Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II’s incredible reign spanned seven decades. So much changed during her time on the throne; she persevered and kept the monarchy alive through her love and devotion to duty.
On the PriceScope blog, we have discussed the Queen’s love of jewelry several times. We touched on her use of jewelry as language, the importance of jewelry in her familial connections, her jewelry choices for her Jubilees, her love story with her husband, Prince Philip of Edinburgh, and more. Her Majesty shared a devout love of jewelry with the members here at PriceScope; she not only was the owner of the Royal Jewels of the UK, she truly appreciated the pieces. Some of her favorite pieces will be highlighted here, and while we know we will likely see them again, an era has undoubtedly come to a close
QUEEN MARY FRINGE TIARA
In Royal Jewels: A Mother’s Love, we discussed the Queen Mary Fringe Tiara. This gorgeous tiara was atop then Princess Elizabeth’s head when she wed her Prince. It broke before the ceremony and Elizabeth, The Queen Mother had it fixed and back in place in time to go down the aisle.
GRAND DUCHESS VLADIMIR CIRCLE TIARA
This tiara was considered the Queen’s favorite, which makes sense. Not only is the design gorgeous, but it was also redesigned to make it convertible. It can be worn without hanging elements in the circle, with pearl drops or emerald drops; this tiara is versatile! We discussed this and others of Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite tiaras in Tiaras of Queen Elizabeth II.
QUEEN MARY’S GIRLS OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND TIARA
The tiara, which was made by Garrard, was commissioned by the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland (a fundraising committee chaired by Lady Eva Greville, daughter of the 4th Earl of Warwick) as a gift to Princess Victoria Mary of Teck for her wedding to Prince Albert, the heir to the British throne. This tiara remained a steadfast favorite and was pictured on Queen Elizabeth II on several banknotes and coins during her reign.
THE ALBERT BROOCH
This treasured family heirloom was originally a wedding gift from Prince Albert to his bride-to-be Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria cherished this gift from her beloved so much that she not only wore it in her bridal attire, she ultimately named it an heirloom of the Crown. It will forever be owned by the current reigning monarch.
THE RICHMOND BROOCH
Queen Mary, grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II was gifted this diamond and pearl brooch as a wedding gift. Queen Mary wore the brooch on her honeymoon and it was associated with love in their family.
During Queen Elizabeth II’s early reign she wore the brooch to several formal events that she attended with her husband, it was also seen at military remembrance events. The brooch can be worn with or without the detachable pearl drop.
Tying all of that together made it the brooch of choice for the funeral of Prince Philip. He was her steadfast love and partner, and it was a symbol to him of her continued devotion.
Here’s the story behind the Richmond Brooch: Elizabeth’s grandmother, Queen Mary, was gifted the brooch, made by Hunt and Raskell, in 1893 as a wedding present. The brooch features diamonds, set with two pearls—one large round center pearl and the detachable pearl. Mary wore the broach on her honeymoon at Osborne House on Isle of Wight.
It’s very fitting that Queen Elizabeth chose to wear this particular brooch today, considering the romantic connections it has in her family and her grandparents’ own love story.
ENGAGEMENT RING FROM PRINCE PHILIP
Not only did this ring symbolize Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s commitment it carries several other stories. Prince Philip was not in a financial position to propose to his future Queen, but his mother Princess Alice knew that was his intent. Princess Alice gifted Prince Philip the tiara that she had worn on her wedding day to melt down and use in the creation of the new ring. The People of Wales supplied a nugget of Welsh gold to further help make the ring.
There is an inscription that Prince Philip had engraved as a message to his bride, but no one knows what it says. That they got to keep that secret as a treasure for themselves.
THE GEORGE VI SAPPHIRES
This mid-19th century set originated as a necklace and earrings, bought by King George VI at Carrington & Co. as a wedding present for his daughter, then Princess Elizabeth, in 1947.
Later the Queen had the necklace shortened and the set modified, adding a sapphire tiara and bracelet.
This parure continues to be a favorite, worn in pieces or as a set. Queen Elizabeth II also wore this set for her photo during her sapphire jubilee.
Queen Elizabeth II found a love for pearls as a girl. The story is that Queen Victoria gave her children a strand and then gave them each a pearl on their birthdays. Queen Elizabeth II’s parents continued this lovely tradition, only they decided to give her two pearls for her growing strand each year.
The Queen was so often in pearls, that even her toddler photos often had a strand of seed pearls. Classic and lovely, while not over the top; she enjoyed them all of her long life.
We truly admired Queen Elizabeth II’s steadfast devotion to her duty and her people. We appreciate that she was a true jewelry lover like the members here at PriceScope. Her collections are too large and impressive to be covered in one blog post, but we hope that the sentiment is clear.
Queen Elizabeth II, may she rest in peace and know that she was a beloved figurehead for generations. Her presence in the world will be missed.
Written by Kayti Kawachi