Why Meghan didn't wear a tiara but Kate did

Olivia Morris
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

During the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand, royal fans have been keeping tabs on Meghan Markle’s fashion choices.

And many would say that the outfit she chose for the state dinner on her and Prince Harry’s first night in Fiji, was her most striking look yet. The 37-year-old wore a stunning $2,000 blue caped gown, by London-based label SAFiyAA.

On Tuesday evening, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended a state dinner in Fiji, but Meghan did not wear a tiara. Source: Getty

While she was wearing some statement diamond earrings, you couldn’t help but notice the mum-to-be went without a tiara for the dinner.

Tiara etiquette

The reason the Duchess did not wear a tiara, was simply down to royal custom – it wasn’t an appropriate event for Meghan to be donning one at the dinner in Fiji.

Wearing a tiara to a formal occasion is only permissible if the event is classed as a white tie event, but the state dinner in Fiji for Harry and Meghan was only black tie, according to Hello! magazine.

On Tuesday night, the Duchess of Cambridge wore a Alexander McQueen gown and the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara, which once belonged to Princess Diana. Source: Getty

This is why on the same night, at the State Banquet for the King and Queen of the Netherlands, royal fans saw the Duchess of Cambridge wearing the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara, which once belonged to Princess Diana.

At black tie events, female members of the royal family wear a mid-length or floor length dress, whilst male members wear a tuxedo with a white shirt.

At white tie events, women in the royal family wear floor length evening gowns paired with a tiara, and male members would don their military uniform or an evening suit.

Due to royal custom, it wasn’t appropriate for Meghan Markle to wear a tiara at the Fiji state dinner. Source: Getty

Rules Meghan and Kate have to follow when wearing a tiara

There are two important rules both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle have to follow when wearing one of the palace’s crown jewels; a tiara.

Etiquette expert Grant Harrold, who is also known as The Royal Butler, told Yahoo Style UK that diamond tiaras can only be worn after 6pm for evening events, and are typically reserved for married women.

Before marrying into the royal family, we never saw Kate or Meghan wearing a tiara in public.

“For married ladies, it was a sign of status and would show you were taken and not looking for a husband,” Grant explained.

“For the gentleman, it was a clear sign not to make advances toward the lady in question.”

Meghan Markle wore Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara on her wedding day. Photo: Getty

The Duchess of Cambridge wore the Cartier Halo tiara on her wedding day in April 2011, while the Duchess of Sussex donned Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau headpiece when she wed Prince Harry in May earlier this year.

Those were the only exceptions to the 6pm rule, and at all other times we’ve seen Kate in a tiara have been after dark for formal occasions such as official state dinners and balls.

We’re yet to see Meghan don one for a second time.

However, that may change tonight as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are due to attend an official reception and dinner with King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipauʻu of Tonga. 

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