British royal jewels always attract curiosity. Here are the Windsor’s most loved jewels ♦
Prince William last year gave his wife, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, a pair of sapphire and diamond earrings. And this after having donated as a engagement ring a large sapphire, surrounded by diamonds. It would not be surprising, if it were not for those jewels that belonged to Lady Diana, William’s mother. For some devotees to the former princess who died in tragic circumstances in Paris it was a desecration. But they are extreme positions: it is obvious that the jewels that belonged to the mother are destined for the wife. Better to wear a princess than a museum, right? What is certain is that in the treasury of the royals of Great Britain there is no shortage of curiosities, as the Royalcenter.co.uk website lists.
Read also: Harry’s ring for Meghan
The miniature crown of Queen Victoria
After Prince Albert’s death in 1861, Queen Victoria wore a crown that was not “too ostentatious” on rare public occasions. For this she commissioned a small crown perched above a white veil. Made by London-based jeweler Garrard, the crown measures just 3.5 inches (8.9 centimeters) and is 4 inches tall, but is set with 1,200 diamonds (white, because Victoria associated colorful jewelry with happiness). Thanks to her light weight, the mini crown has been preferred over any other for the last 30 years of her life. Victoria’s crown was then worn by Queen Alexandra, consort of King Edward VII.
The brooch of Prince Albert
Another jewel favored by Queen Victoria was a brooch with sapphire and diamond. In past years it has been worn many times since the passing of Queen Mother. The brooch, a large oblong sapphire surrounded by 12 round diamonds, was donated by Prince Albert to Queen Victoria the day before their wedding in 1840. Victoria appreciated it very much, so much to wear it on her wedding day, pinned to the front of her wedding dress. He brought it constantly until Albert was alive, but rarely during his forty years of widowhood. In his will, Vittoria ordered the pin to be part of the Crown Jewels, run by a trust and available to all future British queens. Alexandra, for example, wore the brooch for her coronation in 1902, and Queen Mary (wife of King George V) often wore the brooch during the day. It was also a favorite of the Queen Mother. And the queen Elisabetta often sported an almost identical pin.
The engagement ring of the Duchess of Cambridge
The best known sapphire of the Windsor is, however, what is found in the engagement ring of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. As mentioned at the beginning, the ring was given by Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. On the Sunday that preceded the announcement of their engagement the couple had dinner with the Queen at Windsor Castle. The ring was chosen by Diana in a tray of jewelry that had been sent from London. The large oval sapphire was chosen immediately, together in a cluster of 14 brilliant cut diamonds. When Diana died in 1997, Prince William asked to have the ring. In 2010, in Kenya, he gave it to Kate, who has been wearing the ring ever since.
This tiara is well known since it was lent by the Queen to the Duchess of Cambridge, who wore it on her wedding day, in 2011. But even though the tiara was never worn in public by the Queen, she was often carried by her mother when she was the duchess of York. It was given to Princess Elizabeth for her eighteenth birthday in 1944, and since then the diadem has been lent to Princess Margaret and Princess Anne.
The Princess Zara’s diadem
Royal watchers know the importance of the diadem worn by Zara Phillips at her wedding to Mike Tindall. Zara is the daughter of Princess Anna (herself Elizabeth’s only daughter) and her ex-husband Mark Phillips. Jewelery design is commonly known as “Greek pattern”. It incorporates a wreath of leaves and swirls on both sides and it was her mother-in-law’s wedding gift. The Queen never wore it in public and gave it to Princess Anne in 1972. She then lent it to her daughter in 2011.
Mary Cambridge’s tiara
Queen Mary had this diadem, produced by Garrard in 1914. The jewel was made just by one of her designs, with pearls and diamonds that were already in possession of the queen, and is a copy of a property of her grandmother, the duchess of Cambridge. It was originally made with pearls in an upright position. When the queen died in 1953, she left the tiara to her daughter Elizabeth, who then gave her as a wedding present to Diana in 1981. At the death of the princess, the tiara was returned to the Queen and she was no longer worn since then.
The Queen Mother’s brooch
When King George VI and Queen visited Canada in 1939, he was presented with this large diamond in a maple-leaf brooch, a national symbol of Canada. Then, Princess Elizabeth, on tour in Canada for the first time with Prince Philip in 1951, borrowed the brooch to wear during the trip. Since then it has been worn on every Queen’s or Queen’s Mother’s visit to Canada. The Queen lent the pin to the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge, both who wore it during their travels to Canada in 2009 and 2011.
Queen Mary’s Bandeau Tiara
The Queen Mary Bandeau tiara was worn by Meghan Markle on her wedding day. The center stone of the tiara is detachable and becomes a ten diamond brooch that Queen Mary received as a gift from Lincoln County in 1893, when she married then Prince George, Duke of York. Forty years later, in 1932, the diamond and platinum band tiara was made specifically to house the brooch. The jewel is composed of ovals intertwined with a diamond pavé and large and small brilliant cut diamonds. Queen Mary bequeathed the tiara to Queen Elizabeth when she died in 1953.