Iconic jewelry of Queen Elizabeth: Her collection includes over four hundred pieces

“Even before the final farewell, jewelry expert Lisa Levinson for the Metro newspaper estimated that the Queen would be buried with only a gold wedding ring and tiny pearl earrings,” mentions The Independent. And according to all available information, Levinson’s tip was correct.

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The queen’s massive jewelry collection, which is estimated to number over four hundred different pieces, thus remained intact for her heirs. It is very likely that the jewels will not lie idle after the death of the Queen, but people will see them on the heads, necks, chests and wrists of the most important members of the British royal family. It is not yet known who exactly will receive what jewelry (the content of the queen’s will is confidential), the curious will have to wait for the names of the owners of individual pieces until the ladies take them out to the public. But it is possible to roughly estimate which women they will be.

Jewelry and jewels of Elizabeth II.
– The jewelry that Queen Elizabeth II wore during her lifetime can be divided into two groups.

1. Crown Jewels
– It is about a hundred pieces of the most important and valuable objects, symbols of the monarch’s power.
– This includes, for example, a scepter, an apple and several royal crowns (including the crown of St. Edward, which she wore at the coronation of Elizabeth II, and the same crown was subsequently placed on her coffin during the ceremonies) or several swords.
– Technically the owner is the monarch.
– In reality, however, he cannot dispose of them according to his will – he cannot sell or bequeath them to a family member. After him, only the new monarch always inherits them.
– This is because the jewels must be preserved for the British people.
– They are kept in the fortress of the Tower of London and strictly guarded.
– The monarch wears them during particularly important events, such as the coronation or the opening of the parliament session. He has the right to lend them for a short time (for example, for a specific event) to another member of the royal family (most often the heir to the throne, if the situation requires it).

2. Jewels from Elizabeth II’s personal jewelry collection.
– Much less is known about them than about the crown jewels.
– The number in the collection is estimated at more than 400 pieces (but some estimates also mention about 300 pieces).
– This includes jewelry that Elizabeth II. inherited from her ancestors, received as a gift or bought/had made by herself.
– In the collection you can find crowns, necklaces, earrings, brooches, bracelets and rings. This includes, for example, the famous Diamond Diadem, which Elizabeth II usually wears. often depicted.
– According to some sources, the jewels are kept in a vault under Buckingham Palace.
– It was the queen’s private property, so she could dispose of it as she wished (sell, lend, donate, bequeath).

Source: The Jewelery Editor

Best chance? The Queen Consort and Princess of Wales

Already during her lifetime, the queen lent or even donated some jewelry from her private collection to her daughter, granddaughters and daughters-in-law. Beautiful pieces were thus seen on Princess Diana, the current Queen wife Camille, Countess Sophie, Princess Kate, Princess Beatrice or Duchess Meghan. According to experts, it is so easy that these women will “dismantle” their glittering inheritance.

“However, they will apparently follow a clear hierarchy in all of this. It is now Queen Consort Camilla who has the right to be the first to choose from the late monarch’s jewellery. She is followed, of course, by the Princess of Wales, the former Kate Middleton,” royal expert Katie Nichollová told Entertainment Today.

The experts contacted by The Jewelery Editor also agree with this opinion. “If the Queen followed tradition, she left most of her jewels to the next monarch, Charles III. and his wife. But of course there can be some surprises in the will. “Catherine also has a chance as a future queen,” says the server.

On the contrary, for example, the wife of the second son of the current monarch Charles III, Duchess of Sussex Meghan, no longer has such high hopes for the queen’s jewelry. “I am convinced that at some point she will be allowed to wear some jewelry, but she is much lower in the waiting list,” outlined Nichollová.

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The daughter of Elizabeth II will have a better chance than Meghan, who also gave up the position of senior members of the royal family with Prince Harry. Royal Princess Anna, or the late Queen’s granddaughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Some pieces will probably be given to the wife of the queen’s youngest son, Countess Sophie, who, according to various sources, was for Elizabeth II. as her own daughter.

It is also likely that the individual heiresses will not take the inherited jewelry (except for some smaller pieces) home, but the collection will continue to be kept in its entirety in one place. According to available information, this is Buckingham Palace. “It’s in a rocket-proof bunker underneath, and the alarm from the bunker is directly connected to the local police station,” mentions The Jewelery Editor.

Preserving tradition

In any case, experts expect that Elizabeth II. governed by the same rules as her ancestors. And also that she left nothing to chance, so that it was completely clear on whom she wanted to see which particular piece from her rare collection.

After all, she herself got her majority through inheritance. “Perhaps Queen Alexandra, who died in 1925, did not leave a will, but she did leave behind a detailed list of all her jewelry, which always indicated to whom each piece was to be given after her death. When Queen Mary died in 1953, she bequeathed most of her jewelry to Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, also bequeathed her jewels to the monarch, thereby significantly expanding the family’s private collection,” outlines the British version of Harper’s Bazaar magazine.

In the private collection of Elizabeth II. of course there are crowns. She also inherited some from her mother Elizabeth (pictured). One of them is the Lotus Flower tiara.In the private collection of Elizabeth II. of course there are crowns. She also inherited some from her mother Elizabeth (pictured). One of them is the Lotus Flower tiaraSource: Wikimedia Commons, Archives New Zealand, CC BY 2.0

According to the expert on the royal family, Josh Rom, Elizabeth II apparently decided, like her predecessor. “It is likely that she wanted to give pieces from her private collection to her loved ones. But the main part of the collection will probably go to Charles and Camilla, and then to Kate, so the others will not have large pieces left,” noted Rom for the New York Post.

Fighting for the engagement ring

Although in the private jewelry collection of Elizabeth II. each piece is a jeweller’s masterpiece, among those whose future fate is of most interest to royal experts is a tiny ring. Although it can’t match any of the others in the collection either in terms of price or size, it was undoubtedly a piece that Elizabeth II had. the deepest emotional relationship ever. That ring is the engagement ring she received from her beloved husband Prince Philip.

Prince Philip first put it on his future wife in 1947 when he proposed to her. “It is known that the Duke of Edinburgh had diamonds set in the ring from a crown that belonged to his mother. But everything had one catch. The ring was too big for Elizabeth’s finger. Fortunately, it was able to be shrunk down, so by the time the engagement was announced publicly, he was already seated,” recalls the website Entertainment Today.

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Given that Prince Philip was Queen Elizabeth II’s only love in her life, it’s clear that the late monarch felt a deep connection to this ring throughout her life. It is therefore all the more interesting to whom the ring will now belong. Because it is known that the queen was buried with only her gold wedding ring, the three-carat engagement ring remained on the ground and can therefore be given to someone else.

“Anyone who is allowed to wear this ring will be proud of a very, very special piece indeed. I can imagine he might be waiting for Princess Charlotte. But we will have to wait until time reveals the new owner,” commented expert Nichollová.

Lover of brooches

And what else is in the Queen’s jewelery collection? Many pieces have a great historical value, as there are also jewels from, for example, Queen Victoria.

A large part of the collection consists of brooches, which were among the most popular pieces of Elizabeth II. It is said to make up a quarter or maybe even a third of all pieces. As is known, the brooches of Elizabeth II. she always resonated with the given event she was currently participating in. And according to some, she also used them to express her political views – just remember the sapphire snowflake she wore to a meeting with then US President Donald Trump.

Many of the brooches in the collection were made directly for the Queen. “Perhaps a brooch in the shape of a colorful bouquet of flowers, on which there are diamonds, rubies and sapphires, was given to Elizabeth II. from her parents on the occasion of the birth of her first child – Prince Charles in 1948,” reports Tatler magazine.

Queen’s Crowns

In addition to the crowns that belong to the coronation jewels (that is, the crown of St. Edward or the Imperial crown or the crown of Queen Mary), Elizabeth II wore on her head. of course also pieces from his private collection. These include, for example, the Delhi Durbar, Cartier Halo and Diamond Bandeau tiaras, the last two of which were lent to Princess Catherine and Duchess Meghan at their weddings.

Surprisingly, part of the private collection is the most famous crown ever, the one with Elizabeth II. connected. She wore this tiara on her way to her coronation. It is the so-called Diamond Diadem. “The jewel is made of silver and gold and is set with 1333 diamonds and 169 pearls. It originally belonged to King George IV,” says the Reader’s Digest website.

Among the crowns from the private collection of Elizabeth II. also includes the famous Lovers Knot tiara. “The tiara gained worldwide attention when the Queen loaned it to her daughter-in-law, Princess Diana,” says the Reader’s Digest website.

Beloved pearls

By the way, although she replaced hundreds of jewels with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds during her lifetime, and she had so many jewels that she could wear a different one every day, Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite was pearls. She received her first pearl necklace from her parents as a child, and almost every time she was seen (except when she was in the countryside) she wore three rows of pearls. “The queen didn’t care about material things. She wore the same necklace every day,” said Sam Cohen, the Queen’s former assistant personal secretary.

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Even due to this love for pearls, Elizabeth II. laid to rest with pearl earrings. But while most of the jewelry from her estate now hangs a bit of a question mark, it’s clear who has now been given the privilege of wearing the Queen’s iconic pearl necklace. The honor was earned by Prince William’s wife, the new Princess of Wales Catherine. “Kate wore the Queen’s jewel to lunch with Commonwealth representatives a few days after her death. Buckingham Palace later confirmed that it was indeed the late Queen’s necklace,” writes Town and Country magazine.

And another famous pearl necklace from the Queen’s personal collection went to Kate. Specifically, a Japanese pearl necklace with a diamond, which the Queen lent during her lifetime to, for example, her daughter-in-law Princess Diana, or to Princess Catherine, who also wore it on the occasion of celebrating the seventieth anniversary of the marriage of Elizabeth II. and Prince Philip.

Princess Catherine then wore that famous necklace both to the funeral of the late Duke of Edinburgh and to the final farewell to Queen Elizabeth II herself.


The article is in Czech

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