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Written by Karen Collins
The House of Windsor owns many fascinating jewels, with a historic collection of over 1 million objects, the largest in the world. The Mountbatten-Windsor royal family, who had the late monarch of England, Queen Elizabeth II, reign for over 70 years, is known to have traveled across the globe on royal duties, always dressed to the nines, decked in dazzling jewelry, opulent tiaras, and diadems. Queen Elizabeth's jewelry has made the cover of newspapers, as every magnificent piece is steeped in world history, be it Queen Elizabeth's crown, tiaras, or the iconic scepter studded with the exquisite Kohinoor diamond.
The late royal truly loved some of her iconic pieces that were a part of Queen Elizabeth's jewelry and made certain she wore them from time to time at her many functions. Queen Elizabeth's crown has always been studded with precious gems of exquisite quality, clarity, and cut like aquamarines, diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and pearls.
Queen Elizabeth's crowns and tiaras have also become iconic over the years, as she has made public appearances at state functions and personal and family events. Her love for fine jewelry and gems is inherited from her grandmother, Queen Mary, and her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. She, too, has passed down many pieces from the royal collection to other members of the royal family like Princess Eugenie, Kate Middleton, and Princess Royal Anne, among others, who have worn Queen Elizabeth's tiaras for public events and occasions.
Pearls represent the moon, at once incandescent and radiant, associated with the feminine. It's quite certain that the Late Queen's favorite gem was the pearl considering how she wore her three strand-pearls at nearly every appearance since her coronation.
She even wore pearls for her engagement and subsequent wedding to Prince Phillip Mountbatten in 1947, with diamonds studding Queen Elizabeth's crown, although she was a princess at the time. Since time immemorial, pearls, known for their classic elegance, have been a favorite of queens and royals. A traditional string of pearls is the perfect accessory for a day about town or a night at the opera, especially paired with the Grand Duchess Vladimir tiara, fit to adorn Queen Elizabeth's crown. Other iconic pearl jewelry in the royal collection includes the Dagmar necklace, with a sliver of wood from the actual cross of Christ.
A gemstone representing Saturn, the preserver of life, chief among Queen Elizabeth's tiaras, the Imperial State Crown is encrusted with historical gems like St. Edward's Sapphire and the 104-carat Stuart Sapphire. The royal collection also includes The George VI Victorian Suite, yet another gift from her father, King George VI, to his beloved daughter, Princess Elizabeth, with a matching necklace for the square sapphire, diamond earrings with matching sapphires studded on Queen Elizabeth's crown.
Queen Elizabeth's tiaras were often matched with the iconic Prince Albert sapphire brooch. The brooch was the 'something blue' that Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha gifted his bride, Queen Victoria, in 1840, a day before their wedding. Other sapphire pieces among Queen Elizabeth's jewelry collection include ornate pieces from Empress Marie Feodorovna's magnificent collection like Marie's diamond brooch, Queen Mary's Russian brooch, Russian Sapphire Cluster brooch, the Cartier Indian Tiara, the Cambridge Sapphire Parure, to name a few. Queen Elizabeth's tiaras have often been matched with sapphire necklaces, bracelets, or rings, which reveal her love for the gemstone.
A gem long associated with the Sun, which signifies royalty, the government, and the administration, this gemstone befits the royal collection and Queen Elizabeth's tiaras. The ruby is a natural significance of the administrative powers and abilities of the British royal family to run an empire. Its majestic charm often appears adorning Queen Elizabeth's tiaras.
The stately House of Windsor has a rich history of expanding borders beyond the isles to India, Canada, America, Asia and Africa, and the world. The rubies in Queen Elizabeth's royal collection are of the finest quality, from Burma and Sri Lanka.
The Greville Ruby necklace, the Baring Ruby necklace, Queen Mary's Ruby Cluster earrings, the Burmese Ruby Tiara, and the Cornwall Rose of York bracelet count as a few of the iconic pieces of Queen Elizabeth's tiaras, as she represented Britain within the country and overseas.
The gemstone that is said to represent luxury, Venus, and Aphrodite is the decadent diamond, which most often adorns Queen Elizabeth's crown or even Queen Elizabeth's jewelry. The diamond, hailed as one of the most precious and expensive gemstones known to man, is a staple of royal family jewelry. When it comes to the Crown Jewels, the scintillating sparkle of brilliant cut diamonds in the famed Cambridge Lover's knot tiara is a hot favorite among 40 bejeweled tiaras among Queen Elizabeth's jewelry.
Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik tiara, Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara, Queen Mary's Boucheron Loop tiara, and Cartier's Halo tiara are among the 40 crowns, tiaras, and diadems in the royal collection. The State diadem created in 1820 is also a majestic tiara worth mentioning. It was created for King George IV coronation. The king was Queen Victoria’s uncle.
And as the Queen, it is customary for her to deliver the address at the State Opening of Parliament, wearing the Imperial State Crown, studded with the Cullinan II diamond, a symbol of royal majesty. Queen Elizabeth's crowns have notably been inherited or bought from other royal families, with a rare commission to Garrards, Cartier, or Boucheron, over the years.
The serene blue-green, emerald-like gemstone holding a strong symbolism with water is one of the most desirable gemstones in the world, making it fit for Queen Elizabeth's jewelry collection and, most importantly, Queen Elizabeth's tiaras. Queen Elizabeth's tiaras most notable were the Brazilian Aquamarine Tiara featuring ten emerald-cut aquamarines gifted by the Brazilian government to Her Majesty. The best quality Aquamarine gems are mined out of Brazil, and it was only befitting that the prized gemstones make their way to the royal vault and Queen Elizabeth's crown.
The aquamarine Pine flower Tiara and the Five Aquamarine Tiara are the two aquamarine studded royal jewelry pieces that make it amply clear that the gemstone has found favor with the royal clan and has a place of pride among Queen Elizabeth's jewelry.
When it comes to the royal collection of Queen Elizabeth's jewelry, you often think of crowns, like Queen Elizabeth's crown, and other pieces like diadems, parures, necklaces, and brooches. There are, however other bejeweled pieces like scepters, orbs, thrones, the royal coat of arms, footwear, trenchers, cups, and many such artifacts that lie in possession of one of the wealthiest royal families in the world today, The House of Windsor.
With a vast collection of prized artworks, and artifacts, some of which date back to the Crusades, one can only imagine the treasure trove within the walls of Buckingham Palace.