The Queen’s Jewels: The Story Behind Her Extravagant Necklaces

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Queen Elizabeth sure wears a lot of jewelry, and all of it without exception looks absolutely gorgeous and incredibly expensive. But did you know that apart from huge gems, a lot of these necklaces have interesting stories behind them. Some have been gifted to her by famous people, others were specially made and for some of them she even had to shorten them because they were too big for her tiny frame. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and look at some gorgeous necklaces the Queen likes to wear and explore the stories behind them, shall we?

 

 

1. The George VI Sapphire necklace is one of Elizabeth’s favorite necklaces. It used to look a bit different originally. It had 18 sapphire clusters. But the queen thought shorter necklaces compliment her small frame better, so she had four links removed and turned one of the bigger clusters into a pendant that can also be worn as a brooch. The picture you see is from a state banquet in Algeria in 1980.

 

 

2. This is the same necklace that you saw on the first picture but many years later. This time the Queen wore it with a blue gown and matching earrings, bracelet and even a ring. This is quite unusual for Queen Elizabeth, since she dislikes her hands and prefers not to draw attention to them. But she liked this necklace so much she decided to commission the bracelet and the ring to match. After all, this necklace has been given to her by her father, it makes sense she loves it so much.


3. This ruby and diamond floral bandeau was given to the Queen by her parents as a wedding gift. This gorgeous necklace is made of silver and gold and features an abundance of rubies. Elizabeth loves this necklace and she used to wear it quite often when she was younger. She also shortened this one, by removing two small flowers on the sides, thus making it sit higher on her neck.

 

 

4. This incredible necklace is made from aquamarine stones and it was gifted to the Queen by the President of Brazil in 1953. The precious stones are set in platinum and diamonds, which makes this necklace that much more impressive. It was given to the Queen with a set of matching earrings, and a couple of years later in 1958 she was gifted a big brooch and a matching bracelet. The stones in the whole set are so hard to match that it took a year to find them all.


5. This glittery necklace was presented to Princess Elizabeth in 1950 by her father and it’s been a favorite of hers ever since. It’s made of 105 diamonds. She loves wearing this necklace and on this picture she’s wearing it to a concert with President Ronald Reagan in 1983.

 

 

6. This beautiful necklace was commissioned for Queen Victoria for her Golden Jubilee in 1887. Originally the royal jeweler wanted to present her with a diamond badge, but later received the letter from Queen Victoria that said she “would not like that at all”. So instead they created this incredible necklace. It quickly became Queen Victoria’s most prized necklace and she left it as a heirloom of the crown in her will. Currently the Queen loves wearing this necklace with a diamond studded Kokoshnik tiara.


7. Did you know that emeralds are Queen Elizabeth’s lucky gems? Well it’s no surprise that she loves this necklace then. The story behind these emeralds is incredible. It all started in 1818 in Germany, when the Duchess of Cambridge, the Queens great-great-grandmother won them in a state lottery. They could’ve been lost forever when her son died and left them to his mistress, but Queen Mary, the Queen’s grandmother bought them back. The necklace you see on the picture was commissioned from Garrard in 1911 and it features 9 emeralds and an 8.8 carat diamond cut from the largest diamond ever found – the Cullinan Diamond.


8. This necklace originally belonged to Queen Victoria’s mother, the Duchess of Kent. It’s called the Kent Amethysts and has become the property of the Crown in 1901, after Queen Victoria’s death. The set consists of a necklace, three brooches, a pair of earrings and hair combs. The Queen has never been seen wearing the combs and the necklace has been spotted only twice, which means the Queen isn’t a huge fan of this set and only wears it when it matches a purple outfit.

 

 

9. You probably know that the Queen loves pearls. Her favorite triple-strand pearl necklace was given to her by her father, George V, for his Silver Jubilee. The Queen says she loves pearls the most because they’re elegant yet modest and go with everything. She likes to wear pearls on her wedding day too, and here you can see her wearing a two strand pearl necklace while being photographed with her kids.


10. This necklace is one of the most unusual pieces that Queen Elizabeth owns. It first belonged to Queen Alexandra and was made by a Danish court jeweler for her wedding to the Prince of Wales. It originally contained 2000 diamonds and 118 pearls set in gold, a splinter of wood from the True Cross and a piece of silk from King Canute’s grave. But the queen didn’t care much for those historical pieces of wood and silk so she got them removed. This necklace became the property of the Crown on the condition that it would never be altered. The current Queen wears it sparingly since it’s quite heavy and can look a bit strange on her small frame.

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