Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall busts out family tiara for Buckingham Palace reception

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall busts out family tiara for Buckingham Palace reception

Tiara-mas came early, you guys! I was expecting to have to wait until December 10th to see some magnificent tiaras adorned atop royal heads, but Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall gave me an early present! Yay! Camilla is a girl after my own heart. She loves big jewelry and tiaras just like I do; so unlike some other royals, she doesn’t skimp on the jewelry. She always brings the jewelry. And unlike some other royals, Camilla can pull off some big jewelry without it overpowering her, or looking cheap or clownish.


Last night, Camilla, along with Prince Charles, attended a reception at Buckingham Palace for members of the diplomatic corps. Kate attended this reception last year, wearing the Lotus Flower Tiara. Kate wasn’t there this year – not surprising – so Camilla tiara-ed up for us. She wore her family tiara, the Cubitt-Shand Tiara. Camilla also wore diamond earrings and a pearl choker.



The Cubitt-Shand Tiara is a floral/nature motif that originally belonged to Camilla’s maternal grandmother, Sonia Rosemary Cubitt, Baroness Ashcombe (née Keppel). Camilla wore this tiara for her first wedding to Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973, and her daughter, Laura, wore it for her wedding to Harry Lopes in 2006.

Cubitt Shand Tiara

Laura at her 2006 wedding:

Camilla at her 1973 wedding:


The Cubitt-Shand Tiara is not my favorite tiara that Camilla has worn. I feel like it’s too small for her. Camilla can WORK a large tiara. My favorite that Camilla has worn is the Boucheron Honeycomb Tiara. It’s so big, but it fits her head and hair perfectly.  It would completely overpower anyone else – like Kate or Sophie – but it just works on Camilla.

*The picture below offers a better look at Camilla’s earring she wore last night, too.

66 thoughts on “Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall busts out family tiara for Buckingham Palace reception

  1. Agreed, the Boucheron is a better fit. Glad to see working Royals! How many functions does Charles/Camilla have before the year’s end? Also, haven’t seen any news out of the palace from the new PR guy, did he fall in a black hole?

    1. Charles has 6 engagements announced for the rest of Dec; Camilla has 3.

      From my understanding the new PR guy doesn’t start until the New Year.

      1. Seems like he’d want to get started ASAP before Kate disappears or to coax her into doing additional charity visits, it would be nice to see her hugely pregnant, no jeggings or wedges, waddling around like the rest of us do. I loved the big maternity clothes-it’s all about draping and so many outfits are great.

        1. I, too, would love to see Kate when she’s in her late third trimester, but she’ll probably disappear before then – she did with her last pregnancy.

          1. She acts as if she’s in the age of medieval, retiring to her chambers a month before she’s due. She’s a modern woman, excuse me, girl and she should be out there like most women of her age and younger who work until they drop. She’s got some serious body image issues. Can’t see her unless she’s a size 0.

    2. Agree. I like the Boucheron better on Camilla. The other tiara looked lovely on the bride.
      Ah, to be Queen for a Day. Or a royal. Just to wear one of those gorgeous tiaras.
      Wasn’t the Spencer Tiara gorgeous on Diana when she was a bride. How great it would be — probably not possible, though, for Harry’s bride, whomever she may be, to wear it on her Big Day. Alas, I am sure a smaller tiara from the Royal Jewels will be worn by that bride as per the Queen.

      1. I like the Cubitt Shand tiara better on Laura. Diana did look wonderful in the Spencer Tiara, but there are two very big reasons Harry’s bride won’t be wearing it for her wedding: 1) it is now the property of Diana’s brother, Charles, Lord Spencer, and he is an a-hole apparently; 2) most importantly, Harry’s bride will not be a Spencer, so she would never be allowed to wear the Spencer family tiara.

  2. Waouh ! I LOVE big jewels !!!! I think it must be my only disappointment in having married my husband… I will never have to wear a tiara… 😉
    I think both of the tiaras are superb, and the earrings too ! And I agree with you, KMR, Camilla wears it very elegantly ! I thnik you could look at Mary of Denlark too if you want to talk about a royal who wears jewels very “royally” too.
    Have a nice day ! It’s freazing here in Paris !!

    1. I like the Boucheron Tiara as well. It was very different in its original shape, which was a series of tiered lotuses. It was altered to the art deco honeycomb shape in 1921 and later by the Queen Mother in 1951. I prefer the second incarnation:

      Agree about Mary of Denmark and her jewels. I adore her diamond-ruby tiara.

      Another queen who really knows how to rock the bling is Silvia of Sweden. She is also responsible for the lovely amethyst tiara. It was originally a necklace but she felt it was too heavy and had it put on an armature.

      1. The Swedish amethyst tiara is my favorite tiara of all the royal jewelry from all the royal houses. It’s just so beautiful.

          1. It was purchased by Marshal Bernadotte for his wife Desirée for Napoleon’s imperial coronation (the one where he took the crown from the Pope’s hands and crowned himself!). It tcame into the Swedish RF when Bernadotte became king of Sweden. It then came into the Danish RF when the Swedish princess Lovisa married Frederik VIII. Her mother gave it to her because it was the same colours as the Danish flag. It has since been worn only by the Crown Princess or the Queen Consort. The late Queen Ingrid left it to CP Frederik for his future bride.

  3. Don’t mean to sound rude to the Princess of Wales but was she a heavy smoker when she was younger? Because her hair and skin look older than 67. Heck, the Duke of Edinburgh’s 93 and looks 80. The Cubitt-Shand tiara looks very elegant on her.

      1. I thought so. Not to demean Camilla at all; I think she’s really an unsung royal for supporting the Queen and Charles and especially for her work with domestic violence and sexual assault victims. She looks quite elegant in that dress and tiara.

      2. Does she still smoke? I know she smoked for most of her life, but Charles hates smoking and I thought Camilla gave it up when she married him. I could be wrong, though.

        1. She probably did but the damage is done. Also does she tan? That would explain her bronze skin as well. Still reasonably attractive for a grandmother in her 60s.

  4. Thanks for the post KMR! I really liked Camilla’s look tonight and she sure can rock a tiara like no one’s business. I also like the fact that she will sometimes look straight into the camera instead of trying to pretend it doesn’t exist, gives us a wonderful shot.

    I might be in the minority here, but I really like Camilla. She has an earthiness and ease to her that other royal women just don’t have. Plus, Charles has seemed to really lighten up since they’ve been married, she has been good for him. Now before anyone goes up in flames, I am certainly not comparing Camilla to Diana or vice versus. They are two completely different women both with their own unique qualities.

    1. Camilla is very lucky to be who she is. When Di looked at the camera, she got nailed by the palace for being a poser and trying to take all the attention from Charles. Kate gets hit for the same thing, no upstaging the future King! Camilla can get away with murder with the royals and they would back her. Diana always said she coveted that kind of support but never had it. Maybe that’s part of why Kate is so insecure.

      1. Camilla has the self-assuredness and self-confidence that both Diana and Catherine seem to lack. She is part of “the Set” of country gentry that the Royal Family are comfortable around. Even though Diana’s lineage was considered impeccable–her maternal grandmother was a close confidant of the Queen Mother and her patrilineal line goes back to Charles II and James II–her parents’ divorce and her sensitive nature made her an emotionally frail woman. Katie’s parents are untitled nouveau riche and she has the vulgarity of that breeding in her. I like Camilla very much because of her down-to-earthiness and help she has given the Queen over the years and the emotional support she gives to Charles. I’m saddened that Bonnie Prince Charlie and Diana could not make it work but I believe in letting the dead rest in peace.

        1. I watched a documentary a while ago called “Camilla, the winner takes all.” I don’t remember the documentary said anything bad about Camilla.

          I just thought wow, the marriage certificate was in Diana’s hand not Camilla. Why would you let a 3rd person take that certificate away? Prince Charles said he didn’t have an affair until the marriage became “irretrievably broken down”. And yet the marriage didn’t work out. Not even for the sake of the children.

          I was wondering if Diana had lived, would she have had regrets for her part in the failed marriage?? If she had bitten down and swallowed her pride, maybe the marriage could have worked out??? She can now watch her grandchildren grow up?

          Let the past be gone and let everyone be happy.

    2. I agree that Camilla is good for Charles personally. And for me, Camilla would be on my list of royals I’d love to chat to. I feel like Camilla would be a hoot.

      1. I agree Camilla is the royal I would most like to invite for drinks and a chat. Another thing I like about her is that she retained a life separate from the Firm, she still has her own home and spends lots of time there with her grandchildren.

        1. I would really rather have a gin and Dubonnet with the Queen, b/c she’s… the Queen. But Charles and Camilla would be next, then Prince Harry. I could wait until Hell froze over to have a drink with Willy or Waity, b/c they would be so boring and self-absorbed, what the he!! would we talk about? AWKWARD!

          1. I would go: Queen, Camilla, Charles. I wouldn’t go Harry because I’m not into partying the way he is and I don’t think we’d have much to talk about. And only Will and Kate if I could tell them off. Their faces would be priceless.

          2. Yup, the Queen because she’s just too cool to me and there’s so much history there. Camilla and Charles because they just seem like they’d both be a hoot once they were relaxed around you and then Harry if it didn’t involve going to any Guy Pelly clubs. And every other member of the royal family before William and Kate. I wouldn’t be able to keep a civil tongue around those two and they would not like it one bit.

          3. Well Lisa, I’m an ugly American, so I would have zero problem telling Willy and Waity exactly what I think of them and say under the Human Rights Act and EU rules, I have freedom of speech and will say what I darn well wish. The Queen would get the deepest bow I could muster, hands behind my back, walk two steps behind her, “Your Most Excellent Majesty” the first time, “Ma’am” (rhyming with ‘jam’) each subsequent time, absolutely no touching unless she extends her hand first. The Prince and Princess of Wales b/c he is heir apparent and she’s his consort. I would be polite. Prince Harry b/c he puts himself on the front lines while maintaining a schedule of official duties, unlike his brother, who has to continually have new jobs invented for him to avoid his real job of public engagements.

          4. I’m American too Seth and believe me given the opportunity I have quite a few questions I’d like to put to both of them. Mainly, why are you so lazy and why do you think you’re so entitled. I’ve always had a side to me that can be very mean when confronted with people like that and I’ve learned to bite my tongue, but those two would bring it all out with a nice dose of sarcasm.

          5. Prince Charles and Camilla because they both seem to be charming and fun people.

            Prince Michael of Kent because we would discuss Fabergé.

            Prince Harry because he’s a cute ginger. (Yes, I am superficial, lol.)

  5. I think Camilla’s daughter looks gorgeous in the Shand tiara! And no reason that we American women can’t have family tiaras made out of a headband and semi-precious stones. Just until we win the lottery and can afford the diamonds, lo

        1. I read somewhere that even a bride should not wear a tiara unless she’s a royal bride. If that’s really the “rule”, then Kate shouldn’t have worn one…or she could have put the tiara on after the ceremony when they went off into that room behind the altar. Then she would have been able to wear it on the way down the aisle and out of the church.

          1. The nice thing about being an American is we make something our own. I think taking tiara tradition, throwing it out the window, making your own creation, and wearing it to buy groceries because it makes you feel beautiful and special is good to me. Theirs will always be a special designation because of where from like Mrs. World or ones with real jewels.

          2. Give Geoffrey Munn’s book on tiaras a read – he has a whole chapter on tiaras in relation to weddings in a historical perspective.

            And it is quite a tradition for aristocratic brides to wear the family tiara on their wedding day. The manufacture and sale of tiaras exploded in the late 1800s which also meant that the tiara no longer was the sole province of royalty and the aristocracy.

  6. Whatever you can say about Camille, you cannot claim she doesn’t know how to wear a tiara – she is amazing with the Boucheron Honeycomb!!

  7. I admit- I’ve knocked Camilla in the past for being Charles’s mistress. I also concede now that she’s done an admirable job of stepping up as a royal figure. She has wonderful causes, works plenty of engagements, and has some fabulous Big Jewelry Game. She looks fantastic in the Honeycomb tiara, as well as the Delhi Durbar.

    Her daughter is gorgeous, and she is very well-suited to the Cubitt-Shand (which looks like a beautiful bridal piece or a selection for younger Royal women to wear). As for Camilla, I almost feel as though that tiara is underwhelming on her, especially after we’ve seen her rock the big gun jewelry.

    1. I agree. I think the Shand tiara is too small for Camilla. Girl can ROCK big jewelry, and the Shand piece just feels so underwhelming.

    1. I agree. I warmed to Camilla when I read about her involvement with survivors of sexual assault.

  8. I am not crazy about these tiaras.

    So one more question. Diana was given the tiara refashioned from Queen Mary’s right? Don’t know the name. So if she was given, did she keep the tiara after the divorce?

    1. I believe the Cambridge Knot tiara was returned to the Queen after the divorce.

      1. The tiaras are in the Personal Jewelry Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, most from Queen Mary and Queen Alexandra. Yes the Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara was commissioned by Queen Mary in 1914. The tiara that Katie wore on her wedding day was a gift purchased by the Duke of York, likely as a Christmas present for his then-wife. The Princess Margaret wore it at the coronation and it was lent to the Princess Anne.

  9. I adore Camilla. And Arthur Edwards, the Royal photographer who has been going to decades, says she’s his favourite – the most fun, polite, friendly etc. That speaks volumes to me.

    Bring on the bling!

    1. Camilla seems like she’d be the most fun. She seems like she’d be less stiff, more friendly, and a hoot to chat to – especially after a drink or two. She’s on my list of royals I’d like to chat to.

  10. Camilla’s work with her many charities is inspiational. Photos of her talking to abused women were sincere and warm. She has beautiful, thick hair that can ” hold” a tiara. She has many wrinkles but she still looks great.

    1. I agree. She does have good hair. Also, I would much rather see her honest wrinkles than see a face so “uplifted” and stretched so as to be unrecognizable. While I absolutely do not approve of adultery (of which most BRF members seem to take for granted) I honestly have to admit that Camilla is my favorite British royal. She seems real.

    2. I like that Camilla is who she is and doesn’t seem phased by the negative attention paid to her. she just gets on with it. I love that she is involved with survivors of sexual assault. She also works with charities in sectors that don’t get much attention because they aren’t the super easy PR friendly stuff that other people stick to. I appreciate that.

  11. Even I, who usually criticize Camilla for everything, think she looks fabulous. And I applaud her work with domestic violence victims and admire every facial wrinkle she’s earned. Some questions for KMR: There is an anecdote that when Camilla first met Charles she said to him, “Apparently my grandmother was a mistress of your grandfather”, or something like that. Was this grandmother Sonia Rosemary Cubitt? And do you know how the name “Shand” got attached to the tiara? Was Shand Camilla’s maiden name? And, is there any connection between the Shand in the tiara and Diana’s mother, Frances Shand Kydd?

    1. No, Alice Keppel was King Edward VII’s favorite mistress. Sonia Cubitt was Keppel’s youngest daughter. King Edward VII is Charles’ great-great-grandfather and Alice Keppel is Camilla’s great-grandmother through Sonia Cubitt, who is Camilla’s grandmother.

    2. According to Wikipedia, it was Sonia’s mother, Alice, who was the mistress to King Edward VII.
      Shand was Camilla’s maiden name. She was Camilla Shand, then Camilla Parker Bowles, then Duchess of Cornwall.
      Frances Shand Kydd was called Shand Kydd due to her second marriage to Peter Shand Kydd in 1969. Other than that, I don’t know if there is/was any relation.

  12. Camilla is the master of the go big or go home tiara, so unfortunately the more delicate Shand tiara gets lost in her hair. It’s a more youthful piece that suited her daughter so beautifully, but I give her points for mixing it up and also wearing those glorious diamond earrings. Now THAT’S busting out the bling! And most definitely, Cams is someone with whom I’d love to have lunch and drinks. I’m sure she’s a marvelous raconteur and loads of fun, and she can wear the mighty Bouch tiara while I’ll settle for the Shand while we’re sipping away and attempting to keep our tiaras on straight while giggling away!

    1. Yeah, the Shand tiara fits Laura much better, but I give Camilla props for wearing something different.

  13. Camilla looks better today. She has gotten better with looks. She was not attractive in her youngDr years but now she is. I knew she would age gracefully bc she went through her ugly stage. We all will go through that one day.
    Love the tiaras.

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