her tiara history:

She wore her first tiara on her wedding day (the halo scroll tiara, made of 1,000 diamonds, seen below). Purchased from Cartier in 1936, it was an anniversary gift from the Queen Mother's husband King George VI and was passed along to Queen Elizabeth on her 18th birthday.

She rocked the lotus flower (also called the papyrus leaf) tiara to a state reception at Buckingham Palace in 2013 and wore the same tiara (seen below) again this week to a state banquet honoring Chinese president Xi Jinping. This tiara, according to People.com, was originally a necklace given to Queen Elizabeth by Queen Mary. In his book Tiaras, A History of Splendour, Geoffrey C. Munn says the tiara is "one of the prettiest of Queen Elizabeth's tiaras ... arranged as a band of stylized lotus flowers and overreaching arches, with the graduated pinnacles surmounted by a single pearl"

A photo posted by World's Royals (@worldsroyals) on

So with all those beautiful jewels at her fingertips, why does Kate wear them so sporadically? There's a lot of speculation about this even though the Duchess of Cambridge (and the royal family) has yet to confirm. Though there aren't formal rules on when and where royals can wear these jewels, Parade reported that Kate tends to reserve them for only very special occasions, stating "although she might in general prefer to avoid the accessory's inevitable connotations, she is sensitive to occasions when its use is appropriate."

Others have suggested that wearing tiaras doesn't fit in with Kate's penchant for affordable clothing and making the monarchy seem more accessible.

And finally, a third theory hypothesizes that Kate's reluctance to wear tiaras may be her way of separating herself from Diana. Though Diana was beloved by the public, she was a controversial member of the royal family. Will and Kate are trying to keep her memory alive, but Kate's limited use of the royal jewels may be her subtle way of showing she's different from Diana, who wore tiaras more often.

My hunch is that it's a combination of all three reasons -- what's your take?