Prince Harry ‘shivered’ when he confronted Queen’s dresser in Meghan tiara row before their wedding but DENIES saying: ‘What Meghan wants, Meghan gets’
- Meghan had originally been destined to wear a Spencer tiara in tribute to Diana
- The Queen gave Meghan and Harry exclusive access to the Royal Collection
- She told Meghan she could use the tiara to practice with her hairdresser
- But the Queen’s dresser Angela Kelly allegedly did not answer Harry’s messages
- Read more about ‘tiaragate’ and other royal stories on Mail+
The full details of Prince Harry’s ‘Tiara-gate’ row with one of the Queen’s closest advisers have been revealed in his memoir.
In the book, Spare, he denies that he angrily told Angela Kelly, his grandmother’s dresser, ‘What Meghan wants, Meghan gets’, in a clash over a tiara the Queen lent to Meghan for her wedding to Harry.
He says his mother’s sisters had earlier offered Meghan one of the Princess of Wales’s tiaras.
Meghan was ‘touched’ and spent ‘hours and hours’ with her wedding dress designer to get the scalloped edges of her veil to match the Spencer tiara.
The sparkling tiara Meghan wore on her wedding was the Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau, which was loaned to her by Harry’s grandmother the Queen from the Royal Collection
Princess Diana pictured in the Spencer family tiara in 1983. Meghan had planned to wear the Spencer tiara before the Queen offered her to borrow one from the Royal Collection for her wedding
But shortly before the wedding in May 2018, Harry says the Queen ‘reached out’ to the couple, offering Meghan access to her collection of tiaras.
Harry says: ‘She even invited us to Buckingham Palace to try them on. “Do come over”, I remember her saying.’
What unfolded, Harry says, was ‘an extraordinary morning’.
They were shown into his grandmother’s private dressing room, next to her bedroom – a place Harry had never been before.
The Queen was standing alongside a jewellery expert who knew the history of each stone in the Royal Collection.
Also in the room was Ms Kelly – a docker’s daughter from Liverpool who had become indispensable to the Monarch as her personal dresser and confidante, but who was known to courtiers as ‘AK-47’ because of her forceful personality.
Harry says the Queen asked Meghan to view five stunning tiaras, including one with emeralds and another with aquamarines.
The Queen then told Meghan: ‘Tiaras suit you.’
After Meghan chose one, the Queen advised her to try the piece on with her hairdresser before the wedding day.
But Harry says that when he tried to contact Ms Kelly later to get hold of the tiara for the practice session, the dresser didn’t respond.
The Queen’s dresser Angela Kelly (pictured at the Queen’s funeral), known by some as ‘AK-47’, allegedly didn’t respond to Harry’s messages about Meghan’s chosen tiara
The Queen was pictured attending London Fashion Week alongside her trusted confidante, Angela Kelly
Harry also claims there ‘had been spirited arguments in the back corridors of the Palace about whether Meghan could – or should – wear a veil’
In his memoirs, Harry denies saying the previously reported line: ‘What Meghan wants, Meghan gets’
Princess Diana had a love of tiaras, such as this one on her wedding day, and Harry has revealed she was originally destined to wear the Spencer tiara as a tribute to her
When he finally tracked her down, Ms Kelly told him taking the tiara out of the Palace for an appointment with Meghan’s hairdresser ‘can’t be done’ because it would require an orderly and a police officer to guard it.
Harry – who admits to being exasperated – says Ms Kelly eventually ‘appeared out of thin air’ at Kensington Palace to make him sign a release form before handing over the tiara.
He writes: ‘She fixed me with a look that made me shiver. I could read in her face a clear warning. This isn’t over.’
Markle instead wore Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau, the centerpiece of which is a 10-diamond brooch that Mary of Teck received as a wedding gift from the County of Lincoln in 1893.
The tiara saga was just one of the many difficulties Meghan is said to have faced when trying to prepare her wedding ensemble.
Harry claims there ‘had been spirited arguments in the back corridors of the Palace about whether Meghan could – or should – wear a veil’.
For a divorcee to wear a veil was, for some courtiers, out of the question, he says.
But Harry goes on to say that ‘the powers that be, unexpectedly, showed some flexibility’ and relented.
His telling of the Tiara-gate story shows the extent of the power wielded by the Queen’s dresser.
Ms Kelly first came into the Royal Household as an assistant dresser, but worked her way up and was entrusted with the keys to the Queen’s priceless jewellery collection.
She served Queen Elizabeth II for almost 30 years and was pictured at her state funeral on September 19.
The Queen is said to have given royal provision to allow Ms Kelly to remain in her house for the rest of her life, even after she passed away.
The pair were known to exchange light-hearted banter with each other, as the Queen once jokingly told her dresser ‘you’re sacked’ during a trip to Australia.
Her heavy influence was said to lend her considerable power over other senior staff and junior members of the household.
It was previously reported that the row over ‘tiara-gate’ involved another tiara which Meghan was not given the option to choose from – but this latest telling by Prince Harry appears to question this.
Harry says the Queen asked Meghan to view five stunning tiaras, including one with emeralds and another with aquamarines
Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau, the centerpiece of which is a 10-diamond brooch that Mary of Teck received as a wedding gift from the County of Lincoln in 1893, was specifically made for the Queen’s grandmother Queen Mary (pictured) in 1932
The diamond and platinum bandeau tiara worn by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, on her wedding was displayed on exhibition at Windsor Castle
The younger daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York wore a stunning gown by British designer Peter Pilotto on her wedding day; teamed with the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, lent to her by her grandmother the Queen
There were also reports the row involved the same tiara that Princess Eugenie wore at her wedding ceremony in 2018, which featured a stunning array of sapphires.
The Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara was passed down to the Queen following her mother’s death in 2002.
So favoured was she by the Monarch that Ms Kelly was also granted extraordinary permission to secure a three-book deal.
Two volumes have been published and another is set to be released.
The Spencer Tiara, which it is claimed Meghan originally planned to wear, was worn by Princess Diana at her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981, and worn by her on numerous occasions after her big day.
The tiara is a family heirloom that was also worn by all of Diana’s sisters on their wedding days.
The headpiece, which was made by Garrads in the 1930s, has an elaborate design of stylised flowers decorated with diamonds in silver settings.
The tiara is now owned by Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer.
It is understood that Ms Kelly was not consulted by Harry’s publishers about the episode in his memoir.
Today she could not be reached for comment, and Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
Who is the Queen’s dresser Angela Kelly?
The Queen’s stylist, hairdresser and aide Angela Kelly, is a docker’s daughter from Liverpool who ended up as one of Her Majesty’s most trusted friends.
Angela Kelly, a close confidante of the Queen, is set to be allowed to stay on in her grace-and-favour home at Windsor – thanks to the Queen herself. Pictured receiving her RVO in 2012
Ms Kelly, 64, was a trusted confidante and took on a lady-in-waiting-style role towards the Queen as she worked her way up from Assistant Dresser to becoming indispensable part of the household.
Queen Elizabeth ensured that her loyal friend would be allowed to stay on in her grace-and-favour home after her death.
Staff would typically only have one month’s notice before being moved to another Royal household or being told to look for alternative employment after the death of a King or Queen.
But now it seems that the Queen had given her authority for Ms Kelly to stay near Windsor Castle after her death.
So favoured was she by the late Monarch that Ms Kelly was also granted extraordinary permission to secure a three-book deal. Two of those memoirs have been published and another is set to be released.
An insider said: ‘The Queen was very clear that she was close to Angela and wanted to look after her people.’
As the Queen’s mobility failed, Palace sources say that Ms Kelly could often be found sitting with the Queen, making her laugh and filling Her Majesty in on the latest plot twists of television soap operas.
Latterly, as the Queen’s number of public appearances decreased in line with her ability to move around in comfort, it was Ms Kelly who sat with the Queen at Windsor.
As time went on, Ms Kelly took on more of a lady-in-waiting role, sources say. She would fetch and carry and even advise.
The influence of the down-to-earth Liverpudlian could even be seen in some of the Queen’s public appearances – far beyond what the Monarch chose to wear.
It was Ms Kelly who encouraged the Queen to visit the set of Coronation Street in Manchester when the ITV studio marked its 60th anniversary in July 2021.
And what did the Queen choose to wear? An Angela Kelly outfit in a bold teal with a matching hat.
The anecdote was revealed in Ms Kelly’s second memoir, The Other Side Of The Coin.
The book also tells of how, during lockdown, Ms Kelly and a team of staff formed HMS Bubble – a Covid-free ring around the Queen designed to keep her safe while continuing to look after her comfort.
In lockdown she opened ‘Kelly’s Salon’ – making herself indispensable as the Queen’s hairdresser as well as her dresser and aide.
The reward for such loyalty will now be the promise of a comfortable retirement.
It was Ms Kelly who encouraged the Queen to visit the set of Coronation Street in Manchester when the ITV studio marked its 60th anniversary in July 2021
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