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Woman & Home
Amy Hunt

32 of Princess Diana's best tiara moments, from glamorous dinners to her wedding day

Princess Diana wearing tiaras on multiple occasions .

Nothing sums up the life of a Princess quite like a glistening tiara full of pearls, diamonds, and all sorts of other impressive stones. And during her time as a member of the royal family, Princess Diana put together some absolutely stunning outfits led by an impressive tiara atop her head.

Royal tiaras are a staple in the wardrobes of royal women; not only has each royal bride –from Meghan Markle to Princess Eugenie – worn a tiara on their wedding day, but they are also often worn by female members of the monarchy to important events, such as royal banquets and during state visits.

This means that Princess Diana wore a tiara countless times following her marriage to King Charles in 1981 – from royal visits abroad to important UK-based events. However, she didn't wear a huge array of different tiaras, typically favouring two in particular whenever an event called for one. So what (and when) were Princess Diana’s best tiara moments? We take a look at some of her most iconic tiara looks ever...

Princess Diana's best tiara moments

A meeting with the President in 1985

(Image credit: Terry Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

Four years after their wedding day, Charles and Diana headed to Washington DC to meet with the US President at the time, George W. Bush and his wife Barbara Bush. The Waleses attended a lavish dinner at the British embassy in America's capital, and Diana clearly put her best sartorial foot forward for the event. She opted for a gorgeous, high-neck Murray Arbeid white evening gown, a set of stunning pearl earrings, and what came to be her beloved Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara.

This tiara is a piece from the royal collection, and belonged to Queen Elizabeth II at the time, who loaned the tiara out to Diana on multiple occasions.

Designed for Queen Mary in 1941 originally, the tiara was passed down to Queen Elizabeth in 1953, shortly after she became the reigning monarch. 

A dinner in Lisbon, Portugal

(Image credit: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Looking every inch the Princess, Diana donned her much loved Spencer tiara during a banquet at the Ajuda National Palace in Lisbon, Portugal in February 1987. Given that Diana comes from an aristocratic background, the Spencer tiara is an heirloom that has been in her family for generations. 

It was originally a wedding gift from Lady Sarah Spencer to Lady Cynthia Hamilton, Diana's grandmother, in 1919, and in the 1930s, was turned into the tiara it is today by luxury jewellers Garrard.

The Prince and Princess of Wales were on a four-day visit to Portugal when Diana wore the Spencer tiara, during an elegant evening hosted by the Portuguese President at the time, Mario Soares. Diana leaned into her regal role in a striking blue crushed velvet, off-the-shoulder gown, designed by Bruce Oldfield, and matched her family tiara with a pair of sapphire earrings.

At a Claridge's reception

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales opted again for the Spencer family tiara for a banquet at Claridge’s Hotel in London in May 1989, which she placed atop her much shorter, curled blonde hair. The banquet was held for President Ibrahim Babangida of Nigeria, during his state visit to the UK, and the banquet was attended by various members of the royal family, as well as Diana. 

The Princess opted for a resplendent outfit for the occasion, deciding on a mauve full-skirt lace dress, with a jewelled, multi-coloured bodice above.

A state dinner in Melbourne

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The Spencer tiara made an appearance at a state dinner in Melbourne, Australia, in 1985, when Diana and Charles made their second visit to the country in four years. 

The royal Princess wore a navy blue velvet dress for the event at Government House, alongside her much-loved tiara, and finished the look off with some of her favourite jewellery, too – she matched the navy in her dress by wearing a sapphire choker and earrings, both of which were a wedding gift from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

At a dinner in Bahrain

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Princess Diana was a vision in white during a trip to Bahrain in 1986, wearing a stunning gown designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, the fashion designer couple who also designed her iconic wedding dress. At a State Banquet, she decided to finish the look with the Spencer family tiara, and a pair of diamond and pearl earrings, matching the accessories to the crystal detailing on her dress. The custom gown was actually auctioned off in 2018 – though it’s not clear how much the historically significant piece sold for.

A trip to the ballet

(Image credit: Kent Gavin/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

Diana famously adored the ballet, and as a child, she was a keen ballerina herself – so it’s no surprise to see that she dressed in her finest wares during an official visit to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, to watch a performance by the Kirov Ballet. 

The Princess opted for a blush pink beaded Catherine Walker dress, her Collingwood pearl earrings, and one of her two go-to tiaras, the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara. Reportedly, this was one of the last times tiaras were worn to the ballet for a gala performance, too. 

A visit to Tasmania

(Image credit: John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images)

Diana wowed the crowds when she attended a reception at the Wrest Point Hotel in Hobart, Tasmania in Australia during her and Charles's 1983 tour to the country, when she donned her favourite tiara, the Spencer family tiara. 

She also sported a stunning red silk Bruce Oldfield dress, a pair of pearl earrings – which are said to have been a gift from the Emir of Qatar (the head of Qatar’s royal family) – and a beautiful diamond necklace, as well as the Royal Order of Queen Elizabeth II, tied to her gown.

A dinner in Germany

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Princess Diana looked like an old Hollywood movie star during a banquet in Bonn, Germany, where she donned her much-loved Spencer tiara as the finishing touch to her fabulous outfit. 

For the 1987 event, the Princess also wore a super chic, black velvet off-the-shoulder gown, accessorising with the tiara and a chunky sapphire and diamond necklace, which was believed to be a gift from the Sultan of Oman. Paired with her shorter hair and a similarly chunky pair of hoop diamond earrings, the tiara shines in this glamorous yet simple outfit.

An event in India

(Image credit: Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

Arguably one of our favourite Princess Diana tiara moments of all time, the late royal went all in on the glitz and glamour of her royal statues when she attended a banquet held by Shankar Dayal Sharma, the Indian Vice President at the time, in Delhi, India.

For this event in 1992 – just a few short months before announcing her separation from the then-Prince Charles – she chose to wear a gown created by designer Catherine Walker, who she worked with for many years before her tragic death in 1997. The beautiful dress was full of glittering beaded embellishments, to match the diamonds within her family’s tiara. 

An event at the German Embassy

(Image credit: Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

Diana wore a stunning white and gold gown by Catherine Walker for a reception at the German Embassy in London in July 1986, held by the President of the Federal Republic of West Germany, Dr Richard von Weizsaecker, in honour of Queen Elizabeth. 

She decided to match her dress with another re-wear of her beloved Spencer tiara. The Princess looked utterly flawless in the majestic outfit, which was expertly finished off with a pair of elbow-length silk gloves, pearl earrings and a classic pearl choke. A vision in white!

Whilst pregnant with Prince Harry

(Image credit: Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

Diana returned to her beloved Spencer family tiara for an event at The Royal Academy in 1984, when she was almost seven months pregnant with her second son, Prince Harry. 

She wore a simple white tulle gown with balloon sleeves for the occasion, designed by Bellville Sassoon, and paired the Spencer tiara with the Prince of Wales feather pendant around her neck – creating an elegant and sophisticated outfit that ties in perfectly with her favourite tiara. 

A dinner in Vancouver

(Image credit: John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images)

Whilst attending a dinner with the then-Canadian Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney during a royal visit to Vancouver, Canada, Diana returned to her beloved Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara.

She expertly paired the tiara, which contains a myriad of pearls, with pearl drop earrings, and a bridal-esque cream lace gown designed by Murray Arbeid, a British fashion designer.

Rumour has it that the Lover’s Knot tiara was actually a tricky accessory for Diana, despite how often she wore it. It’s said that she regularly complained about how heavy the tiara was, so much so that it hurt her head if she wore it for too long!

A visit to Saudi Arabia

(Image credit: Georges De Keerle/Getty Images)

The Lover’s Knot tiara from the royal collection truly shone when Diana wore it during a trip to Saudi Arabia in November 1986, at an evening dinner. 

She made a real style statement in a monochrome black and white dress, designed by none other than David and Elizabeth Emanuel, finishing the look with the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara. She kept her neck bare to properly demonstrate the beauty of the dress and said tiara, but did add some timeless pearl earrings to the look.

A banquet in Brazil

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Diana returned to her much-loved tiara the Lover’s Knot for a banquet at The Itamarati Palace, which was the official residence of the President of Brazil at the time, Fernando Collor de Mello. 

Her short hair was lifted into a bouffant style, expertly highlighting the stunning diamond and pearl tiara. Aside from her tiara, her outfit also likely turned many heads; the Princess opted for a pink and white, one-shoulder evening gown by one of her very favourite designers, Catherine Walker.

A night in London

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales donned one of her favourite colours for a banquet at Claridge’s Hotel in London in 1988, hosted by the President of Turkey, Kenan Evren to mark the end of his state visit to the UK. 

Diana opted for a one-shoulder turquoise gown, and of course, the Spencer tiara, creating a show-stopping look. To add to her bling, the Princess further accessorised the outfit with Queen Mary’s emerald and diamond choker, which was said to be a gift to Diana from Queen Elizabeth II. She also matched her tiara to her diamond earrings, completing the entire ensemble. 

A dinner in Nova Scotia

(Image credit: Tim Graham/Getty Images)

In 1983, a young Princess Diana flew to Canada with her then-husband Prince Charles for an 18-day tour of the country. And she made sure to bring along one of her favourite tiaras, the Lover’s Knot tiara, which she wore to a dinner at The Hotel Nova Scotian, for a state dinner hosted by the then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in honour of the royal couple. 

The dinner was held on their very first night in the country, but Diana displayed no sign of exhaustion from their travels, sporting a fabulous gold dress to make the royal tiara really pop.

Wearing a choker as a tiara

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Diana was often considered to be a royal rule-breaker, and she broke the mould a few times with her regal outfits – though it often resulted in brilliant looks that perfectly summed up her playful and fun personality.

And she did just that in 1985, whilst on a visit to Melbourne, Australia with Prince Charles. The Princess opted for a bright teal gown for the occasion and decided to forego a tiara in place of an art deco-style emerald choker, which she neatly repurposed as a headband.

The piece was formerly Queen Mary’s and was loaned to Diana for use during royal occasions by Queen Elizabeth. Rumour has it that she repurposed the choker into a tiara after struggling to fit it over her head, and following some encouragement from a Canadian diplomat that it looked good! Famously, the Prince and Princess of Wales spent much of this night dancing hand-in-hand.

A gala dinner in Toronto

(Image credit: Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

During their official visit to Canada in 1991, Charles and Diana headed on a glamorous night out on 26th October, to a gala dinner at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto. 

Once again, Princess Diana sported the Spencer tiara, sitting it atop her curly blonde hair. For the event, she also wore a jade green and black Catherine Walker dress and a glitzy sapphire necklace. The dress in this picture was actually sold at auction in California in 2023, alongside two other dresses of hers, drumming up a total of £1.3 million. 

A banquet for the Australian Prime Minister

(Image credit: Kent Gavin/Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

On 21st June 1989, Diana wowed the crowds at Mansion House in London, showing off the Spencer tiara again in all its glittering glory. 

The Princess of Wales was attending a dinner in honour of Robert Hawke, the Australian Prime Minister at the time, who was on a visit to the UK. Diana decided on an elegant turquoise ballgown to go alongside the Spencer diamond tiara, and finished the entire outfit off with an emerald and diamond choker, which previously belonged to Queen Mary, and was part of the royal collection.

Her first time wearing the Spencer tiara

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

A young Princess Diana donned the Spencer tiara on a royal visit to St. John’s in Canada in 1983, as she attended a State Dinner in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. 

She also wore a ruffled blue gown with a large silver belt, to match the impressive tiara, as well as a shiny silver clutch bag and matching silver shoes. As she often did during important state events, Diana also donned the Royal Order of Queen Elizabeth II. The Princess was certainly the stand-out star of the evening in this glamorous outfit!

A visit to Munich

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Princess Diana became well known for her penchant for blue eyeliner during her time as a royal, and perhaps one of her most famous blue outfits was debuted during a visit to Munich, Germany, in 1987.

One evening, she attended a banquet for which she paired the Spencer family tiara with a stunning blue lace dress, aquamarine earrings, and of course, her signature blue eyeliner. The dress was designed by her go-to designer, Catherine Walker, meaning that her Spencer tiara and gowns by her favourite fashion designer had, by now, become a regular outfit combination for Princess Diana.

A dinner in Auckland

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Perhaps one of the most famous Princess Diana tiara moments was when she was pictured looking a little tired at a dinner in Auckland, New Zealand, at the tail end of her and Prince Charles’ visit to the country in 1983. 

During the banquet, she was seen looking down for large portions of the evening and was often seen adjusting her tiara (the Lover’s Knot tiara). But it’s not all that surprising that the royal was looking slightly sleepy, given that it was the final event of a very jam-packed tour! As ever though, she looked effortlessly stunning, combining the Lover’s Knot tiara with a regal cream gown by Gina Frattini.

A trip to Seoul

(Image credit: Getty Images/Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

In November 1992, Charles and Diana attended a banquet at the Blue House in Seoul, Korea, thrown by President Roh Moo-hyun. The Princess decided to wear the Spencer family tiara to match her iconic, curly hair, which appeared extra voluminous during this outing, and a pink and purple embellished dress.

This trip was reportedly intended as a way of proving to the world that Charles and Diana were a happy couple, and were not on the verge of divorce despite reports. However, unfortunately, the very opposite happened, and it was on this trip that the entire world picked up on the fact that the royal couple did not seem very happy in their marriage. 

It turned out to be the catalyst that finally ended their unhappy marriage; just a few weeks later, on December 9th 1992, following a meeting on 25th November at Kensington Palace, it was announced to the world that Diana and Charles would be separating.

A different tiara at the ballet

(Image credit: Kent Gavin/Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales rarely opted for headwear that wasn’t the Lover’s Knot tiara or the Spencer tiara, but in 1986, she attended the Royal Charity Premiere of Ivan The Terrible by the Bolshoi Ballet at the Royal Opera House, wearing a brand new tiara that hadn’t been seen on Diana previously.

The history and origin of the white material headband she is wearing is not clear, but she opted to wear it with a a stunning white, off-the-shoulder dress created by David Emanuel for this event. We’re sad we didn’t see this headpiece again from the Princess!

The final time she wore a tiara in public

(Image credit: Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)

The last known time Diana wore a tiara in public was during a banquet at The Dorchester Hotel in London, to celebrate visiting Malaysian royalty in November 1993. 

The Princess of Wales opted to wear the Spencer tiara alongside a bright green dress designed by her favourite designer, Catherine Walker. 

As mentioned, this was the final time Diana was seen wearing the Spencer tiara, or any tiara at all for that matter. After her separation from Charles in December 1992, she was never seen wearing a royal tiara out in public again, likely due to her changing role as a royal. Since then though, the Spencer tiara has not gone unworn; it has since been worn by the first wife of Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, as well as Diana’s niece, Lady Celia McCorquodale.

Her first State Opening of Parliament

(Image credit: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

In November of 1981, just a couple of months after getting married, Princess Diana attended her very first State Opening of Parliament alongside her husband, then-Prince Charles.

And she certainly wore an outfit befitting the important occasion - for the first time, she wore the enormous Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara with a suitably regal white dress and white fur throw. This historic tiara moment is seen in this image as Diana drove to Parliament in the Glass Coach, originally used on her wedding day.

A visit to Tokyo

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Diana took a fashion risk during a 1986 visit to Tokyo when styled her outfit with a headpiece, instead of a traditional diamond tiara. The Princess of Wales had received a suite of sapphire jewels from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia as a wedding gift and had the watch that was gifted to her repurposed into a choker, which she wore on multiple occasions.

However, in 1986, she revealed that she had had the choker repurposed into a headpiece, which she wore to this imperial banquet in Tokyo. She also wore matching sapphire earrings and a ring, to complete the look.

A gala in Hong Kong

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Perhaps one of the most iconic tiara images of Princess Diana is when she wore the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara to the gala opening of a cultural centre in 1989 in Hong Kong, China.

To attend the glamorous event, she wore the tiara from the royal collection alongside an incredible white gown designed by Catherine Walker, bedazzled with elegant white pearls – which has since been dubbed the 'Elvis' dress! The beaded gown extended up into a statement collar, only further highlighting the impressive tiara on her head.

Her first royal tour

(Image credit: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Diana took the Spencer tiara, an heirloom passed down throughout her family, on its first outing abroad after her royal wedding in 1983, when she and Charles went on their now famous first royal tour to Australia – a visit which was also documented on Netflix’s The Crown

At a state reception in Brisbane, the Princess of Wales paired the tiara with an elegant pink dress by Victor Edelstein. And to complete the look, she also wore a sapphire pendant and sapphire earrings, which were a gift from the Saudi royal family for her wedding in 1981.

A New Zealand dinner

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

One of the most iconic tiara photos of Princess Diana is when she attended a dinner in New Zealand, wearing a powder blue polka dot dress by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, the designers of her iconic wedding dress.

In the photo, Diana is seen wearing the Spencer tiara on top of her expertly blown-out hair – but despite the glamour of the photo, royal fans and commentators at the time couldn’t help but notice that the Princess of Wales looked a little down and upset this evening. 

Dancing with Charles in Wellington

(Image credit: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Princess Diana was known to love ballet (and dancing in general), and she proudly showed off her skills when she and Charles attended a gala together at Government House in Wellington, Australia, back in April 1983, just two years after their wedding. 

Onlookers at the event were delighted when the pair got onto the dance floor together, and the Princess was certainly dressed the part, too! For the fun occasion, Diana decided on the Spencer tiara, a striking, yellow satin ballgown by designer Murray Arbeid, pearl earrings, and a heart-shaped diamond necklace, which was actually said to be a gift to Diana from Charles after the birth of Prince William in 1982.

Wearing the Spencer tiara on her wedding day

(Image credit: Getty Images/ Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

Royal brides are said to be prohibited from wearing a tiara until the day of their wedding, which is why it quickly becomes tradition for each royal woman (or woman marrying into the family) to wear one on their wedding day. 

For Charles and Diana’s ceremony in July 1981 at St. Paul’s Cathedral, she opted for a tiara not from the royal collection, but from her side of the family, opting for the now world-famous Spencer tiara. Diana used the family tiara to securely fasten her 25-ft veil to her head, and to her beautiful dress.

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