Queen Elizabeth II’s iconic jewelry – and who will inherit it


Whether it was one of her dazzling diamond tiaras or the simple pearl earrings she almost always wore, Queen Elizabeth II – who died aged 96 on September 8, 2022 – has always made a royal style statement when it comes to her jewelry.

While some of the pieces that come to mind when remembering the late Queen are among the Crown Jewels, she also had an extraordinary private collection of gems – and her royal jewelry box is worth millions.

In fact, one diamond piece – the Cullinan III and IV brooch – is estimated to be worth £50 million (about $58 million), as diamond expert Max Stone told the Daily Express.

After her death at Balmoral Castle, many wondered exactly what would become of her signature jewelry – and who would wear it next – but the answer isn’t as clear cut as her diamonds.

“We don’t know all the details about the ownership of all the royal jewels, and it’s likely that we won’t have much detailed information about their heritage now,” said Lauren Kiehna of The court jeweler tells Page Six Style. “The royal wills are sealed, so we cannot consult these documents for advice.”

However, the jewelry expert said we probably shouldn’t expect to see individual pieces given to various members of the royal family.

“I think it is very likely that the Queen followed in the footsteps of her grandmother, Queen Mary, and her mother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and bequeathed all of her jewelery directly to the new monarch, the King Charles III,” says Kiehna. .

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
Queen Elizabeth has always shone at official events, including her visit to Canada in 1957 for the opening of Parliament in Ottawa.

“This method of inheritance has both historical and fiscal advantages,” she explains, referring to the heavy inheritance tax that would have to be paid on the jewelry if it were given to individuals.

Read Page Six’s updated coverage of Queen Elizabeth’s passing:

Adding that Queen Elizabeth “often gave pieces from her collection as long-term loans” to family members (think the Lover’s Knot tiara often sported by Princess Diana and Kate Middleton), Kiehna says she foresees that King Charles III “will probably follow the same pattern, loaning various objects to different members of the family but keeping them as one collection.

Here we take a look at some of Queen Elizabeth II’s most iconic tiaras and jewellery.

The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara at the Royal Film Performance in 1952.
Popperphoto via Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite and most worn tiara was this shimmering diamond piece, which she received from her grandmother Queen Mary as a wedding gift. According to The Court Jeweller, the late monarch affectionately referred to the piece as a “grandmother’s tiara”, but its official name comes from the committee of women who raised funds to purchase it for Princess Mary of Teck, aka Granny, in the 1800s.

As to whether we’ll see Elizabeth’s favorite tiara soon, Kiehna says royal fans should expect to see “smaller jewels, like brooches” before new queen consort, Camilla or Kate Middleton – the new Princess of Wales – sports “the most significant jewels.

Vladimir’s Diadem

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II paired the Vladimir Tiara with a diamond necklace that belonged to Queen Victoria during a state visit to Germany in 1978.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Get

Another of the late Queen’s favorite tiaras has an incredible story, having been smuggled out of Russia after the country’s revolution. The piece originally belonged to Grand Duchess Vladimir and was later purchased by Queen Mary, who left it to her granddaughter, Elizabeth, as she did with many of her other jewels .

The tiara is also an extremely versatile piece, as it can be worn with pearl drops – as pictured above – with emerald drops, or on its own with just the diamond earrings.

Three Row Pearl Necklace and Queen Mary’s Button Earrings

Queen Elizabeth II
The late monarch wore her favorite pearl necklace and earrings during a June 2022 visit to Scotland.
Getty Images

When picturing Queen Elizabeth II, her iconic three-row pearl necklace and matching stud earrings immediately come to mind, and she’s been seen wearing them at nearly every engagement she’s attended.

She actually owned three extremely similar necklaces featuring three strands of shiny pearls – one was a gift from her grandfather, King George V, a second was an almost identical necklace given to her by the Emir of Qatar and one says the late monarch had a third created for herself.

Her large pearl earrings, accented with a diamond chip at the top, were part of the collection she received from her grandmother, and the late queen wore them to almost every engagement she attended.

George IV’s coronation tiara

Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen wore this historically significant piece in her official coronation photos.
Popperphoto via Getty Images

This stunning crown features 1,333 diamonds and 169 pearls, according to the Royal Collection Trust, and was made for the coronation of George IV in 1820. Since then, it has been worn by every Queen and Queen consort, and the design features symbols the United States. Kingdom like roses, clovers and thistles.

Queen Elizabeth II has worn it on many royal occasions over the years, such as on her coronation day and at State Openings of Parliament, and has also worn the tiara in portraits used for stamps and coinage many Commonwealth countries.

If the tradition continues, we should expect to see Queen Camilla wearing the crown at her husband’s coronation.

The Cullinan III and IV Brooch

The Cullinan III and IV Brooch
The Cullinan III and IV brooch, displayed at a 2015 exhibition at Buckingham Palace.
Getty Images

This chunky brooch is perhaps the Queen’s most breathtaking piece of jewelry, comprising two of the ‘smallest’ third and fourth stones extracted from the famous Cullinan Diamond discovered in 1905.

The brooch – which jewel-loving Queen Mary had made from the two diamonds – was eventually passed on to her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

According to the Royal Collection Trust, the square-shaped top stone weighs 63.6 carats and the pear-shaped bottom diamond weighs 94.4 carats – and the enormous brooch is believed to be the most expensive in the world, according to the Daily Express.

The Edinburgh Wedding Bracelet

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip
Before becoming queen, Princess Elizabeth showed off her wedding bracelet during a 1951 outing with Prince Philip.
Popperphoto via Getty Images

One of the monarch’s most significant jewels was the sparkling diamond bracelet that Prince Philip gave her as a wedding gift. Known as the Edinburgh Wedding Bracelet, the chunky piece was made in part from Romanov diamonds taken from a disassembled tiara given to him by the prince’s mother.

Middleton is the only other person to have worn the bracelet in public; his late mother-in-law loaned it to him for several formal occasions over the years, such as the BAFTAs and a state banquet.

Queen Victoria Pearl Drop Earrings

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
The Queen wore the huge pearl drops in a 1954 portrait with Prince Philip.

Another historically significant piece of jewelry worn by Queen Elizabeth II was a pair of pearl earrings that once belonged to Queen Victoria. The earrings were given to the Victorian Queen by her husband, Prince Albert, and feature two diamond studs dangling from large teardrop-shaped pearls with diamond accents at the top.

After Queen Victoria’s death, the earrings were passed down for use as “crown heirlooms”, according to The Court Jeweller, meaning they were designated for each queen or queen consort ranging from l ‘before.

Queen Elizabeth II was often seen in the precious earrings on occasions such as the official opening of Parliament or at official banquets with world leaders – and in the future Queen Camilla would probably wear them for similar state events.


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