THE Queen will be laid to rest wearing two simple pieces of jewelry – her Welsh gold wedding band and pearl earrings.
But she leaves behind a dazzling collection of crowns and personal jewelry, including items containing nine stones cut from the largest diamond ever found.
The priceless Cullinan, named after the owner of the Premier mine in South Africa, was presented to King Edward VII in 1907.
He sent it to the world’s best cutter, Joseph Asscher of Amsterdam, who cleaved the 3,106-carat stone – and soon passed out.
Mike Ridley tells the stories behind the crown jewels.
GIRLS’ TIARA OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND
IN 1893, the astonishing sum of £5,000 was collected from girls in Britain and Ireland to buy a wedding present for the future Queen Mary.
This diamond tiara was bought from royal jeweler Garrard and the rest of the money was given to the widows and orphans of men lost in the sinking of HMS Victoria that same year.
Queen Elizabeth called it “Grandmother’s Tiara”.
CROWNS, ORBS AND SCEPTERS
THE Crown of St. Edward, of which King Charles will be crowned, was made in 1661 for the coronation of Charles II and the restoration of the monarchy.
It cost £13,000, about the same as three warships. Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell had sold or destroyed the medieval regalia, removing the jewels and melting down the gold into pieces stamped “Commonwealth of England”.
The Sovereign’s Orb, in the center, representing the authority of Christ on Earth, is covered with 365 diamonds, 18 rubies, nine emeralds and nine sapphires. The sovereign’s scepters with dove and cross, on the far right, were worth £1,465.
Since 1911 the cross has held Cullinan I, the main cut of the largest diamond in the world, a gift to Queen Mary of South Africa.
The Imperial State Crown contains Crown Jewels for Charles II from 1661, redone and added for George I in 1714, Victoria in 1838 and the Queen’s father George VI in 1937.
QUEEN VICTORIA COLLET NECKLACE AND EARRINGS
THE Queen wore this stunning 160-carat diamond necklace and matching earrings at her coronation in 1953.
Made up of 28 stones, they belonged to his great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, who bequeathed them to the Crown on her death in 1901.
DELHI DURBAR NECKLACE
JEWELRY in India who made a crown for George V also created an emerald necklace for his wife Mary.
She added the Cullinan VI diamond. In 1981, the Queen gave Diana an Art Deco emerald choker, which the Princess transformed into an incredible headband.
GREVILLE PEAR EARRINGS
Wealthy widow Dame Margaret Greville bequeathed all her jewelery to the Queen Mother, including these dazzling earrings made by Cartier in 1938.
They were also worn by the Queen and Princess Diana.
QUEEN VICTORIA EAR STUDS
VICTORIA had two perfectly matched brilliant-cut diamonds set in stud earrings, which she wore in an 1837 portrait when she was 54.
Queen Elizabeth, who inherited them from Queen Mary, wore Victoria’s earrings throughout her life, including at the annual Garter ceremony in Windsor.
ROYAL FAMILY ORDERS
A GIFT from the Sovereign to close family members. They are never made public and the first time anyone knows of them is when a royal wears one, like Diana in 1982.
The Queen often wore one given to her by her father George VI. Queen Consort Camilla wears one donated by Elizabeth. On state occasions, the Queen Mother wore two – one from her husband and another from her daughter.
KING GEORGE III FRINGED TIARA
THIS piece, with its vertical rows of diamonds, belonged to King George III and was first worn by Queen Victoria.
In 1947, the Queen Mother lent it to her daughter as “something borrowed” for her wedding to Philip.
On the day of the wedding, the frame of the tiara broke. The court jeweler rushed to his workshop under police escort to fix it in time for the ceremony.
Princess Anne also wore it when she married Captain Mark Phillips in 1973, as did Princess Beatrice, top right, when she married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in July this year.
THE CULLINAN BROOCH
THE Queen called it ‘Granny’s Chips’, Cullinan III and IV, cut from the largest diamond in the world, was given to Queen Mary by South Africa in 1907.
It was the most precious piece of jewelery Elizabeth owned and she rarely wore it, on special occasions, such as at Buckingham Palace during her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
Cullinan I, carried by Mary at her coronation in 1911, lower right, was later placed in the Sovereign’s Scepter with Cross.
KING GEORGE IV STATE DIADEM
THE King personally designed this diamond encrusted tiara for his coronation but changed his mind and never wore it.
Instead, Queen Victoria wore it at her coronation and used it for the next 30 years. Queen Elizabeth wore it every year for the official opening of Parliament – and was photographed wearing it on postage stamps.
SAPPHIRE PRINCE ALBERT BROOCH
The day before their wedding in 1840, Albert presented Queen Victoria with this magnificent brooch, an oblong sapphire surrounded by 12 round diamonds.
Upon his death, she clarified that it was to be held in trust for all future queens. Queen Elizabeth has worn it on several occasions, including during a lifeboat launch in 1972.
CAMBRIDGE LOVERS KNOT TIARA
THE QUEEN Mary left this magnificent diamond and pearl tiara to the Queen, who wore it on state occasions.
In 1981, the Queen gave it to Diana when she married Prince Charles. And Prince William gave it to his wife Catherine, who, like Di, wore it with pearl earrings.
DIADEM OF THE GRAND DUCHESS VLADIMIR
MARY, wife of Russia’s richest aristocrat, Grand Duke Vladimir, spent a fortune on a diamond and pearl Cartier tiara.
Smuggled out of Russia after the 1917 revolution, Queen Mary bought it and left it to our queen in 1953.
KOKOSHNIK DIADEM OF QUEEN ALEXANDRA
SHE received it on her silver wedding anniversary to the Prince of Wales in 1888 by the 365 peers of the United Kingdom.
It is identical to that of his sister, the Empress of Russia. Queen Mary and her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth, often wore it.