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The Queen's Platinum Jubilee – A look back at some of Her Majesty's most iconic jewels

In June 2022, the Queen will become the first British monarch in history to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee.

Her Majesty came to the throne 70 years ago, which will be marked with four days of celebrations from 2 June to 5 June.1 To commemorate the milestone, we look at some iconic jewels from the Queen's jewellery box.

During her reign, Queen Elizabeth II became known for her devotion to a life of service and her immaculate wardrobe and unrivalled collection of jewellery.2

The Queen's dazzling diamond tiaras, necklaces and heirloom brooches are arguably the finest in the world, showcased at countless royal walkabouts, birthdays, jubilees, state visits and weddings.

Queen Elizabeth - Platinum Jubilee

The Queen's pearls

Of course, she is rarely seen without her signature pearls – a love which is believed to stem from her childhood thanks to a family tradition started by Queen Victoria.3

In 1937, Princess Elizabeth, then aged 11, wore an elegant pearl necklace as she watched her father's coronation, King George VI.4 She has favoured pearls ever since, wearing them to announce her official engagement to Prince Philip in July 1947.

For her wedding on 20 November 1947, she wore a double-strand design which was, in fact, two separate pearl necklaces (Queen Anne and Queen Caroline), which she received as a present from her father.5

A wedding ring with a secret message

Her Majesty's wedding band was made from a nugget of Welsh gold, which came from the Clogau St David's mine near Dolgellau, and reportedly has a private inscription on the inside which only she, her late husband and the engraver know.6

Her Majesty's sparkling engagement ring

Another precious piece she apparently never takes off is her platinum and diamond engagement ring, designed by the Duke of Edinburgh.

The three-carat ring features a large stone plus ten smaller diamonds and was created by Philip Antrobus, using diamonds from a tiara which belonged to Prince Philip's mother, Princess Alice.7

The Edinburgh Wedding Bracelet

Prince Philip had the remaining diamonds from Princess Alice's tiara made into a wedding gift bracelet for his wife.8

Believed to be one of the Queen's favourite pieces, it was worn for formal portraits, including her silver wedding anniversary in 1972 and her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

The Art Deco-inspired bracelet was borrowed by the Duchess of Cambridge for events, including her first state banquet in 2015 and the BAFTAs in 2017.

Scarab brooch

Another treasured gift from her late husband is the gold Scarab brooch, which jeweller Andrew Grima designed.

The Queen has been photographed in the carved ruby and diamond brooch many times since she received it in 1966, most notably for her platinum wedding anniversary portrait in 2017 and at the Duke of Edinburgh's memorial service in March 2022.9

Flower Basket brooch

Her Majesty's Flower Basket brooch features diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds and was a gift from her parents after the birth of her first child, Prince Charles, in 1948.10

She wore the piece for her son's first official photograph and for the christening of Prince Charles's first grandchild, Prince George, in 2013.

Chrysanthemum brooch

The Queen's jewellery often has a significant meaning which is paired with each special occasion or royal engagement.

Her sapphire chrysanthemum brooch – one of the Queen's oldest – was worn for her honeymoon photographs with Prince Philip in 1947 and to mark 60 and 73 years of marriage.11

Gifts from Queen Mary

The Queen wore her True Lover's Knot brooch to the royal weddings of her sister, Princess Margaret, in 1960, and her grandson, Prince William, in 2011.12

It was passed down from her grandmother, Queen Mary, when she died in 1953, along with many other pieces such as the Lover's Knot tiara.

Cullinan III and IV

Also inherited from Queen Mary, this brooch is her most valuable – worth £50m, according to experts.13

Granny's Chips, as it is affectionally known, features two large stones cut from the Cullinan diamond – the largest diamond ever found.

The stone produced nine large diamonds, with the second-largest, Cullinan II, added to the Imperial State Crown, which the Queen wore during her coronation day in June 1953 and at the state opening of parliament.

She has several other Cullinan diamonds, including the 94.4-carat pear-shaped Cullinan III and the square-cut 63.6-carat Cullinan IV.

The diamonds were temporarily set into Queen Mary's coronation crown. However, they were often used together as a brooch, which is how the Queen wears it at the most important occasions, such as her Diamond Jubilee service.

As with the Queen's precious collection, our expert Marsh Private Client team understands that jewellery is often much more than beautiful objects. Those sentimental pieces can hold special memories of a loved one or special occasion.

Hannah Bell, Head of Client Experience comments, “At Marsh, our dedicated Private Client team use their experience to arrange the best insurance protection for your treasured jewellery, ensuring the cover provides you with flexibility and options should the items be lost, stolen or damaged. Due to the sentimental and unique nature of many of these items, our team will work hard to give you proactive risk advice to prevent claims from occurring, and make things better for the future if they do.”

Click here for more information or get in touch with the team today.

 

Sources:

1 https://www.royal.uk/platinum-jubilee-central-weekend

2 https://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/gallery/the-queen-jewellery-collection

3 https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/style/1569297/Queen-Elizabeth-jewellery-pearl-necklace-reason-why-value-worth-1million-pounds-pictures

4 https://people.com/royals/the-real-reason-queen-elizabeth-always-wears-pearls/

5 https://www.royal.uk/70-facts-about-queen-and-duke-edinburghs-wedding

6 https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a34293513/queen-elizabeth-prince-philip-wedding-band-inscription/

7 https://www.tatler.com/article/the-queen-prince-philip-engagement-ring-story

8 https://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/gallery/jewellery-philip-gave-the-queen

9 https://www.hellomagazine.com/fashion/royal-style/20220329136653/the-queen-tribute-prince-philip-memorial-service/

10 https://www.thecourtjeweller.com/2018/04/the-flower-basket-brooch.html

11 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55007202

12 https://www.thecourtjeweller.com/2020/02/queen-marys-lovers-knot-brooch.html

13. https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/life/1303641/queen-elizabeth-ii-jewellery-brooch

 

Additional sources:

https://www.royal.uk/her-majesty-the-queen

https://www.tatler.com/gallery/her-majesty-the-queens-life-in-jewellery

https://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/gallery/queen-elizabeth-brooches

www.tatler.com/article/duke-of-edinburgh-wedding-bracelet

www.townandcountrymag.com/style/jewelry-and-watches/g13813982/queen-elizabeth-favorite-scarab-brooch/

www.tatler.com/gallery/queen-elizabeth-jewellery-crowns-tiaras

https://royalwatcherblog.com/2017/02/06/queens-sapphires/

www.thecourtjeweller.com/2018/01/the-cullinan-iii-and-iv-brooch.html

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