Published On: Wed, Dec 7th, 2022

Meghan Markle wasn’t allowed to wear tiara for first ever state dinner


In October 2018, Meghan joined her new husband, Prince Harry, on a tour of the islands of the Pacific, including Fiji. For her first ever state dinner as Duchess of Sussex, Meghan had planned to wear a lavish tiara. However, Prince Charles advised her against it. Kate, Duchess of Cambridge at the time, was not privy to the same treatment.

For a state dinner at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva, Fiji, on October 23, 2018, the Duchess of Sussex had hoped to borrow a festooned tiara from the Royal Collection.

But Charles, who was Prince of Wales at the time, told her not to, it was claimed. The royal said such a lavish accessory would be seen as “reminiscent of a bygone era” and thus inappropriate for an event in Fiji.

Charles had also said it would be too “extravagant”, according to a source.

The source told the Mail on Sunday at the time: “Meghan did not understand all of this because she was new to the role and so Prince Charles told her that it would not be appropriate.

READ MORE: Camilla ditches fashion traditions Queen Elizabeth used to follow

The website described the dress, saying: “The Ginkgo gown from Safiyaa is made from a compact knit fabric to a statuesque silhouette with a split cape detail that trails down the back. It’s darted at the front for a flattering fit.”

Meghan combined this with a pair of huge diamond earrings, as well as a diamond bracelet.

At the time, royal watchers thought the earrings could have possibly come from the Royal Collection, but it was never confirmed if this was true or not.

Interestingly, while Meghan went headpiece-less in Fiji, on the other side of the world, in Britain, Kate Middleton wore an impressive diamond and pearl tiara for a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.

On the evening of October 22, which would have been October 23 in Fiji due to the time difference (the island nation is 12 hours ahead of the UK), the then Duchess of Cambridge donned a headpiece that used to belong to Princess Diana to have dinner with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands.

Kate matched the extravagant tiara, which is called the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara, with a pair of teardrop pearl earrings and a diamond and pearl necklace.

As for her dress, it was icy blue – not unlike Meghan’s – and from the iconic Alexander McQueen.

A custom-made design, the dress had a ruched bodice and a pleated, floor-length skirt in a fishtail style.

Queen Maxima, as well as Quen Elizabeth II, also wore tiaras for the state banquet at Buckingham Palace.

Although it seemed that Meghan was treated differently by Charles in 2018, a royal source added that this was because of the context. Fiji is a poorer country than the UK and thus it would be less appropriate to wear such a prominent symbol of wealth, such as a tiara, while a guest in the country, according to the source.

Kate wore a headpiece on the same night as this is tradition at state banquets. 

It was thought Charles believed the tiara would “not be keeping with modern monarch”.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, the source added: “The Prince, having travelled to all these places many times over many years, is very well placed to give advice on such matters.”



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