During her 70-year reign on the British throne, Queen Elizabeth II wore some of the most remarkable jewelry, brooches, tiaras and, of course, crowns. Whether they were gifted, inherited, or commissioned, the Queen’s collection was unmatched.
For less formal occasions, Queen Elizabeth often donned her signature pearl necklace and a statement brooch as well as the diamond engagement ring with 3-carat center stone that Prince Philip gave her before their 1947 nuptials. When it came to official events, Her Royal Highness went into the Buckingham Palace vaults.
The stunning treasure trove of jewels was added to the collection of family heirlooms during Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837 to 1901. As her empire expanded during the Victorian era, collecting jewelry pieces was a priority for the British monarch.
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Queen Mary was another substantial contributor to her granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II’s impressive assortment. Queen Mary was known for acquiring gemstones and diamonds during her royal travels.
She received other pieces as diplomatic gifts and through close-knit ties with jewelers in London and Paris. She ended up accumulating many of Queen Elizabeth’s favorite designs, such as The Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara and The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, which Queen Elizabeth dubbed “Granny’s Tiara.”
Queen Elizabeth died at 96 years old on Sept. 8, and just months before her death, she put heirlooms from her personal jewelry collection on display at three royal residences during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations. In honor of her historic reign, GRAZIA USA takes a look back at her most remarkable pieces.
The Imperial State Crown
Originally made for the coronation of King George VI in 1937, the opulent headpiece is set with 2,868 diamonds in silver mounts, and colored stones in gold mounts, including 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and 269 pearls. Queen Elizabeth II wore the Imperial State Crown on her coronation day in 1953 and again, to the Opening of Parliament in 1967.
At a royal gala during her Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977, the Queen donned the tiara she ordered from Garrard, which was set with 96 rubies the people of Burma gifted to the Queen for her wedding.
The Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara
One of Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite tiaras, the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara, was purchased by her grandmother, Queen Mary, in 1921.
Queen Alexandra’s Russian Kokoshnik Tiara
Her Royal Highness often selected her great-grandmother Queen Alexandra’s diamond Russian Kokoshnik Tiara, commissioned by Garrard. The tiara was modeled after the Russian Kokoshnik Tiara worn by Alexandra’s sister, the Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia.
Queen Mary’s Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara
Women’s clubs across the British empire fundraised to purchase the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara as a wedding gift to Queen Elizabeth II’s grandmother, Queen Mary, in 1893.
Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation Necklace
The diamond necklace Queen Elizabeth II sported at her 1953 coronation was made by Garrard for Queen Victoria in 1858.
Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation Earrings
The pear-shaped diamond earrings Queen Elizabeth II sported at her 1953 coronation was made by Garrard for Queen Victoria in 1858.
The Williamson Brooch
The Queen’s Williamson Brooch is designed around the Williamson Pink Diamond, one of the largest pink diamonds in the world. The stone is set in a white diamond flower pin, designed by Frederick Mew of Cartier in London in 1953.
QUEEN ALEXANDRA’S WEDDING PARURE
His Royal Highness, Prince Albert of Wales, gave the Parure of Diamonds and Pearls as a wedding gift to Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863. The Garrard pieces included the Rundell Tiara, a set of earrings,
a brooch, and a diamond and pearl necklace, which was recently worn by Catherine, Princess of Wales. While the diamond tiara no longer exists, the rest of the jewels remain in Queen Elizabeth II’s private collection.
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