This year (2022), the Queen will be celebrating her Platinum Jubilee, the first British monarch in history to reach such a milestone. Here at Lancastrian Jewellers, we believe that this huge occasion should be celebrated. None of the Queen’s outfits would be complete without her jewellery, from historic gems passed down from queen to queen through the centuries to recently acquired jewels. In the daytime, she is almost never seen without a pearl necklace, glittering brooch and pearl earrings. For formal evening events, a necklace or tiara will be pulled out from the vault.
Read on to see jewels worthy of the Queen herself for the Jubilee…
As the Queen enjoys her historic Platinum Jubilee celebrations this year, there’s no better time to travel back through the history of some of her timeless and noteworthy pieces of jewellery.
The Lover’s Knot Brooch
The True Lover's Knot brooch features diamonds set in silver and gold. It originally belonged to Queen Mary, but now Queen Elizabeth II wears it frequently - it was her brooch of choice for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding in 2011.
The Victorian Suite of Sapphire and Diamond
A tiara was commissioned by the Queen to go with this set of earrings, pendant and necklace that was given to her by her father as a wedding present. The original suite was created in 1850, but the tiara and a matching bracelet weren’t added until 1963. The jewels are sometimes called the “Victorian” sapphires as it’s believed they were made during the middle of the nineteenth century. The set originally included just a necklace and a pair of earrings but over the years the set has been added to and elements of it altered. In 1952, the Queen had the necklace shortened, removing a few links and having the largest stone removed as well. The bigger sapphire was turned into a pendant seven years later.
Flower Basket Brooch
This brooch, featuring diamonds, rubies and sapphires fashioned into a basket of flowers, was a gift to the Queen by her parents after the birth of Prince Charles in 1948. Also known as “the giardinetti” or “little garden”. Although the various gems in the brooch mean that it coordinates well with lots of colours, the Queen tends to wear the brooch most often with clothing in different shades of blue.
Three Strand Pearl Necklace
Gifted to the Queen by her father, King George VI, this elegant three-strand pearl necklace is a firm favourite of Her Majesty’s. Queen Elizabeth’s love and appreciation of pearls began at a young age due to a family tradition that was started by her great-great-grandmother. Queen Elizabeth II is hardly ever spotted without her signature piece of jewellery: a string of pearls. They are beautiful and lustrous and the more you wear them, the more lustrous they become. There is also the etiquette element, it’s appropriate for a lady to wear pearls to daytime event, and wear diamonds after 6pm. The Queen has an extensive collection of pearl necklaces, some with single strands, others with up to six, however she wears the three-strand style most often.
The Cullinan V Heart Diamond Brooch
Almost 19 carats, this heart-shaped diamond is surrounded by a platinum web that ends in a border of pavé diamonds. It was originally part of a stomacher designed for Queen Mary in 1911 made for the Delhi Durbar. The Queen inherited the brooch in 1953. The incredible diamond, named for the man who owned the mine in which it was found, was discovered in South Africa in 1905. The uncut diamond weighed more than a pound and measured at more than 3000 carats, far surpassing the size of any other diamond that had ever been found. The process of cutting and polishing the stones that came from the Cullinan took almost an entire year.
The Queen owns several diamond brooches with thistle designs. The thistle is the national flower of Scotland, used as a symbol of the nation since the thirteenth century. This brooch, which features three thistles rendered in diamonds, was worn by the Queen for Royal Ascot in June 2015. The brooch is designed as a long, stylized thistle set with diamonds and flanked by a pair of thistle leaves. The long stem of the thistle features a geometric diamond pattern, and the entire thing has something of an Art Deco sensibility to it.
Little information has been written about the Jardine Star brooch, but the Queen was believed to have been given it by Lady Jardine in 1981. The late-Victorian symmetrical design features a collet diamond on knife wire at each of its eight points, diamonds on the strand of each star spike and a cluster in the centre. It s said to be one of the Queen’s favourite designs.
Thought to be the second most valuable in the Queen’s collection, the Williamson brooch features a pink diamond set at the center which was discovered in 1947 at the Williamson mine in Tanzania. The Williamson pink diamond brooch often worn by Her Majesty is thought to include one of the rarest flawless pink diamonds in the world. Canadian geologist John Williamson, gave the uncut stone to the then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip upon their wedding in November 1947. The brooch, made of platinum, was completed in 1953, the year that Princess Elizabeth was crowned Queen Elizabeth II. The brooch is thought to be a favourite of Her Majesty, worn frequently on special occasions.