A Cartier Tiara for Life’s Grandest Occasions

This diamond-encrusted diadem is sure to be the crowning glory of any royal fantasy.

Article by Nancy Hass

Photography by Anthony Cotsifas. Styly by Linda Heiss. Retouching: Anonymous Retouch. Digital tech: Biagio. Photo assistant: Karl Leitz. Stylist’s assistant: James Kerr.

A tiara is never worn casually. Unlike a necklace or bracelet, which can be little more than a simple rope or chain offhandedly draped around the neck or wrist, diadems are, by definition, grand. The early Greeks replaced laurel and olive wreaths with gold versions in increasingly complex styles. During the 18th century, gemstones became the focus and the tiara morphed from a unisex accoutrement into a female-identified one. Napoleon, a diehard neo-classicist, was a particular champion — he lavished them on both wives — as was Queen Victoria, whose example was followed by the ladies of her court. This design, by Cartier, the Paris-based house that has been crafting tiaras since the turn of the 20th century — including the 1936 Halo commissioned by King George VI for his wife, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and later worn by Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, at her wedding in 2011 — continues that tradition. Made of 18-karat white-gold arabesques and adorned with diamonds in cushion, square and brilliant cuts, it brings fantasy, and history’s most regal moments, vividly alive.