The Prince of Wales told the Duchess of Sussex not to wear a tiara to her first overseas state dinner, fearing it might look ‘extravagant’.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Prince Charles intervened over plans by Meghan to wear a lavish headpiece to an event in Fiji last October.
The Duchess had hoped to borrow a jewelled tiara from the Royal Collection for the event, but she was advised by her father-in-law that such ostentation is avoided in parts of the Commonwealth where it can be seen as reminiscent of a bygone era or ‘extravagant’.
A source said: ‘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.
‘It was very kindly done.’
The absence of a tiara drew attention when Meghan, wearing a blue full-length gown by Safiyaa, arrived for the dinner hosted by the president of Fiji Jioji Konrote – not least because the Duchess of Cambridge wore a large diamond and pearl headpiece once owned by Princess Diana to a state banquet at Buckingham Palace on the same night.
Meghan did, however, wear a pair of diamond earrings that are thought to have been borrowed, possibly from the Royal Collection, which is the largest private collection of art in the world.
Charles is believed to have taken a greater role in planning official foreign trips made by the Royal Family since the Queen gave up overseas tours in 2015.
Commonwealth leaders formally announced last year that he will succeed his mother as the next head of the organisation and aides say he is determined to show respect to each of its 53 member states.
The UN estimates the average monthly wage in Fiji to be just £400 and it is thought Charles considered the tiara would ‘not be in keeping with modern monarchy’.
Last night an insider told the Mail on Sunday: ‘The Prince, having travelled to all these places many times over many years, is very well placed to give advice on such matters.’
The heir to the Throne has also developed a close relationship with Meghan – he walked her up the aisle when she married Prince Harry last May. Those wedding preparations were, however, shaken by a dispute over another tiara. The former Suits actress had reportedly set her heart on an emerald encrusted headpiece, but her request was refused when the origin of the piece could not be established.
When Harry heard this, he reportedly said, ‘What Meghan wants, Meghan gets’, prompting the Queen to intervene.
At the time, a source was quoted as saying: ‘There was a very heated exchange that prompted the Queen to speak to Harry.
‘She said: “Meghan cannot have whatever she wants. She gets what tiara she’s given by me.” ’
In the end, Meghan wore Queen Mary’s diamond and platinum bandeau tiara from the Queen’s private collection during the wedding ceremony at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
The Royal Collection, which is held in trust by the Queen, boasts a glittering array of crowns, tiaras, necklaces and earrings.
They include the ‘Lovers’ Knot’ tiara worn by the Duchess of Cambridge to the banquet last October.
Commissioned by Queen Mary in 1913, it has 19 diamond arches with pearls beneath them and has previously been worn by both the Queen and Princess Diana, who reportedly complained that its weight gave her a headache.
Other famous headpieces include the Queen Mother’s Cartier Halo tiara, which boasts 888 diamonds and was loaned to the Duchess of Cambridge for her wedding to Prince William in 2011.
Last night both Kensington Palace and Clarence House declined to comment.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, by Charlotte Wace