Given our tiara talk, not to mention this upcoming Sunday’s Diamond Jubilee, many are speculating of which gem-glimmering halos her majesty and peers will wear.
With what Elizabeth II will dazzle her onlookers—be they dining with her or watching on BBC America? *ahem* The more accurate question is naturally, how many crowns, tiaras, diadems and coronets will Elizabeth II take out of their velvet-lined boxes? Hers is one of the largest, most envy-clenching, collections of jewels imaginable. (Personally I hope she wears them all…let the party go on ’til the Olympics are over. Or at least the European Cup.)
There has been talk aplenty of the George IV Diadem (a personal favorite of hers). If you’ve ever seen British Sterling or even a Canadian coin, the George IV Diadem will certainly ring a bell.
Naturally there’s the State Imperial Crown…but we get to see that whenever Parliament opens. I doubt we’ll see St. Edward’s either. Even if it didn’t weigh over five pounds (migrane-city!) this crown is reserved for coronations. It waits in the Tower until the next monarch is crowned.
Instead, let’s talk about the crown that started it all for Princess Lilibet. In May 1937, her father, King George VI’s coronation also provided new gleaming headpieces for mother and daughters. Immediately after her mother’s official coronation as Queen Elizabeth, the two young princess donned miniature, medieval-looking circlets. Fashioned by the royal family’s jeweller, Garrard & Company, these “trinkets” were silver-lined and silver gilt…yet oddly gleaming gold in all the photos I’ve encountered.
In addition to being heart-achingly darling, the 11 year-old princess assumed her regal duties as she greeted the public from the balcony at Buckingham Palace with her mother.
Together I have heard them referred to as the “Mother & Daughter Crowns” but nobody can mistake the Queen Mum‘s Crown (as it came to be known). Specially made for the occasion, the crown of platinum and countless precious stones sports the Koh-i-Noor in the center. The Koh-i-Nor, once the largest cut diamond in the world, boasts a luminous 105.6 carats. Said diamond had graced the crowns of the Queen Consorts for years; supposedly it portended bad luck for any man who owned it. The Koh-i-Noor, whose name fittingly translates to Mountain of Light in Persian, did not hold such curses should it grace a woman; the Queen Mum sported this crown frequently and she lived to a hearty age of 101.