I’m sitting here, somewhat agape at how extensive the “tiara selection” story is in Finding Freedom. It’s clear that Team Sussex wants to really and truly set the record straight on everything having to do with Meghan’s tiara and how it was selected for her 2018 wedding. I’m going to summarize a great deal of the story because of just how much space it takes up in Finding Freedom, which again signals (to me) that Harry and Meghan were both very offended at the oft-repeated lies that Meghan “demanded” this or that, or that Meghan had a tantrum about tiaras or anything like that.
FF’s sources do say that originally, Meghan did think that a tiara with emeralds would have been great, but this was early in the wedding planning and dress planning. Meghan liked that rich shade of green, and she was already incorporating emerald green into some of her wedding styling. A source said: “At some point during early planning there could have been talk about the ideal tiara having emeralds in it.” But then the sources insist – and I believe them – that Meghan always knew that the wedding tiara selection would not be ultimately up to her. She knew that she would be given a few options and that she would select what she wanted from those options. Even Clare Waight Keller confirmed as much on the record, pointing out that for the tiara-selection in February 2018, she had already begun to design the dress but she and Meghan “weren’t sure of what the final options would be. It was a case of waiting to see what they were presented with,” tiara-wise.
The tiara-selection is a big deal, and the Queen and Angela Kelly pre-select a group of, like, three to five tiaras they want to show a royal bride. Then the Queen likes to be there for the bride’s selection process:
According to a high-ranking aide, “Her Majesty takes great joy in being able to offer a little something” for important events and enjoys being part of the process, which usually involves the sovereign picking out designs for special occasions like state dinners and other formal engagements. “She will often have something in mind,” the source said.
What was different with Meghan’s selection was that Harry tagged along. The couple, who had been engaged and living together in Kensington Palace for almost four months, arrived at the reception room in Buckingham Palace, where they were then escorted down a secure elevator, forty feet below the palace, to the large vault where five tiaras had been assembled for display ahead of the couple’s appointment in February 2018.
…While gloves were normally worn when handling tiaras, Angela Kelly —who was also responsible for the basic cleaning of the Queen’s jewelry before and after it was removed from the vault—chose to go without so she could have a better grip on the often-priceless pieces.
With the Queen and Prince Harry looking on, Angela presented five different tiaras for Meghan to consider. Although the Queen was a great conversationalist, as was Meghan, who became particularly talkative when she was nervous, everyone was quiet as they focused on the task at hand. Angela had presented various options to the Queen before the meeting. Her Majesty then offered her own thoughts until she and Angela had whittled down the choices to five. With Meghan seated in front of a full-length mirror, each tiara was carefully placed upon her head, until a decision was made.
FF then goes on to say that Meghan, the Queen and Harry were all pretty much in agreement very quickly that Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau was the best option out of the five Meghan got to choose from. Meghan thought it “stood out” and “the Queen agreed with Meghan upon her choice of tiara for the wedding. Meghan tried on all five but knew right away which one she liked best.” A palace aide remarked that “it was a special moment for” both the Queen and Meghan. When there were reports that Meghan wanted a different tiara, she told a friend, “How sad, I love my tiara.”
After the tiara selection, the shenanigans with Angela Kelly began. The selection happened in February, and in March, Meghan’s hair stylist did fly in from New York and they “hoped to visit Buckingham Palace to meet Angela, who would have handled the tiara just as she had done when they picked it out with the Queen.” The problem? Kensington Palace aides had been calling Angela Kelly repeatedly to set up a date for the tiara-hair appointment, and Angela Kelly had completely and utterly blanked on all of the calls. Harry “was furious” and “he thought she was purposefully ignoring Meghan. What followed between the prince and Angela was a heated exchange that was far from the typical restraint expected.”
Even as the wedding date grew nearer, Angela Kelly refused to answer any and all calls from the Sussexes or their Kensington Palace aides. From FF:
People were frustrated—and confused. Why was it so hard to set up a time for Meghan to try the tiara with her hairdresser? In the end, Harry had to speak to his grandmother about the situation. And she got her trial.
A senior Buckingham Palace aide insisted that Harry was simply being “oversensitive” when he accused Angela of trying to make things difficult for his fiancée. But a source close to the prince said nothing could convince Harry that some of the old guard at the Palace simply didn’t like Meghan and would stop at nothing to make her life difficult.
Yep. Pretty much. And I bet that’s why Angela Kelly merrily took part in the smear campaign against Meghan too – she was pissed off that Harry went over her head to the Queen to get Meghan her hair-trial with the tiara. And if THIS was the story the entire time, why all the bullsh-t about “diva Meghan demanding tiaras”?
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red, Backgrid.