Queen Elizabeth II had one of the most exceptional jewellery collections in the world. Each piece the Queen wore had both sentimental value and historical significance.
From heirloom pieces passed down the royal generations to her own iconic collection, the Queen knew that jewellery was more than just an accessory, it told a story. Read onto to discover some of the Queen’s most meaningful pieces of jewellery.
The Queen's Jewellery:
As the world’s most photographed woman, the Queen was never seen without her favourite pieces of jewellery. During the day, the Queen often wore a pearl necklace, a brooch and her diamond engagement ring.
For more formal events, the Queen often wore her most prized tiaras and necklaces. The Queen viewed her jewellery as part of her "uniform", and her sister, Princess Margaret once said that her sister was the only person who could run down the stairs whilst placing a tiara on her head.
The Queen is pictured is wearing Queen Mary's tiara and ruby cluster earrings, ruby necklace and Art Deco-style bracelet to a State banquet given by the Greek Royal family
The Queen's Pearl Collection:
Queen Elizabeth’s collection of pearl jewellery will be remembered for generations to come. She was rarely seen in public without her iconic three-strand pearl necklace which she wore for state occasions as well as everyday.
Pearls are rare, beautiful, and lustrous and reflect light upwards to soften the features. The Queen knew pearls were more than an accessory. They were a symbol of her love for her father who originally gifted her a pearl necklace as a symbol of endurance. The Queen wore pearls most days of her seventy-year reign.
Queen Victoria started a family tradition of giving each of her daughters and granddaughters a pearl every year on their birthday so that by 18, they would have enough pearls for a pearl necklace.
The Queen’s father, King George VI followed this tradition and gave the Queen a chain to add two pearls onto for each birthday.
Few know the Queen’s secret to keeping her pearls looking beautiful. She actually owned three, near identical pearl necklaces which she rotated as part of her official “uniform”. This way she could ensure the pearl necklaces did not need to be restrung too often and the nacre on the pearls did not wear out.
Here, the Queen is pictured with her daughter Princess Anne, Princess Royal, as a young girl wearing matching mother and daughter pearl necklaces.
The Queen's Sapphires:
As well as diamonds and rubies, her Majesty often wore sapphire jewellery. One of Queen Elizabeth II most iconic pieces was a sapphire set comprised of a sapphire necklace, earrings and large pendant gifted to her by her father, King George VI as a wedding present in 1947. King George had a deep admiration of sapphire gemstones and often gifted the Queen and Princess Anne, Princess Royal, with sapphire jewellery.
Queen Elizabeth II shared her father's admiration of sapphire jewellery, wearing her favourite pieces to special events. Here, Her Majesty is pictured wearing a stunning diamond and sapphire brooch.
The brooch was a gift from Prince Albert to his wife-to-be Queen Victoria as a wedding present in 1840. The sapphire brooch was later passed down to the Queen and became one of her most special jewels, featuring in many of her outfits