Queen Elizabeth II’s Jewellery And The Significance Behind Her Favourite Pieces

From her favourite pearl necklace to her wedding day tiara.

Queen Elizabeth's jewellery collection

by Natalie Hammond |
Updated on

The Queen had a dazzling array of family heirlooms to choose from in the jewellery department. Having said that, most of her favourite, and most frequently worn, pieces were either presents or passed down through the generations. Whatever the occasion, whether it was a state banquet, a televised address or a walkabout, careful attention was paid to what jewellery she chose. For day, she was often seen wearing the same pearl and diamond earrings, along with her special three-stranded pearl necklace, which were gifts from her grandmother and father respectively. According to Vanity Fair, Angela Kelly, who was the late monarch's dresser, in her memoir The Other Side of the Coin, said that she gravitated towards pearls because they help to 'soften' bright colours, which she famously wore frequently. And for night, it was the turn of diamonds, emeralds and rubies, usually in the form of a tiara worn with its companion necklace and earrings for extra dazzle.


SEE: The Significance Behind The Queen's Favourite Pieces Of Jewellery

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The Three-Stranded Pearl Necklace

One of her most beloved pieces of jewellery, based on how many times she wore it, has surely got to be her three-stranded pearl necklace. Its sentimental value was significant - it was a gift from her father, King George VI - so much so that she had an identical one made so that she wouldn't overuse the original.

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The Maple Leaf Brooch

She was famously good at deploying the right brooch at the right time - and seems to have passed on that skill to her family members. Kate Middleton, for example, borrowed this maple leaf brooch when she travelled to Canada. According to The Court Jeweller, King George VI gave the brooch to the Queen Mother - ahead of the royal tour to Canada (circa 1939).

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The Girls Of Great Britain And Ireland Tiara

Even someone who doesn't have an extensive knowledge of the royal tiara collection should recognise this entry (Queen Elizabeth II can be seen wearing it on certain varieties of banknote and coinage). It was a wedding gift from her grandmother, Queen Mary, and, from the amount of times she wore it during her reign, appears to be a favourite.

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The Dorset Bow Brooch

This bow brooch is actually part of a larger family of brooches that can be worn together with their own pendants, according to The Court Jeweller, creating really quite a magnificent piece of decoration. The Queen and her late mother would only wear one but Queen Alexandra, who received the brooches after the passing of Queen Victoria, would often wear the brooches in a cascade down the front of her skirt.

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The Queen Mary Fringe Tiara

Princess Elizabeth, as she was known then, wore this tiara on her wedding day, but it almost wasn't to be because on that morning, the heirloom appeared to break. The Queen explained what happened, according to HELLO!, while attending an exhibition in 2018. 'The catch, which I didn't know existed, it suddenly went. And I didn’t know it was a necklace, you see… I thought I'd broken it… We stuck it all together again, but I was rather alarmed.'

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The Queen's Engagement Ring

Prince Philip designed his future wife's engagement ring with diamonds that used to belong to his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg. According to Town & Country, they were originally part of the tiara that she wore on her wedding day - which was given from mother to son in 1946.

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The Delhi Durbar Necklace

This spectacular necklace is part of the Delhi Durbar Parure. According to The Court Jeweller, this necklace combines two of the family's most storied collections of gems: the Cullinan Diamonds, which was originally one 3,106-carat diamond, making it the largest in the world, and the Cambridge Emeralds. Queen Mary left the whole suite of jewels to her granddaughter (apart from the tiara which was on loan to the Queen Mother), including the necklace with asymmetric pendants, several brooches, a bracelet and a pair of earrings, when she died in 1953.

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