In the days leading up to Princess Eugenie’s wedding to fiancé Jack Brooksbank, there was pretty wide speculation that she would wear the York tiara, the same diadem worn by her mother, Sarah Ferguson, for her wedding to Prince Andrew. But when Eugenie arrived at Saint George’s Chapel—the same church where Diana wed Charles and Kate married William—she stepped out of the car that chauffeured her there in a decadent, emerald-and-diamond encrusted tiara lent to her by her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II: the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara, sometimes known as the Boucheron tiara. (Any tiara worth getting married in, after all, is going to have its own name.)
Made by Boucheron in 1919, the tiara has changed hands several times over the past century: It was first in the possession of Dame Margaret Helen Greville, a society woman and philanthropist; when she died, she left many of her jewels to the Queen Mother. With her death in 2002, the collection passed to Queen Elizabeth. As the name indicates, Boucheron crafted the tiara in the “kokoshnik” style that became quite popular in the Russian court and was introduced into western European after the Russian Revolution.
And while Eugenie didn’t opt for the tiara that had been gifted to her mother by the Queen for her wedding day, the Greville piece did nevertheless have some subtle family symbolism. Eugenie’s Peter Pilotto dress was made from a custom fabric illustrated with the York rose, a thistle, representing Scotland, ivy, and a shamrock—for Ireland, the Ferguson ancestral home. Sarah Ferguson wore kelly green, and so some have interpreted Eugenie’s selection of a tiara encrusted with emeralds (one of them, per the Telegraph, measuring 93.7 carats) as another nod to her ancestral home.