King Charles to uphold Queen’s jewellery tradition as ‘custodian’
2nd November 2022

Platinum Jubilee: Diana tiara display discussed by royal experts

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The Queen’s death on September 8 saw the end of a 70-year royal era and the start of a new one with the accession of King Charles III. Charles is settling into his new role and all his new royal responsibilities, which includes a horde of royal heirlooms like the Queen’s huge jewellery collection.

The late Queen inherited many tiaras, necklaces and brooches when she became monarch, but she also added to the collection over her seven decades on the throne.

Many jewels were gifted to her as a Princess when she got married in 1947, and others she commissioned herself like the Burmese Ruby Tiara.

The Queen’s jewellery collection included countless tiaras, many of which appeared on the heads of royal brides throughout her reign.

Kate, Princess of Wales wore the Queen’s Cartier Halo Tiara when she married Prince William in 2011, while Meghan, Duchess of Sussex borrowed Queen Mary’s Bandeau Tiara.

The Queen’s granddaughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie also borrowed Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara and the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara respectively.

The Queen also owned several expensive earring sets, necklaces, and bracelets, along with sapphire, ruby and aquamarine parures.

Her most expensive necklace was thought to be the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace, a wedding gift worth an estimated £66million.

The Queen was also famed for her impressive brooch collection, and she often opted for heirloom pieces from Queen Victoria’s era.

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Queen Victoria’s wedding brooch was often worn by the Queen, and it features a huge central sapphire surrounded by diamonds.

The brooch was thought to have inspired the Garrard sapphire and diamond engagement ring that belonged to Princess Diana and now belongs to Kate, Princess of Wales.

Many of these pricey jewels were given to members of the Royal Family on loan, with Queen Consort Camilla and Kate, Princess of Wales often benefitting.

Dylan Pemberton, CEO & Co-Founder of We Love Diamonds, said: “One could definitely say that if you’re a royal then diamonds are quite simply just a perk of the job… This ‘perk of the job’ has certainly extended to many other members of the Royal Family.

“The 84-carat diamond necklace, for example (gifted to Her Majesty by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia in 1967 and was certainly a cherished piece since she wore it many, many times during her reign), was a piece that Princess Diana and Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, were both lucky enough to have been loaned by Her Majesty (in 1983 and 2012 respectively).

“As custodian of the entire collection, We Love Diamonds see no reason why King Charles III will not continue the established royal tradition of loaning items of luxury diamond jewellery, not just to Camilla, The Queen Consort but also to the superfluity of other royals in his extended royal circle.”

Estimates on the value of the royal jewellery collection are difficult to attain, but the jewellery expert highlighted how it is likely worth billions of pounds.

Mr Pemberton added: “Not that it could ever actually be sold, and clearly priceless in terms of their tangible value, We Love Diamonds would very realistically price the overall royal collection to be well in excess of £15billion and likely far, far higher.”

Now Charles is on the throne, senior royal women are likely to continue loaning jewellery from the royal vaults.

As the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate often turned to the Lover’s Knot Tiara, a pearl diadem, while Camilla tended to wear the Greville Tiara as Duchess of Cornwall.

But for their first state occasion of Charles’ reign, Kate and Camilla may choose different tiaras to mark their transition into new roles.

It is also not clear yet whether the pair could wear the gems most closely associated with the late Queen, including the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara or the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara.

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