A Collection of Royal Diamonds
Diamonds pair perfectly with crowns and tiaras as they have a sense of luxury and royalty about them. The British Royal Family have shown us many eloquently lavish looks all paired with divine jewellery. We decided to break down some the most famous crowns and tiaras in honour of Queen Elizabeth II. Each of these sparkly headbands has been worn, photographed and dazzled crowds time and time again.
The Imperial State Crown
The imperial state crown is immaculately adorned with jewels. It is made of gold and set with 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, 269 pearls, and 4 rubies. The Crown was originally made for King George VI in 1937 and is home to several of the most famous stones in British history. The design of the crown symbolises the values of England as a sovereign. The encasing arches demonstrate England's barricade to any other earthly power apart from their own, impenetrable to outside powers. The famous gems include the Black Prince’s Ruby, the Cullinan II, St. Edward's Sapphire, and Stuart Sapphire. This regal crown was worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation and atop her casket during her funeral. It will next be worn by King Charles II at his coronation.
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The Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara
This is one of the most recognisable tiaras due to Queen Elizabeth II’s favorability of this stunning piece of jewellery. It consists of natural diamonds set in silver and gold, originally featuring 14 pearls on top. This tiara was originally worn by Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother, Queen Mary of Teck. It was commissioned by a committee of great aristocratic women called the "Girls of Great Britain and Ireland" and gifted to her as a wedding present in 1893. This adorable tradition was continued by Queen Mary herself as she gifted it to Queen Elizabeth also as a wedding present. Queen Elizabeth referred to it as ‘Granny’s tiara’ and wore it in her first year as monarch, even wearing it for her first official portrait.
The first official photographic sitting with the new Queen was granted to the society photographer Dorothy Wilding in February 1952; The Queen wears the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara without its lozenge band base (Royal Collection)
The Cambridge Lovers Knot
This pearly tiara is covered in diamonds and set with silver and gold, with 19 hanging pearls. It is currently worn by Princess Catherine but has been seen with Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II, and its commissioner, Queen Mary of Teck. It is reported this was one of Princess Diana’s favourite tiaras, which she wore frequently, and this has been copy-catted by Princess Catherine as an ode to her mother-in-law. Princess Catherine was the first person to wear this iconic tiara since Princess Diana’s death, sweetly honouring her memory. This piece was actually made from a tiara in Queen Mary’s own jewellery collection and is based on the original Cambridge lovers' knot, owned by her grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse.
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The Cartier Halo Tiara
This is the famous tiara worn by Princess Catherine on her wedding day to Prince William. The tiara is made up of 739 brilliant-cut diamonds and 149 baguette diamonds. The desire to choose this particular piece for her wedding day as it echoed the trajectory that its original owner took. Queen Elizabeth (Queen Mother) was also a non-royal who married into the position of future Queen, a transition she made with ease and grace. Perhaps Princess Catherine wanted to allude to this and make an equally graceful entrance into the royal family.
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Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau Tiara
The structure of this tiara is quite unlike the other famous pieces as it is divided into 11 sections, making it flexible, a more modern design. It was, of course, famously worn by Meghan Markle on her wedding day to Prince Harry, so it is no surprise that it is a more modern piece, as what else would suit the most modern royal marriage to date? This tiara was originally a diamond brooch gifted to Queen Mary of Teck amongst her many wedding gifts. In 1932 she commissioned the bandeau keeping the centrepiece a detachable brooch so she may choose how to wear it.
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(cover image: Royal Collection Trust)