There has been misleading information that Princess Charlotte and her cousin Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor will inherit the Spencer tiara, the headpiece made famous by their late grandmother, Diana, Princess of Wales. Some have said that Prince William inherited the piece when he turned thirty. There was a misinformative piece in the Insider after the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II that says the only daughter of the current Prince and Princess of Wales will be handed the heirloom. This is INCORRECT.
The Spencer Tiara does not belong to the British Royal Family, but to the Spencer family, the dynasty to which Diana, Princess of Wales, belonged. Neither of her two granddaughters, Princess Charlotte nor Lilibet, will inherit the priceless piece that has been in the Spencer family for several generations.
Princess Charlotte And Lilibet Are Not Spencers By Name
Charlotte and Lilibet are not Spencers in name, but they are by blood as their fathers, Princes William and Harry, are the sons of Diana, a blood Spencer. However, they can borrow the Spencer Tiara if they wish. When Celia McCorquodale, one of Princess Diana’s nieces, married her partner George Woodhouse, she wore the tiara.
Celia McCorquodale’s Spencer Connection
For those who don’t know Celia’s connection to the Spencer family, let’s explore, shall we? Celia’s mother is Lady Sarah McCorquodale, one of the elder sisters of Diana. This makes Celia a cousin of William, Harry and their children. Celia has every right to wear the tiara because it is part of her mother’s family. Also, she spends time with her family.
Diana never owned the tiara. The patriarch of the family owns it. This is the current Earl Spencer, Charles Spencer. His eldest son, Louis, will inherit the Earldom when Charles dies. Like his father before him, he can choose who gets to BORROW the tiara.
Prince William Has No Right To The Tiara And The Princess Margaret Example
Just because William is the eldest of the next generation of Spencers doesn’t mean he gets first dibs on the tiara for any of his children. It doesn’t work that way. It is known as the Spencer Tiara because the SPENCER family owns it.
If someone else within the Spencer family tree were to own it, they would have to pay inheritance taxes. One example is when Princess Margaret’s children had to sell the Countess of Snowden’s famous Poltimore Tiara after she died, as she had not asked to have it placed within the Royal collection of tiaras. The taxes were more than the tiara itself was worth.
Princess Charlotte And Lilibet Might Be Allowed To Borrow But Not Own The Spencer Tiara
Princess Charlotte and Lilibet might be allowed to wear the Spencer Tiara when they’re adults, but they can never own it. Also, other women wore the tiara long before Diana. Her grandmother, Cynthia Spencer, wore the Spencer tiara multiple times, and Diana’s sisters, Sarah (who we mentioned earlier) and Jane, wore it on their wedding days.
However, there have been exceptions to non-blood Spencers wearing it. The first wife of Charles Spencer, Victoria Lockwood, wore the tiara on their wedding day. However, his subsequent two wives, Caroline Freud and the current Countess Spencer, Karen Gordon, never wore the tiara on their wedding days, and neither did Kitty Spencer when she got married. The information about who has worn the Spencer tiara comes from an article by The Court Jeweller called “Who Will Inherit The Spencer Tiara?” It also mentions another Spencer tiara called the Spencer Honeysuckle tiara. We may go over that in another post.
Also, two final things we wanted to mention. It is a personal choice of a woman in the Spencer family who wants to wear the tiara. Kitty, Caroline and Karen all didn’t. Victoria chose to because it matched the theme of her wedding, reminiscing of the Princess Bride, though she would be a Countess, not a Princess.
The Meghan Markle Situation From Spare
The last thing is the whole Meghan Markle situation that Harry mentions in Spare. We do not believe for a second that Earl Spencer nor his sisters offered the tiara to her. It wouldn’t be surprising if she told Harry, “I want to wear the same tiara as your mother. Can you get it?” We know the edges of the veil were scalloped like the tiara. She probably got the edges done that way, assuming Charles Spencer would say yes.
However, we know from Tom Bower’s book Revenge that the Spencers were baffled when Harry said Meghan was like his mother. It is possible that when Earl Spencer turned down the request, the Queen stepped in. This is just a theory and not based on fact.