By Åse Anderson
Just like Kate Middleton's sapphire ring sparked an increase in coloured gemstone engagement rings, the Cartier headpiece she wore on her wedding day has fuelled a revival of bridal tiaras.
There is no doubt that tiaras are guaranteed to make you feel (and look!) like a princess on your wedding day. Whether you opt for a full-on sparkly headpiece worthy of a true blue-blooded queen, or you prefer a subtler design more akin to a bejewelled hairband, rest assured there is a bridal tiara out there to suit your personal style.
Brides have worn tiaras during wedding ceremonies for many centuries to add a regal elegance to their outfits, and to emphasise the splendour and importance of the occasion. From the early 19th century to the start of World War I, brides traditionally received tiaras as gifts from future husbands, or fathers, the day before the wedding. Back then, bridal tiaras denoted wealth and status, so the more ornate, the better.
These days, crown-like tiaras are something of a rarity, with most brides preferring daintier headpieces that blend in with their overall look. The way bridal tiaras are worn has also changed - they now tend to be placed further back on the head, although most experts would agree that wearing a tiara positioned in line with your face will show off the jewels to their best advantage.
Our very own Queen Elizabeth II is believed to have the largest and most valuable collection of tiaras in the world. Many have been passed down from other members of the Royal Family, such as Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary, but others, such as the Brazilian Aquamarine tiara and Burmese Ruby tiara, the Queen commissioned herself.
Another famous tiara is the Pink Diamond tiara, which was designed by Asprey and bought by Australian jeweller Linneys for $2 million in 2012. One of the most important pieces of pink diamond jewellery ever created, the 20ct tiara is set with 178 pink diamonds from the Argyle mine in Australia. Only around five years of production remains at the mine, which is responsible for producing up to 90% of the world's pink diamonds, so it is highly unlikely that another tiara of its kind will ever be made.
Whether you've got short hair or long flowing locks, bridal tiaras really are the icing on the cake of your wedding finery. If you would like to recreate the look of the Argyle Pink Diamond tiara, the Butterfly tiara from Tiffany & Co. jewellery's Blue Book collection is a worthy contender. Crafted out of platinum, it is set with pink spinels and round brilliant diamonds in a butterfly motif, making it the perfect headpiece for a spring or summer bride.
Sticking with the pink theme, but on a more delicate scale, Chaumet's headband-style tiara in rose gold with opals, tourmalines, sapphire and diamonds would make a stunning and eye-catching bridal tiara.
Less colourful, but just as beautiful, the Chanel tiara from the new Camelia Galbé collection features white ceramic and diamond flowers to perfectly complement your wedding gown.