A peek at the royal family’s jewellery box

Diamonds are The Queen's best friend...
Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II, Duchess Catherine

Forget Breakfast at Tiffany’s, we bring to you the stunning gems from inside Queen Elizabeth II and the royals’ incredible jewellery box.

Prepared to be dazzled by their breathtaking heirlooms!

The British Royal Family have accumulated an extensive collection of jewellery over the years.

Many breathtaking pieces have been centre stage during significant moments in the royals’ history, from engagements to weddings and of course, coronations.

While other pieces have been present from the very beginning of the royals’ history, with a few items dating back to the 16th century.

Leslie Field, author of Queen’s Jewels: The Personal Collection of Elizabeth II, has studied over 1000 pieces owned by the British monarch.

During her reign, Queen Elizabeth II has been adorned by some of the world’s most exquisite gems, including her coronation necklace and the imperial state crown.

With such a vast collection, it is no surprise that the royal matriarch has shared her most prized trinkets with other members of her family.

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge is known for her sense of style and some of her most memorable looks are thanks to the Queen’s glittering accessories.

In fact, Prince William’s grandmother loves opening up her treasure vault to family members and in the past, extended her jewels to his mother, Princess Diana. Just like Catherine, the Princess of Wales was renowned for pairing her elegant sense of style with beautiful accessories.

From diamond-encrusted tiaras, sapphire adorned necklaces and stunning trinkets that hold sentimental value – click through as we look back at the impressive collection of jewels from the royal vault!

Donning close to 3000 diamonds, the Queen was a glittering vision at UK State Opening of Parliament this month. Dressed in white, the 90-year-old wore her Imperial State Crown.

The Imperial State Crown was originally made in the 15th century, however the crown worn by Britain’s longest-reigning monarch is actually a remake because the gems were too heavy! She first wore the stunning item in 1937 and has since worn it at each State Opening of Parliament.

Stunning from every angle, the palace describes the timeless piece as follows: “Set with over 3,000 gems, the stones were all transferred from the old Imperial Crown, which had been re-made on a number of occasions since the 17th century, most recently for Queen Victoria in 1838. It include many famous gemstones, including the diamond known as the Second Star of Africa (the second largest stone cut from the celebrated Cullinan Diamond), the Black Prince’s Ruby, the Stuart Sapphire, St Edward’s Sapphire and Queen Elizabeth’s Pearls.”

Of course when she’s not wearing her crown, the Queen has her George IV State Diadem ready to go! Isn’t it resplendent!

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One of the most recognisable jewelled crowns, it was created in 1820 for the coronation of King George IV. You can now see it at the State Opening of Parliament – Queen Elizabeth wears it in the procession to the event every year. And of course Her Majesty knows exactly what to pair the crowning jewels with…

Wearing 26 diamonds around your neck, now that’s regal! The Coronation Necklace has a chain of 25 diamonds with the last – a 22.48-carat stone known as the Lahore Diamond – hanging from the end. It has been worn at the coronation of every Queen since Queen Alexandra in 1902.

Brtian’s longest reigning monarch is a sharing queen. At the 2016 opening of Parliment, Duchess Camilla donned her most loved bejewelled accessory, the Greville Tiara. It was made for a well-known socialite, Mrs. Greville, back in 1921, out of stones salvaged from another tiara. Having no heirs of her own, she left her considerable jewel collection to the then-Queen Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother) when she died in 1942.

Sprucing up the piece, she sent the jewels to Cartier, who made it bigger, adding the stunning top layer of diamonds.

Princess Diana’s favourite tiara was the Cambridge Lover’s Knot. It was also considered to be a favourite of Queen Mary, who commissioned the precious item in 1913. It’s believed to have been modeled off of a tiara owned by her grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse, the-then Duchess of Cambridge.

After Mary’s death, the jewels were passed on to Queen Elizabeth in 1953. In her early reign, Elizabeth frequently wore the sparkling piece.

In 1983, she gifted it to Princess Diana, who often wore the sparkling bling to formal events. After her divorce from Prince Charles, the iconic head wear was returned back to The Queen.

These days it’s Duchess Catherine who gets to enjoy the Queen’s impressive collection, including this exquisite necklace. She wore it during a visit to the National Portrait Gallery, in February 2014.

This necklace was given to the Queen from the Nizam of Hyderabad as a wedding present. Legend says he told the Queen to pick out anything she wanted from Cartier! And we now know why Elizabeth is brilliant ruler – she selected this glittering number, which features a chain of 38 diamonds plus a centre piece of 13 emerald-cut diamonds.

Queen Elizabeth’s most prized item is her Brazilian Aquamarine Tiara. She was gifted the necklace and earrings by the president and the people of Brazil in celebration of her coronation, over 62 years ago. In 1957, she received the matching tiara and throughout her reign Elizabeth added more aquamarines and diamonds to the exquisite piece.

Of course the Queen has a favourite piece, the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara. As the name suggests, it was purchased by a committee of girls from Great Britain and Ireland in 1893 for a then future-Queen Mary. The illustrious jeweled crown was handed down as wedding gift to Queen Elizabeth from her mother. Interestingly, the crown used to have pearls, but they were added to another tiara.

For a woman who has over 1000 jewels, one of her most treasured is her engagement ring! While it is small compared to her collection, the ring has an impressive three-carat diamond solitaire. The diamonds in the ring were taken from a tiara owned by Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice.

Sentimentality runs through many of the royals’ prized pieces. One of Duchess Catherine’s most cherished pieces is her engagement ring, which famously belonged to Princess Diana beforehand. Created by jeweller Garrard, it is one of the only royal rings that wasn’t custom-made! Still it is striking with its 14 solitaire diamonds and a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire set in 18-karat gold. The ring was reportedly given to Prince Harry after Diana passed, and he eventually gave it to William.

In an effort to make Catherine feel closer to his mother, William had a pair of Diana’s favourite earrings remodeled.

The British monarch still adores wearing something from her 1947 wedding day, the diamond fringe tiara. It is incredibly delicate and fragile. Many might not know that on her big day, the tiara broke before the ceremony, only to be repaired in the nick of time.

Catherine’s most famous piece of borrowed jewellery is the Cartier Halo tiara, which she wore for her 2011 wedding. The tiara was gifted to a-then Princess Elizabeth on her 18th birthday by her mother. Apparently she wasn’t terribly fond of it and often gave it to her sister, Princess Margaret (Pictured right in 1955).

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Making her own traditions: Duchess Catherine is following the royal lead when it comes to being decorated. The mother-of-two LOVES a statement necklace.

Adding to her own family’s treasure is Princess Diana’s Spencer tiara. It has been worn by other female members of the Spencer family on their wedding days, and was extremely loved by Diana.

The royal family’s gorgeous Papyrus/Lotus Flower tiara was a personal favourite of Princess Margaret and owned by the Queen’s mother. Catherine, 33, became the Duchess of Sparkle when she made a glittering debut with it at her first state banquet last month.

The Queen, as Princess Elizabeth, wore this diamond-encrusted maple brooch for her first trip to Canada in 1951 and again recently in 2010. Catherine also borrowed it for her 2011 tour of Canada and America.

The royal’s shamrock brooch has been worn by many in the family including Princess Anne and most recently, Duchess Catherine.

When you’re the longest-reigning monarch, it’s only fair you have enough jewels for every day of the year!

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