The one piece of jewelry Princess Diana wasn’t allowed to keep after her divorce

Princess Diana was a head-to-toe style icon. Everything from the little black dress dubbed as Princess Diana’s “revenge dress” to the sparkling tiaras she wore dazzled spectators from across the globe. Because what is a princess without her crown? The “People’s Princess” sparkled as she donned her two signature tiara looks: the delicate Spencer Tiara, her family heirloom, or the ornate Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara, reportedly loaned to her as a wedding gift for diplomatic functions from Queen Elizabeth II. Don’t miss the rules Princess Diana changed for good.

Unfortunately, Princess Diana didn’t get to wear her beloved Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara for too long. She and Prince Charles divorced in 1996 after more than 15 years of marriage, even though they were formally separated for three of those years. The divorce settlement allowed her to keep all of the jewelry she amassed during their marriage except for one piece—the Cambridge tiara. She had to return it to the queen because the tiara was from the royal family’s private collection and by British law, she was no longer a member of the royal family. These are the other 9 things Princess Diana lost after her divorce.

RELATED: See the princess over the years

Princess Diana Style Transformation
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Princess Diana Style Transformation
Lady Diana Spencer, later the wife of Prince Charles, on her first birthday at Park House, Sandringham.
A very young Diana in a fancy pram.
Lady Di at age 2.
Young Lady Diana in a buttoned up dark coat.
Lady Diana at age 8, wearing a matching dress and headband.
Diana on holiday with her family, causal in a sweater and jeans.
Diana let her hair grow long during her youth, here age 10 in a wide-brimmed black hat.
Diana always had a passion for children, here at 19 working as a Nursery Assistant at a Kindergarten school.
Diana and Charles pose on the day of their engagement, showing off her diamond and sapphire engagement ring.
Diana was stunning on her wedding day, with the most glamorous dress and bouquet -- truly fit for a Princess.
The royal couple during their honeymoon in Scotland.
Diana attended an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, in a dress designed by Bellville Sassoon.
Princess Diana, pregnant and glowing at a Polo match in Windsor.
The Prince and Princess visit Wales, Diana wearing a suede beret by John Boyd and a coatdress by Arabella Pollen.
Diana was a vision in yellow as she and Charles visited a school in Alice Springs, Australia.
We're loving the pops of pink in Diana's outfit, here while watching Charles play Polo.
Diana talks with Prince Charles, who is on horseback, at a Polo match.
Diana is pretty in pink while attending the ballet Swan Lake.
Diana and a tiny Prince William leaving the Royal Yacht, the Princess in a belted plaid jacket.
Diana laughs with Nancy Reagan, the two ladies looking radiant in hues of red and white.
Diana rests her chin in her hands on the steps of her home at Highgrove.
Diana at a desert picnic in Saudi Arabia, wearing a purple and white outfit by Catherine Walker.
Diana attended Cannes Film Festival, wearing a stunning ice blue gown by Catherine Walker.
Diana was stunning at an evening function during a visit to Germany, wearing a gown by Victor Edelstein.
Princess Diana during a visit to Melbourne.
Diana and Wills at a polo club, the Princess casually dressed in a blazer with the British Lung Foundation logo on the front of her t-shirt.
Diana looked radiant in red and purple while in Hong Kong, the outfit designed by Catherine Walker.
During her visit to Hong Kong, Diana wore this stunning tiara and white dress, later known as the "Elvis Dress."
The Princess of Wales in mint on an official visit to Hungary.
Diana and her boys, attending a church service.  Diana wore a pink and purple suit by Catherine Walker.
Diana wears her favorite designer once again, Catherine Walker, during an official visit in Brazil.
Diana wore this white dress and black jacket designed by Catherine Walker during a visit to Salisbury.
Diana was stunning at a banquet in Seoul, wearing the Spencer family tiara and a gown by Catherine Walker.
Diana looked lovely in this pastel suit, crouching down to speak with a young boy.
Lord Palumbo greets Princess Diana, wearing a short black cocktail dress designed by Christina Stambolian, as she atttends a gala.
Diana visited army barracks, wearing a Versace suit and a hat by Philip Somerville.
The Princess of Wales was gorgeous in this royal purple gown during a visit to Chicago.
Diana visited Washington, dazzling the entire country in this lovely white gown.
Diana was lovely in this pale blue cocktail dress by Catherine Walker, attending a charity reception.
Diana, Princess of Wales, was radiant in red during another visit to Washington, D.C.


As much as Diana loved the elegance and glitz of the “Cambridge” tiara, it reportedly gave her headaches from bearing the weight of all the diamonds and pearls set in silver and gold. The Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara is made of 19 arches and a whopping 38 teardrop-shaped pearls—19 hang suspended from pretzel-like twists known as lover’s knot bows while the other 19 serve as removable upright pearl spikes. Queen Mary appears to be the only royal who ever wore the tiara with the upright pearl drops attached.

But if it weren’t for Queen Mary, the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara wouldn’t even exist in the British royal family. In fact, it’s actually a replica of the original tiara design worn by Queen Mary’s grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse, the first Duchess of Cambridge. Since Queen Mary didn’t inherit the tiara herself, she commissioned the famous court jewelers Garrard in 1913 to make her her own, which she passed down to her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

The last time Diana wore the Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara was in 1991, according to Harpers Bazaar. It wasn’t until 2015 that Kate Middleton dusted off the tiara and wore it for the first time to the annual Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace in addition to at least two other occasions. Next, check out the 9 Princess Diana secrets that no one knew about until after her death.

Related: Shocking secrets about the royal

9 secrets about Princess Diana no one knew about until after her death
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9 secrets about Princess Diana no one knew about until after her death

She recorded her thoughts on tape

Much of what we know about Princess Diana’s personal life is thanks to audiotapes she recorded herself. Once she recognized her marriage to Prince Charles was falling apart, she documented her side of the story on a tape recorder and gave the tapes to her close friend, Dr. James Colthurst. He, in turn, gave them to journalist Andrew Morton so her words could get out to the public. From those tapes, Morton published the biography DIANA: Her True Story—In Her Own Words in 1992. No one knew Diana had a hand in the book’s production until after her death. Here are some more surprising facts you probably didn't know about Princess Diana.


Her sister dated Prince Charles

There are definitely ways to improve your relationship with your sibling, but we’re not sure if sharing a boyfriend is one of them. Before Diana and Charles started going steady, he dated her sister, Sarah. She introduced the two when Diana was just 16 and takes credit for their falling in love, calling herself Cupid.


Her grandmother worked for the queen

As prominent a public figure as Queen Elizabeth is, there’s still a lot that the public doesn’t know about her. One of those more intriguing bits of trivia is that the Queen Mother was close friends with Princess Diana’s grandmother, Ruth Fermoy. She was one of Her Majesty’s ladies-in-waiting and later held the title Woman of the Bedchamber, which meant that she was the Queen’s right-hand woman and assisted with important social engagements. Here are some more facts (and scandals!) you never knew about Queen Elizabeth II.


She and her husband were related

The royal family tree can get pretty complicated, but don’t worry, there’s nothing incestuous about this marriage. Princess Di and Prince Charles were distantly related. Specifically, they were 16th cousins once removed, through King Henry VII.


She had a poor sex life

In her tape recordings, Princess Diana discussed her married life in great detail, even calling her wedding day “the worst day of her life.” Specifically, she talked at length about her lack of a sex life, saying that she and her husband had sex but it was “very odd.” By the time she made the recordings, their sex life had been going downhill for seven years. She went on to say, “There was no requirement for (sex) from his case. Sort of once every three weeks… and I kept thinking it followed a pattern. He used to see his lady (Camilla) once every three weeks before we got married.” Learn more about the real story of what happened between Charles and Diana.


She messed up her wedding vows

In hindsight, Princess Diana messing up her wedding vows may seem like a sign her marriage was bound to fail, but in reality, she just caught a case of wedding day jitters. During the vows, she called her husband “Philip Charles” instead of “Charles Philip,” mixing up his first and middle names. Here are some more little mistakes that happened on royal wedding days.


She ate in the kitchen

It was against royal family etiquette to eat in the kitchen with staffers and not in a dining room, but Princess Diana was no stranger to breaking protocol. Her personal chef, Darren McGrady, said she would just walk into the kitchen and eat at a countertop while he tidied up, which was unheard of coming from any royal. She would even make coffee for the two of them. Check out these stunning, rarely seen photos of the People's Princess.


She attempted suicide

One of the most troubling revelations from Princess Diana’s audiotapes was that she struggled with depression and even attempted to take her own life. She said in her recordings, “I was so depressed, and I was trying to cut my wrists with razor blades.” She also talked about having bulimia and that the eating disorder started after Prince Charles put his hand on her waist and said, “A bit chubby here, aren’t we?”


She was harassed by the paparazzi

With three new documentaries about Princess Diana set to premiere, Prince William and Prince Harry are opening up about their memories of their mother. Some are uplifting, like how she involved them in her charitable work. But their recollections of Diana dealing with the paparazzi are disturbing. As Prince William says in the ITV and HBO documentary, Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy: “If you are the Princess of Wales and you’re a mother, I don’t believe being chased by 30 guys on motorbikes who block your path, who spit at you to get a reaction from you and make a woman cry in public to get a photograph, is appropriate. Harry and I, we had to live through that.” Here's how Prince Harry and Prince William are keeping their mother's memory alive twenty years after her death.



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