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KATE MIDDLETON confounded expectations that she would shun the traditional tiara and opt for a headdress of flowers, stepping out in a sparkling diamond number.

The tiara, the littleknown 1936 Cartier "halo", was her "something borrowed" and was loaned to her by the Queen - a tradition for royal weddings.

The tiara was bought by Queen's father, then the Duke of York, for the Queen Mother, then the Duchess of York, St James's Palace said.

It was purchased three weeks before the duke succeeded his brother - King Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne - as King George VI.

The tiara was given to the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, by her mother on her 18th birthday.

The bride's earrings were a wedding day gift from her parents, Carole and Michael Middleton.

Created by Robinson Pelham, they were diamond-set stylised oak leaves with a pearshaped diamond set drop and a pave set diamond acorn suspended in the centre.

They were inspired by the Middleton family's new coat of arms, which includes acorns and oak leaves, and were created to echo and complement the tiara.

The earrings were the bride's "something new".

For her "something blue", a blue ribbon was sewn into the interior of her dress, while her "something old" was the traditional Carrickmacross craftsmanship used to create the bridal gown.

Mrs Middleton, meanwhile, wore a tourmaline and diamond pendant and matching earrings designed and made especially for her.

Two gold stick pins, one with a single gold acorn at the head and the other with an oak leaf, were also worn respectively by the bride's father and her brother James Middleton.


* The Cartier tiara
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 30, 2011
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