Julie Andrews Wore $500,000 Worth Of Diamonds in 1 ‘Princess Diaries’ Scene

The Princess Diaries is a movie that is endearing and enduring—it has been nearly twenty years since its release and fans are still spending time watching the original and subsequent sequels over and over. It is no surprise, considering it stars Anne Hathaway in her first-ever movie role, and Julie Andrews, a beloved star of stage and screen.

Julie Andrews smiling
Julie Andrews | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

What some may be surprised about is when it comes to adorning Andrews’ character with jewels, it is all real. There were no faux jewels in sight, and even this small detail is what made the costume design throughout the film sparkle with delight.

Harry Winston diamonds play a pivotal role

It is near the end of the movie and Queen Clarisse Renaldi is dressed in her regal finest. Not only is the dress stunning, but the necklace and tiara she wore set her apart from everything else in the scene. That’s no accident. Andrews was wearing half a million dollar’s worth of diamonds, according to Buzzfeed.

The jewelry was on loan from none other than Harry Winston, one of the most distinguished brands in the business. The tiara that Anne Hathaway wears in the same scene, however, doesn’t hold as much value. Instead of being adorned with diamonds, it was adorned with cubic zirconia.

Costuming in ‘The Princess Diaries’

While the jewels may have made the scene, the costuming throughout the movie plays with the idea that Mia is both her modern self and still classic royalty. In the final scenes, Mia’s stunning ball gown was based on a design that was worn by real royalty. The gown appeared to have been an homage to the ball gown that was worn by Princess Victoria of Sweden. She was seen in a similar gown while attending the Nobel Prize gala in 1997.

In many instances while filming The Princess Diaries, Hathaway was seen out and about, dressed as her character because hair and makeup took so long to apply, she couldn’t just shed her character. But Hathaway has never forgotten her first pivotal role.

Even as recent as last year she posted a photo on social media for a photo challenge dressed up as Mia with her sunglasses, combat boots, and headphones. Andrews worked with costume designer Gary Jones to find the right pieces for the queen to wear. Throughout the film she was dressed in fashions that mirrored designers such as Dior and Chanel.  

The enduring success of the film


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In the industry, The Princess Diaries is considered a sleeper hit. While it took a moment to catch on, once it did, it became the enduring princess dream for an entire generation of girls. The movie earned more than $23 million during its opening weekend and became the second-highest opening for any G-rated movie.

Although the movie has become a modern classic for kids, there were mixed reviews when it was first released, mostly because of the makeover theme, which had been done in many movies previously. The Princess Diaries won a range of accolades as well. It won the Young Artist Award for Best Family Feature Film.

The movie was nominated for Choice Movie at the Teen Choice Awards and Hathaway was nominated for Best Female Breakthrough Performance. The success of The Princess Diaries led Disney to produce a sequel, The Princess Diaries 2, in 2004. However, this movie’s plot was not taken from any of the books in the series.

Much of the original cast returned with the addition of a few new faces. In January of 2019, Hathaway let fans in on a little secret—there will be a third installment of The Princess Diaries, though filming and release dates are still in the works.