Duchess of Cambridge's wedding tiara - made for the Queen Mother in 1936 - goes on display in Paris
- Cartier made the halo tiara after being commission by the Queen's father, King George VI
- It was a gift for the Queen Mother who then passed it down to her daughter
- Queen has previously lent priceless headpiece to Princesses Margaret and Anne
- It has 739 brilliant-cut diamonds and 149 baguette-cut diamonds
- Duchess of Cambridge wore it when she married Prince William
- It will go on show in Cartier exhibition at Grand Palais, Paris, until 16 February
The dazzling tiara worn by the Duchess of Cambridge on her wedding day to Prince William is to go on display in Paris for the next two months.
The halo tiara, which was designed by Cartier, will take pride of place at an exhibition celebrating the style and history of the iconic jewellers.
The head piece, composed of stylised petals and paved with 739 brilliant-cut diamonds and 149 baguette-cut diamonds, takes its name from its halo shape and was made in 1936.
The future King George VI had commissioned Cartier to create it for his wife, Elizabeth, the Queen's mother, shortly before he succeeded his brother to take the throne.
The Queen Mother then gave the tiara to Queen Elizabeth on the occasion of her 18th birthday.
Over the decades, it has been worn by the Queen's sister, Princess Margaret, and the Queen's daughter, Princess Anne, before she lent it to Kate to wear when she became a member of the royal family in 2011 as a decadent 'something borrowed'.
The tiara can be seen at the Cartier display at the Grand Palais, Paris, until 16 February.
As previously reported in MailOnline, a number of other jewels worn by royalty and Hollywood legends will also be part of Cartier's biggest ever exhibition.
Grace Kelly's engagement ring and pieces commissioned and worn by the Duchess of Windsor will be among the exhibits. A display of diamonds wouldn't be complete with those worn by the late Elizabeth Taylor, and some of her stunning gems will be shown.
Part of the display pays tribute to Jeanne Toussaint who became director of Cartier's luxury jewellery department in 1933. In a career spanning the decades, she designed and created some of the world's most exquisite pieces of jewellery.
Her designs included a flamingo brooch created in 1940 that was commissioned by the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson, who was devoted to the Cartier's creations.
The 9.65 x 9.59 cm brooch was made with stones belonging to the Duchess herself with the flamingo's body set with calibrated diamonds, sapphire feathers, rubies and emeralds. Her husband, Edward, the abdicated King, bought it for her shortly before the couple fled their home in France as the Nazis advanced. The item will be on show as well as Toussaint's original design sketches.
Toussaint was famed for being fearless and politically engaged, creating brooches depicting caged birds when France was occupied by the Nazis during World War Two. They were displayed in the windows of rue de la Paix, symbolising the plight of occupied France. One of the brooches created in 1944, after the Liberation of Paris, will be in the exhibition showing a freed bird made from gems in France's tricolour.
The exhibition is curated by Laurent Salomé, scientific director to the Réunion des Musées Nationaux Grand Palais, and will feature 600 pieces of jewellery. Of those, 550 from the historic Cartier Collection while 50 are on loan from museums and private collectors around the world.
One of the highlights is actress Grace Kelly's emerald-cut 10.47 carat engagement ring, given to her by Prince Rainier of Monaco. She can be seen wearing the gem in the film High Society, her final film before she retired from acting to focus on her royal duties and motherhood.
Actress Gloria Swanson also worn Cartier jewellery on the silver screen, wearing diamond, platinum and rock crystal bracelets created by Cartier in 1930 in Perfect Understanding and Sunset Boulevard. She commissioned the jewellers to create the bangles at the height of here fame the year after the Wall Street crash to celebrate her marriage to Frenchman Michael Farmer.
Elizabeth Taylor's jewels on show in the exhibition include her famous necklace made by Cartier featuring the La Peregrina pearl. The stone dates back to the 16th century when it was worn by Queen Mary Tudor. Centuries later, Richard Burton bought it at auction and gave it to Taylor as a Valentine's Day gift.
She then had it set into a ruby and diamond necklace, which sold for a then record price of £7.1m which it was auctioned in 2011.
Gems worn by another of the world's wealthiest women - Barbara Hutton, heiress to the Woolworth stores - will also be in the exhibition. Ever loyal to Cartier, she was known for her extravagant taste and frequently commissioned them to create jewellery for her. She was particularly fond of tigers and asked Toussaint to design a clip brooch and a pair of three-dimensional ear clips featuring the animal.
Another of the jewellers biggest fans was Mexican actress María Félix’s. She once visited them at rue de la Paix in 1975 accompanied by a baby crocodile in an aquarium and requested that they reproduce the animal in the form of a necklace. The piece was completed a few months later and was two entwined reptiles made from gold inset with diamonds and emeralds and weighing more than 126 carats.
She also commissioned Cartier to make numerous diamond inset snake necklaces and bracelets for her that she was often seen wearing wrapped around her neck and wrists.
The exhibition charts Cartier's place in history to the present day with examples of jewellery worn by recent stars on the red carpet including a diamond hair piece wore by Stella McCartney to the Met Ball in 2012. It was designed more than a century earlier by Louis Cartier in 1902 and the jewellers said it is now owned by an anonymous American client.
Cartier Style and History will be at the Grand Palais from 4 December 2013 - 16 February 2014. For more information visit grandpalais.fr