With Queen Elizabeth II’s passing away, there are questions about what will now happen to her tiaras that are a part of the Crown Jewels. It should be noted that the queen — who died on Thursday at the age of 96 — had one of the largest and most expensive private collections of jewels that comprised as many as 50 tiaras, approximately, which have been in the family for many generations.
The Crown Jewels are displayed at the Tower of London and they draw tourists from around the world. But, what is interesting about the collection is that, as mentioned earlier, the jewels have been in the royal family for centuries and they are mostly inherited.
This means that they are a part of the Crown or the monarch who takes the throne, as opposed to belonging to one person.
Then, there is also the Royal Collection Trust that features many of the British royal family’s extensive artworks — which form the largest private collection in the world — along with their jewels.
It is understood that the Royal Collection itself is divided into two portions, with the bulk of the items in possession of the reigning monarch, and the queen’s personal collection, which comprises items inherited by or gifted to her by family members; or those that she bought herself. In this collection are many of Queen Elizabeth II’s tiaras that she wore in her lifetime.
It is believed that items from her private collection may now be passed on to King Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles as they take the throne now, and to the queen’s grandkids Princes William and Harry and their wives Kate and Meghan, respectively, along with other family members.
Take a look at some famous tiaras and diadems from her sizable collection, as shared by the Royal Collection Trust (RCT).
In this photo, the queen was seen wearing a satin dress decorated by Norman Hartnell, George IVs’ state diadem, and the Nizam of Hyderabad’s necklace.
In this striking photo, she was seen in the Imperial State Crown, which was originally designed for King George IV’s coronation. It features 3,000 diamonds, 269 pearls, 17 sapphires and 11 emeralds.
Take a look at this piece of beauty — the Vladimir tiara with pendant emeralds. It is on display at Buckingham Palace until October 2, 2022. Also known as the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara, the headpiece was originally made for its eponymous owner in 1874, who is believed to have smuggled out of Russia during the revolution of 1917. It was later bought at an auction by the queen’s grandmother Queen Mary, an avid jewellery collector.
According to the RCT, this is one of the “most widely recognised photographs of Queen Elizabeth II”, which was taken by one Dorothy Wilding, two months after the queen’s accession to the throne. The image was the “basis for this original set of stamps, which were nicknamed ‘Wildings’ by stamp collectors. Stamps using this image remained in circulation until 1971”.
In this photo, she is seen wearing the ‘Diamond Diadem’, which is “set with 1,333 brilliant-cut diamonds and consists of a band with two rows of pearls either side of a row of diamonds, above which are diamonds set in the form of a rose, a thistle and two shamrocks, the national emblems of England, Scotland and Ireland,” as explained by the RCT.
Meghan Markle, when she got married to Prince Harry in 2018, had borrowed one of the queen’s stunning diamond tiaras — Bandeau Tiara — that had been worn by the queen-grandmother Queen Mary in 1932. It was, apparently, not seen in public in 60 years before the Duchess of Sussex wore it on her wedding day.
Before that, Kate Middleton, when she married Prince William in 2011, wore the Cartier Halo tiara made up of 739-brilliant cut diamonds and 149 baguette diamonds, lent to the bride by her grandmother-in-law.
The queen also lent the Cambridge Lovers’ Knot Tiara to Princess Diana. Interestingly, while it was gifted to her during her wedding to King Charles in 1981, the Princess of Wales returned it to the queen after they were divorced. The headpiece features 19 baroque pearls and rose-cut diamonds in heart-shaped knots.