The Queen’s Jewels

April 19, 2016

By Tab Byrum


If diamonds are a girl’s best friend then you can add sapphires, emeralds, rubies, and pearls to that for Queen Elizabeth. It’s hard not to picture the British Monarch and not think of her wearing a tiara and dripping in diamonds, so I thought today we would take a look at the jewelry Queen Elizabeth wears both on a daily basis and for special occasions such as state dinners and official ceremonies. Queen Elizabeth has two of her grandmothers, Queen Mary and Queen Victoria, to thank for much of the jewelry in the royal vaults today. Queen Victoria was gifted many jewels during her 64-year reign, including the Koh-I-Noor diamond, the Albert Brooch, and the famous Bow Brooches. Queen Mary was famous for repurposing jewelry, she would take old tiaras and have the stones in them reset as necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Queen Mary is also known for not letting a good deal get by her, she purchased a great many jewels from deposed European Royals who had lost their thrones following World War I and needed money more than jewelry to survive. If you’re interested in knowing a lot more about the jewels of the British royals there are a couple of blogs you can visit, two of my favorites are The Court Jeweller and From Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault. So, take a look at the beautiful jewels of Queen Elizabeth and prepare to be dazzled. Enjoy!!! (Image via)


This tiara is referred to as Queen Mary’s Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, it was a wedding present to the then Princess Mary when she married the future King George V. Money was raised by girls in Britain and Ireland, thus the name. This is probably the tiara Queen Elizabeth wears most often. On the left end is a picture of Queen Mary in the tiara with its original pearls on top, they were later changed out to diamonds. Below is an up close picture of the tiara being worn by QEII. ( images above and below, via)



This is the Burmese Ruby Tiara, it was created in 1973 for QEII using diamonds from a tiara she received as a wedding present and rubies she received from the country of Burma as a wedding gift in 1947. For many years,  this was the only ruby tiara in the collection until she inherited another from her mother after she died in 2002. (image via)


Queen Victoria’s Bow Brooches were created in 1858 and have been passed down to British Queens ever since. Queen Mary often wore all three at once in a row, but her granddaughter QEII only wears one at a time. ( image via )


This picture contains several different famous jewels. In the center of the photo is the Cullinan III & Cullinan IV brooch, the Cullinan diamond was the world’s largest diamond (3,106 carats) and was discovered in a diamond mine in Africa in 1905. The Cullinan diamond was given to King Edward VII and eventually cut into 9 different sized stones. III and IV above are set in a brooch and occasionally worn by the Monarch. The Delhi Durbar emerald and diamond necklace are also seen the photo, they were created for Queen Mary to wear in India in 1911, the marquis shaped diamond pendant on the right is the Cullinan VII from the original stone. ( image via )


In this photo Queen Elizabeth is wearing the Vladimir Tiara, it had originally belonged to a member of the Russian Imperial Family but was sold to Queen Mary in 1921 following the Russin Revolution. The Queen is also wearing the King Khalid Necklace from jeweler Harry Winston, it was given to the Queen in 1979 during an official state visit to Saudi Arabia. (image via)


This sapphire and diamond necklace and earrings is the King George VI Victorian Suite, it was given to Queen Elizabeth in 1947 as a wedding gift from her father. (image via)


Queen Victoria’s Fring Brooch was a favorite of the Queen Mother until her death in 2002, it’s now property of Queen Elizabeth. (image via)


This is the Coronation Necklace and Earrings, created for Queen Victoria in 1857, they were made to replace some of the jewelry Queen Victoria had to turn over to the kingdom of Hanover. These pieces were made using jewels found in swords and other “useless things” in the queen’s possession. Today they are only worn by the Queen for state occasions such as the opening of Parliament or dinners when they are entertaining foreign heads of state. ( image via )


The Flower Basket Brooch was a gift to Queen Elizabeth from her parents in November 1948 to mark the birth of her first child, Prince Charles. The diamond basket is filled with ruby and sapphire flowers and accented with emeralds. ( image via )


Here we see QEII wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara along with Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Brooch from 1897 and Queen Alexandra’s Collet Necklace. (image via)


This is the Williamson Diamond Brooch, the center of the flower is considered to be the finest pink diamond ever discovered. The pink diamond was a wedding gift to Princess Elizabeth from the Canadian geologist who owned it. It was set in this floral brooch setting in 1953. ( image via)

There you have it, a look at a few of the amazing pieces of jewelry worn by this week’s birthday girl, Queen Elizabeth II. This is only a sampling, there are literally hundreds of more pieces. Check back with us later this morning as we explore the Queens favorite country home, Sandringham House. 

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