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Treasures of the Romanovs and Rubies of the Evil Eye: What Secrets Do Elizabeth II’s Jewels Keep?

Elizabeth II was known for her rich jewelry collection

Elizabeth II was known for her rich jewelry collection


Elizabeth the Second was famous for its rich collection of jewellery: some had their own history and were passed down from generation to generation, others were given to the Queen and others were commissioned by her.

The collection is extensive – 300 items: 98 brooches, 34 pairs of earrings and 15 rings. In fact, they were kept in the Royal Gallery at Buckingham Palace.

Many wondered: what will happen to the imperial state crown, which was placed on the lid of the coffin? She was removed before the coffin was lowered into the crypt. The queen was buried with laconic pearl earrings and a gold engagement ring.

But the imperial crown can be seen at the coronation of King Charles III. It was specially made in 1937 for George VI’s accession to the throne. It is set with 2868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and 269 pearls. It is completed by the famous 105 carat Kohinoor diamond from India. The weight of the crown is only one kilogram, but even because of this weight, it is difficult for the monarch to tilt his head.

KP.RU tells about the most memorable items from Elizabeth II’s collection.


The most expensive piece of jewelry in Elizabeth II’s collection is the Oriental Crown diadem. It is estimated at $8.18 million. The sketch of the tiara was personally made in the mid-19th century by Elizabeth’s great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert, for his wife Queen Victoria. The pumping station was inspired by fashionable Indian patterns at the time. After Victoria’s death, the diadem was passed down through the generations and eventually went to Elizabeth II’s mother, Elizabeth Bowles-Lyon.

Initially, the diadem was decorated with more than 2.5 thousand diamonds and red opals. It is not known why, but Elizabeth never appeared in this tiara. Apparently its value has been affected. But the Queen Mother liked to show off a luxurious diadem.


Elizabeth II’s collection included many pieces of jewelry that once belonged to the Romanovs. For example, the Vladimir tiara. She was the “favourite” of the English Queen. 15 rings set with loose diamonds, each with a large teardrop pearl inside.

The tiara was commissioned in 1874 by Prince Vladimir Alexandrovich, Alexander III’s brother, as a wedding gift to his wife Maria Pavlovna. In 1917, it was hidden in the Vladimir Palace along with the rest of the jewelry, but it was discovered and stolen by the English spy and antiquarian Albert Stopford at the request of Maria Pavlovna herself. After the death of the princess, the tiara ended up with her daughter, the Greek princess Elena Vladimirovna, but she sold it to her grandmother, Elizabeth II, Maria van Teck.


Some jewelry is commissioned by the Queen herself and her design. This was the tiara, set with 96 large rubies and diamonds. The diadem is a silver wreath of English roses (the symbol of England).

The rubies were originally part of a necklace Elizabeth received from Burma as a wedding gift. According to legend, the necklace had magical properties – it protected its owner from evil forces and diseases. The Queen also received diamonds as a gift from the ruler of the Principality of Hyderabad and Berar, Asaf Jaha VII.


Elizabeth II invariably wore three-strand pearl beads for many of her outfits. In her book The Queen’s Jewels: The Personal Collection of Elizabeth II, Leslie Field notes that the Queen received the first necklace of identically sized pearls from her grandfather, King George V, on the occasion of his 25th birthday in 1935.

In 1952, in honor of her accession to the throne, the Queen of England ordered a similar award for herself. The necklace was made of cream pearls and the beads were collected by raising.

The third pearl necklace, whose strands are longer than the previous two models, was received by Elizabeth II in 1953 as a gift from the Emir of Qatar. His queen often wore evening receptions.

The fourth pearl choker necklace was actively worn by Elizabeth in the 80s and 90s, most notably to celebrate the 70th wedding anniversary with Prince Philip. Four wires in the center were connected by a round diamond pendant decorated with diamonds at the top and bottom. The design was developed by jewelry house Garrad, which has worked with Buckingham Palace for years.

This necklace was worn several times by Princess Diana and then came into her possession by Kate Middleton.


Elizabeth II received a luxurious sapphire set as a wedding gift from her father, King George VI. The parure consisted of a necklace and earrings decorated with large sapphires and set with diamonds. The decoration was made in the middle of the 19th century. Later, Her Majesty added a bracelet in the same style to the set. The tiara appeared even later: Elizabeth II bought a sapphire necklace once worn by the Belgian princess Louise, and turned it into a diadem.

By the way, on her only visit to Moscow, Elizabeth II preferred aquamarine. The necklace and earrings were presented as a present by the President of Brazil on the occasion of the coronation. Later, the authorities of the Latin American country continued to supplement the set by donating a bracelet, a brooch and a hairpin. But the queen ordered the tiara alone. By the way, the necklace has a secret: the links can be separated and worn separately in the form of brooches.


Indian diamond in British krone

After the death of Elizabeth II in Indian social networks they began to talk about restoring historical justice. The Indians reclaimed the Kohinoor diamond, which adorns the English coronation crown.

The first mention of the stone dates back to the 15th century, when it belonged to the rulers of the Indian principality of Malwa. Then he passed from hand to hand: he visited Tamerlane Babur’s son, passed over to the Persians, and then ended up in Afghanistan. “Kohinoor” returned to India in the possession of the Prince of Punjab Ranjit Singh. After the death of the ruler, the stone was to be transferred to the temple in Patna, but the heir Duleep Singh brought it to England and handed it over to Queen Victoria.

Once in the hands of the British Crown, the diamond lost its former shape – thanks to Dutch jewelers, it was given a new cut. From 191 carats it has dropped to 109.

Many Indian figures in the 20th century repeatedly appealed to the British authorities with a request to return the diamond, but each time the British bravely evaded the answer.

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